On Monday, Microsoft officially announced that it was bundling the two higher-end models of the Xbox 360, the $349 Pro and $449 Elite, with two free games--Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and Forza Motorsport 2. However, the company made no mention of the lowest-end model of the $279 Core Xbox 360, which has been dogged by discontinuation rumors for weeks.
Now comes further evidence that the Core's days are indeed numbered. Photos obtained by GameSpot show that retailers are already erecting displays touting the Core's long-rumored replacement, the Xbox 360 Arcade SKU. As previously speculated, the display shows the console will come bundled with a wireless controller, a 256MB memory card, and five arcade games. Microsoft declined to offer comment on the photo of the console.
Two items of information are not revealed by the standee. First is the system's price, which is purported to be the same $279 cost as the Core. Also missing is the list of the arcade games bundled with the system, presumably included to counter the best-selling $249 Wii console/Wii Sports combo. Though various configurations have been discussed, the most commonly mentioned lineup is Boom-Boom Rocket, Uno, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, and Pac-Man.