Microsoft took the latest step towards the upcoming holiday buying season by launching the Xbox 360 Arcade, a version of its popular game console aimed specifically at families.
Carrying a suggested retail price of US$279.99, the Arcade ships with a 256M byte hard drive and HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connection, essentially making it an Xbox 360 Core console with a much smaller hard drive at the same price. However, it ships with five family-oriented games, including "PAC-MAN Championship Edition" and "Uno."
Microsoft's move is just the latest in a series of new offerings and price cuts by game console manufacturers in various markets. Earlier in the week, Microsoft lowered the price of two Xbox 360 models in Japan, which itself followed an announcement by Sony earlier this month to reduce the price of some PlayStation 3 consoles in that country.
Unlike Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo continues to ride strong sales of its Wii console, choosing to compete by rolling out game titles quickly instead of slashing prices.