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The supposed new marketing sheet for Xbox 360  (Source: Gamernode)
Microsoft to upgrade Xbox 360 Core to Arcade-centric package, but still no hard drive

Reports from Belgian gaming blogs covering the Leipzig Games Convention indicate that Microsoft will replace the Xbox 360 Core system with a superior version – and at likely without any change at the price point. The new entry-level system, called “Xbox 360 Arcade: Just Play,” will still lack a hard disk drive, but will be packaged with a 256MB memory card. Its namesake comes from the fact that the new system will come with five Xbox Live Arcade games. Additionally, the new Core system will come with a wireless controller, replacing the current wired one.

The upper-class versions of the Xbox 360 will also receive taglines as part of a marketing effort. The Xbox 360 Premium system will be tagged with the words “Go Pro,” while the Xbox 360 Elite will carry the words “Go Big.”

The latest production batches of Xbox 360 Premium units in the U.S. now feature an HDMI port, signifying Microsoft’s move to the “Zephyr” motherboard that was first introduced in the Xbox 360 Elite. The next move could be for Microsoft to manufacture Xbox 360 Core units with the “Zephyr” motherboard as well.

The news comes from a Microsoft source in Belgium, who sent the following email to Gamernode:

"The embargo just lifted on some news I got earlier. At an as of yet unknown date, the Core will be completely phased out and repackaged as the 'Xbox Arcade: Just Play' pack. It will come with 5 games (I assume Uno and Pac-Man are two since I believe I saw them on the box art shown), a 256 mb memory card, and will be priced at 279. I'm not 100% sure about this part, but my notes say it will have an HDMI exit, but no cable in the box."

Gaming blog Kotaku also backs up the story, claiming the new Core system and marketing behind the Xbox 360 will also apply to the North American market come this holiday season.



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Just me?
By James Holden on 8/21/2007 3:30:34 AM , Rating: 5
Does that "spec sheet" look like a Photoshop or what? The green box around "Arcade" seems, um, really out of place.

I believe the bundle is true, but why would Gamernode photoshop the image?




RE: Just me?
By afkrotch on 8/21/2007 3:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yes the pic does look pretty Photoshopped.

Also, does anyone really care? I mean, a few arcade games and a 256 meg mem card. Wow! Gotta get me one of those. *sarcastic*


RE: Just me?
By daftrok on 8/21/2007 3:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
Actually with the 256 mb you can save games and not be left out of the rest of the community when it comes to gaming. You can finally play online, save things, get classical games, and even watch trailers and listen to music and view photos. Granted you are limited with the 256 mb but at least you can do the basic functions that the upper echelon models can do for a lot cheaper.


RE: Just me?
By afkrotch on 8/21/2007 4:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad the arcade games will take a sizeable portion. Demos are out of the question, as 256 meg is not enough. I think a 5 gig hdd would be more beneficial. Or toss in a 10 gig. How about giving the Core a 20 gig hdd, while moving the Premium to a 60 gig.


RE: Just me?
By squeezee on 8/21/2007 4:41:06 AM , Rating: 3
Its unlikely a 5 or 10 GB HDD would cost any less than a 20GB model. HDDs have a price floor after all, the motor, casing, read assembly, etc. are esentially fixed costs.


RE: Just me?
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2007 7:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
If they moved the Core to a 20GB drive and the Premium to a 60GB, that would be awesome. Then every model would support a hard drive. Wouldn't help all the previous Core owners but still. It would also offer even more value over the PS3 then. Nearly the same size hard drive for $250 less. It would also make sense since its kind of odd for the Premium to have a 20GB and the Elite a 120GB.


RE: Just me?
By bkm32 on 8/21/2007 8:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
MS should further differentiate the Elite from the other two SKUs by including a wi-fi adapter or have it built-in. Then, eventually (8-12 mths) phase this "option" into the other two SKUs.


RE: Just me?
By Josh7289 on 8/21/2007 2:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, seriously, the thing the 360 needs most is built in Wi-Fi, even it it's only on the Elite unit. It's one the major things holding me back -- I just don't want to run another cable from my router on one side of my house to my TV on the other.


RE: Just me?
By Locutus465 on 8/21/2007 4:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
An excellent suggestion Microsoft should pay attention to. Particularly with ubiquitous HDMI I can't think of any real reason to get an Elite over a premium unless you plan on downloading movies.


RE: Just me?
By rpsgc on 8/21/2007 5:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
And wireless controller. The old Core had a wired controller.


