MicroSoft guns for the Wii

After weeks of rumors, speculation, leaks, and pre-release shelf-stocking by large retail outlets, Microsoft finally confirmed the release of the Xbox 360 Arcade. With an MSRP of $279.99, the configuration is targeted at families and other non-hardcore gamers, who have largely been turning to Nintendo's Wii console, which launched with a price point of $249 and a strong selection of all ages games.

Available for sale beginning today, the Xbox 360 Arcade ships with a wireless controller, an HDMI connection for hi-def output, 256 MB of memory, and five family-friend games, including Namco-Bandai's Pac-Man Championship Edition, Carbonated Games' Uno, MumboJumbo's Luxor 2, Electronic Arts' Boom Boom Rocket, and Sprout Games' Feeding Frenzy.

Microsoft also announced plans to expand the console's family-friendly selections, including Looney Tunes cartoon downloads and online games featuring characters from movies like Shrek and shows like Blue's Clues, The Backyardigans, and Spongebob SquarePants.

"In addition to offering an incredible all-in-one package for families to get right into the fun, the Xbox 360 Arcade system features the industry-leading family settings, which allow parents to control what their kids are watching and playing -- and we know how important that control is to families around the world," said Microsoft's corporate vice president of global marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business, Jeff Bell, in a press release.

The holiday season will also mark the release of several new family titles, including Bee Movie: The Game, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rck, amd Naruto: Rise of a Ninja.

Personally, the first thing *I* think of 360 is seriously hard core games like Halo, Splinter Cell, etc. NOT "family friendly fun" games. But oh NOES. How DARE someone else try to *steal* profit from Microsoft!! *rolls eyes*
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