Officials from Microsoft have announced that the company will launch the Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan from March 6th, in the latest attempt to increase the format’s success in the key market.
The Xbox 360 Arcade retail configuration was launched in the West
last autumn, as a replacement for the Core model. Like the Core, the Arcade has no hard drive but does come bundled with a 256MB memory card, wireless controller, composite AV cable, HDMI 1.2 output and five free Xbox Live Arcade titles.
It is unclear whether the Core model will continue to be sold in Japan, but the Arcade model will be priced at ¥27,880 ($261) – reducing the cost of the entry level version of the console by around a fifth.
Microsoft’s difficulties with the Xbox brand in Japan have been well documented, with recent Enterbrain data, as detailed by the Associated Press
, suggesting that only 257,800 Xbox 360 consoles were sold in the country last year, compared to 1.2 million PlayStation 3 and 3.6 million Wii.
Nevertheless, such figures are an improvement over the success of the original Xbox console, with the Xbox 360 currently selling over 4,000 units a week according to Media Create data. This relative high was in part a result of the launch of the Xbox 360 Core
bundle in late 2006.