RE: Just me?
By iFX on 8/21/2007 7:35:14 AM , Rating: 4
No it looks like MS Paint - they saved money by using an in house app. :)


RE: Just me?
By Locutus465 on 8/21/2007 4:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that 256MB card + wireless controller matches the x-box up nicely price/value wise with a Wii, Microsoft should be excited since it will make x-box much more competitive with the Wii from a value stand point. This means that along with following through on more family oriented content and marketing you'll be getting moms and dads looking at buying x-boxes rather than Nintendos which can only be a good thing for Microsoft’s bottom line.


Looks noyce
By Rampage on 8/21/2007 5:24:18 AM , Rating: 1
Nice little hook to get people to try Xbox Live. Been nice if it'd been a 512MB card though.

I went ahead and bought my 360 even though its not 65nm. It's just too much fun to wait for. The new heatsink fixed 95% of the failures, and we've seen the move from 90nm->65nm doesn't reduce heat dramatically regardless.
With the issues with 65nm that MS has been having, I'm guessing it will take far longer than people are expecting to get it out the door. 90nm works fine, and is reliable without the chinsy heatsink.

Either way the new marketing is a good idea and keeps it simple for everyone.

"Just Play"
"Go Pro"
"Go Big"

Depending on your mentality, just pickup the 360 that fits you. :P




RE: Looks noyce
By therealnickdanger on 8/21/2007 8:17:43 AM , Rating: 2
Some people want what's newest, regardless of how well the "old" works. I can understand it, but it's hard for me to justify if I have to base it on my personal experience.

I have a launch system with no "Zephyr", no "Falcon", no 65nm, no new heatsink, no nuthin'. No RROD here. It also sits in an enclosed, non-ventilated space and has been since launch.

The other one was bought last June and sat on an open shelf and had a video output failure just a few months ago (not RROD). It came back fixed in about a week and everything seems fine. Go figure.


RE: Looks noyce
By Netscorer on 8/21/2007 11:20:43 AM , Rating: 4
Where do you get your info on 95% fix and no heat reduction by moving to 65nm?
I thought 65nm are not even out yet, so how can one say it does not reduce heat? And for 95% reduction, don't you have to have historical statistics to measure this reduction? Just because systems with new heatsink don't die in the first week one can not say they are fixed.


RE: Looks noyce
By ObscureCaucasian on 8/21/2007 11:47:13 AM , Rating: 2
I was wondering the same thing.

The extra epoxy and heatsinks on the Zeypher do seem to be helping, although the Elite isn't very old yet.


RE: Looks noyce
By robinthakur on 8/21/2007 12:18:22 PM , Rating: 3
As another poster has pointed out, it sounds like they designed the sub titles for retards. I think its good to have the memory card with the Core, but I have a Premium and I've certainly never used the 'community' features of XBL lol Most people just play the games. Nobody i know uses the online much. I had the month free Gold membership when I got it but don't think I ever played it online...Since the best games on it seem to be first person shooters (which I don't enjoy), I haven't actually played it since it fell down the back of the sofa a month ago.


You know what? I'd buy this.
By Newspapercrane on 8/21/2007 8:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
I like the wireless controller, I like the fact that it comes with a memory card. I'm thinking, I'll pick one of these babies up, and then pick up a hard drive for it later, next paycheck or so.

I've always sort of liked the simpler looking core system anyways, the chrome kinda looks tacky.




RE: You know what? I'd buy this.
By dubldwn on 8/21/2007 3:15:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
and then pick up a hard drive for it later, next paycheck or so.

If you're going to do that, might as well get the premium and pay for the difference it later. Or wait til next paycheck. The hard drive costs $90, but the price difference between core and premium is only $70. Plus, if you're worried about tacky, with the money you save you could get a different faceplate!
http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Faceplate-Viva-Pina...


Hard Drive
By acer905 on 8/21/2007 12:44:11 PM , Rating: 3
Okay... can somebody explain to me (i don't own a 360) why somebody can't simply treat it like any other computer, and swap out the hard drive. I actually laugh at the tiny hard drive space these systems have. Especially when they are supposed to be "multimedia" centers. But from what i have gathered, they have a detatchable hard drive. so why not buy the cheaper system, and put in a bigger hard drive?




RE: Hard Drive
By afkrotch on 8/21/2007 10:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
For the 360 core unit, it lacks wireless controllers and the hdd. You can't simply throw in a hdd, cause it needs to have the whole goofy connection. Also, they set it up so that the hdd needs specific data at the beginning of the hdd to even be used by the Xbox 360.

Ppl out there have found ways to connect a standard hdd onto the 360, but only specific hdds and even then, you are limited at what the firmware supports.

