360 Arcade on sale in US today, UK Friday

[UPDATE] Microsoft's replacement for Core model lands in US and UK stores with five XBLA games; <i>Looney Tunes</i> cartoons now available for download through XBLM.

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Microsoft's answer to the Wii.
Microsoft's answer to the Wii.

Microsoft last week officially confirmed the existence of the much-discussed Xbox 360 Arcade console, but didn't announce when the new unit would hit store shelves. Now it seems US gamers can get their hands on the $279.99 unit immediately, with Microsoft stating in a press release that the Xbox 360 Arcade will go on sale in the region from today forward.

The 360 Arcade unit will retail for $279.99 in the US and will come with a wireless controller, HDMI output, a 256MB memory card, and five Xbox Live Arcade games: Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket, and Feeding Frenzy. UK gamers are also in luck, because the console bundle with the same five games was confirmed as being available this as well, for the retail price of £199.99 starting Friday. (Date now corrected.)

Rear view of the NA packaging.
Rear view of the NA packaging.

The release of the family-friendly bundle coincides with a greater push by Microsoft to snare a broader audience for its console. Microsoft also announced today that for the first time ever, Looney Tunes cartoons featuring characters such as Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny will be made available for download through Xbox Live. Nickelodeon is also adding three new shows to Live: Blue's Clues, The Backyardigans, and iCarly. Microsoft also announced Shrek-N-Roll exclusively for the service.

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