Tuesday, 20 July 2010

New Xbox 360 Announced, Kinect Pricing Revealed

Yesterday we brought you our in-depth hands-on with the new 250gb Xbox 360 S, and a few days before we reported that a potential replacement for the 360 Arcade was on the cards. Well, today Microsoft officially announced not only the brand new version of the ‘Arcade’ console, but also full pricing details and bundle information for Kinect.

For the latest version of the 360 Microsoft have dropped the ‘Arcade’ suffix instead naming both the current S and the new machine by their memory capacity. The 4gb Xbox 360 becomes the new entry level console, and will be released on 3rd August in North America, priced at $199.99, and 20th August in the UK for £149.99, with the rest of the world taking delivery of the unit sometime later this month.

This new 360 will have 4gb of flash memory instead of a 250gb hard drive, whilst keeping the full functionality and other features of the 250gb model, including the built in Wi-Fi adaptor. The hard drive used inside the 250gb slim will also be compatible with the new model (in which the expansion bay is empty), although Microsoft currently have no plans to release it separately, or in any other sizes at this point in time. You can probably expect another announcement about this later on down the line.

Like with the 250gb 360 S that launched last month in the US, and last week in the UK, the 4gb version will feature the very same slimmed down design, complete with the trademark chrome highlighting and touch sensitive buttons. However the shiny aesthetics of the 250gb S model has been discarded for a more favourable matt finish, much like the old model 360’s and PS3 Slim.

Along with confirmation of the Xbox 360 Arcade’s replacement Microsoft also announced full pricing details for Kinect, both as a solus bundle (Kinect + game) and as a package with the new 4gb 360 console.

Kinect will be released sometime this November (date to be confirmed) and will come bundled with Kinect Adventures. The device will retail at $149.99 in the US, and £129.99 in the UK. All first-party software will retail for of $49.99, and £39.99 respectively. Third-party games will have no baseline retail price, with the publishers of individual titles being able to set their own price brackets accordingly.

Both the Kinect and 4gb Xbox 360 S console will be available as a package. It will be available the same day Kinect launches and will retail for $299 in the US, and for £249.99 in the UK.

Microsoft also confirmed that around 15 games will be available at launch, with a large selection of first and third-party titles being available.

On a final note, the revelation that the console and Kinect bundle will contain the 4gb version of the machine is perhaps unsurprising.

Previously many people suspected that the Kinect + 360 would contain the higher-end model of the console. However, this simply isn’t the case with Microsoft opting to instead package their entry level model with the device in order to maintain a cheaper price point. Interestingly this puts the machine and Kinect in the same bracket as the stand-alone 120gb PS3.

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