You'll need to have a 360 hdd to get the data, need to be able to connection the hdd to a PC, to put that data on the hdd. From there, you were limited to the 20 gigs that the 360 supports (120 gig Elites weren't available yet). I don't know if ppl have gotten 120 gig hdds to work or not. I really don't care all that much. I don't feel like dumping anymore money into the 360.

Being on my 3rd 360, it just isn't worth the money to play a few games.


Pac-Man and UNO?
By Mitch101 on 8/21/2007 7:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
I can imagine how amazing Pac-Man and UNO must look like on a next gen console.

I love the idea of this system but couldnt it come bundled with at least one game that isnt 20+ years old.

Also it should be able to take a hard drive add on which should be cheap on e-bay or an after market knock off by now or at least soon enough.




RE: Pac-Man and UNO?
By Mitch101 on 8/21/2007 7:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
I guess what I would recommend is something like a few X-Box 1 games with increased textures instead of Pac-Man and UNO.


It's a start....
By Legionosh on 8/21/2007 9:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
Well if this is indeed true then it's a step in right direction, although I still think they could've dropped the price to $250 to be at the same price as the Wii (still the 360 and PS3 are usually seen as a step/class above the Wii so we'll accept the $279 price point for now I guess)

That being said however, at least they wised up and threw in a memory card (I've been saying thats been needing to be done for a while now). It's not 512MB, but 256MB should suffice as the Wii only has 512MB, but a HDD is indeed needed for demo downloads, etc). But it is a good start.

It IS nice they opted to finally include a wireless controller into the core package though. Going wired works, but after being wireless it's hard to have to play wired.

..and even if the included games are only arcade games it's still 5 free games to play out of the box (assuming these aren't trial games). It isn't like Wii sports is a 30-40 hour long in depth game anyway.

...AND if they DID include HDMI as well as is speculated (the source wasn't 100% sure) that is also a plus. No cable but cables can be had for as cheap as $10 if you know where to look (I know a local Big Lots had HDMI cables for like $10-12, and I got mine for my PS3 off eBay for $9 shipped).

All in all if this is accurate then I'd say the Core finally isn't a 100% completely hobbled system.

(I do agree that ALL the systems need a HDD included though, and I have stated myself (although it may have been on a different forum) that MS needs to introduce a mid range/size HDD between the 20GB and 120GB. That way put the corresponding size into the corresponding package and viola..HDD for ALL!!)

My two cents,
Kevin

legionosh@msn.com




HDMI Optional?
By bkm32 on 8/21/2007 9:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
It appears that the Core model now has some sort of HDMI "option". I'm assuming this means that the Core (now Arcade) has an HDMI port, but no HDMI cord.

Am I misreading this or reading too much into this? If someone has already commented on this, then my bad.




Those names are all lame
By VoodooChicken on 8/21/2007 11:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only one who really hates the new monikers? It's like they were written for drooling idiots (no inference being drawn)




By civilgeek on 8/21/2007 12:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think they are offering a 256 meg memory card instead of the hard drive for the simple fact hard drives are one of the most unrealiable pieces of equipment in a computer. By making the hard drive seperate from the main hardware they eliminate a lot of returns. A 256 meg memory card is hard to break. In addition, by having the hard drive seperate people can just RMA the seperate part rather than the entire system.

It seems to me though they should offer the stand alone add on component in the "Go Bigger" version which i'm sure is soon to come for those who wish to have the option :-).




Suprised
By FITCamaro on 8/21/07, Rating: -1
RE: Suprised
By therealnickdanger on 8/21/2007 8:09:52 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, it's not silver, it's just that the DVD tray has a chrome (silver) bezel rather than body color. Nothing has changed in that regard.


RE: Suprised
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2007 8:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
My bad. It looked like it was silver and a different color than the Core in the picture. It also states a Silver Finish in the table while the Core says Standard Finish which I took to mean white.


RE: Suprised
By therealnickdanger on 8/21/2007 9:27:42 AM , Rating: 2
And you were correct, but the finish they refer to is only the bezel. :P

I noticed the color variance in the side-by-side picture as well. Not sure why it looks that way. We'll know for sure after Microsoft makes it official.


RE: Suprised
By DFranch on 8/21/2007 9:25:31 AM , Rating: 2
he could buy a silver faceplate. They are only like $15.


RE: Suprised
By mars777 on 8/22/2007 2:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
He could buy even the HDDVD addon, a wireless controller and a memory card reader and have a PS3 in price and specs :P
But it would be the price of a pS3 :P


RE: Suprised
By Samus on 8/22/2007 3:35:57 AM , Rating: 2
Can you download live content, such as Castlevania, to the mem card.

I might get this bundle but want to make sure i can play me my castlevania :)


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