Microsoft has slightly flummoxed me with its latest press release, because the product in question has already been available to buy for nigh on a week. Still, the Xbox 360 Arcade is now officially, well, official usurping as it does the Core. At least we do now have the full scoop on the details though.
So, starting with that all-important matter of cost, the Arcade carries an ‘estimated retail price' of £199.99 which is a tad more than the Core, but the bundle does now include a wireless controller, not the oh-so-passé wired offering of the older package. Better still, all arcade consoles are guaranteed to have an HDMI port, although a ghastly, not-at-all high-def, composite cable is all you'll find in the box - a lesson learned from the PS3 perchance?
Also included in the package are five free Xbox Live Arcade games, namely PAC-MAN (great), Uno (yawn), Feeding Frenzy (what?), Boom Boom Rocket (again, what?) and Luxor 2 (seriously, who makes these games?). Lastly, the package does indeed offer a 256MB memory card for save games and further Live Arcade titles and it will, indeed, still be insufficient for anyone with a large collection of games.
Still, with such casual-gamer oriented games as Viva Piñata: Party Animals and Guitar Hero III coming out this Christmas Microsoft definitely appears to be following through with its intention to bring the console to the wider audience that has found its attention, not to mention wallet, captured by Nintendo's Wii.