360 Arcade memory goes inside

Microsoft dumps free pack-in storage for internal 256MB card in new units of the hard drive-less $199 console.

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In September, Microsoft enacted sweeping price cuts to its whole line of Xbox 360s. Most notably, the publisher repriced its budget-line Xbox 360 Arcade to $199, $50 less than current market leader the Nintendo Wii.

To further entice customers to its hard drive-less Arcade model, Microsoft has moved to including a 256MB internal memory unit with all new Xbox 360 Arcade units, the publisher revealed today. The move means that going forward, Arcades will no longer need a memory card to download the New Xbox Experience. Microsoft is eagerly backing the Avatar-based, Netflix-streaming firmware upgrade, even offering now-discontinued Xbox 360 Core system owners free 512MB memory cards and $20 20GB hard drives so they can download the 128MB update.

"We are constantly updating the console's more than 1700 internal components," the publisher said in a statement provided to GameSpot. "We can confirm that we are moving to internal memory for the Xbox 360 Arcade. The physical internal memory is the same size as the previous external memory units--256MB." The downside, of course, is that the Arcade will no longer come with a removable memory card, meaning players will have to purchase one in order to take profiles and game saves to a friend's house.

Microsoft's new pricing structure for the Xbox 360--which also extends to the $299 60GB Pro and $399 120GB Elite 360s--has paid dividends for the hardware maker. Unit sales have progressively jumped since the September cut, rising from 195,200 in August to 347,200 in September and 371,000 in October, according to the NPD Group.

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