New U.S., European Xbox Hardware Bundles Revealed

U.S. retailers have begun advertising an "Xbox Live Starter Pack," including a 60GB Xbox 360 hard drive, headset, Ethernet cable and three-month gold subscription to Xbox Live for $99 -- while reports show a Lips hardware bundle, including a consol
Although there has been no official announcement from Microsoft, U.S. retailers have begun advertising an "Xbox Live Starter Pack,"including a 60GB hard drive, headset, Ethernet cable and three-month gold subscription to Xbox Live for a price of $99. An entry on the website for retailer GameStop describes the package as "everything you need to get up and running" on Xbox Live. A release date of Tuesday, November 11th is indicated for the bundle. No equivalent bundle has yet been listed by any European stores, although generally new SKUs do not appear before an official announcement with the same regularity and reliability as in the U.S. While sales of the Xbox 360 Arcade model, which does not feature a bundled hard drive, have increased sharply since its recent price cut, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to make the peripheral more easily available as an upgrade. Last month the company unveiled a promotional offer for refurbished hard drives costing just $19.99, as a means to ensure users could upgrade easily to the forthcoming New Xbox Experience dashboard update. Microsoft's Xbox 360 group product manager Aaron Greenberg recently talked to Gamasutra about the importance of accessibility initiatives like these to the company's console strategy, and noted iNiS' music game Lips as one of the titles likely to attract a broader consumer base. Now a report from consumer site Kotaku shows that the European audience, among whom Sony's SingStar games have found significant success, will receive a Lips bundle with a console, microphone and a copy of the game.

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