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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 October 2007, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Family-friendly Xbox goes on sale
Person playing a game
Microsoft wants to gain foothold in family market
Microsoft has released a new Xbox 360 console - dubbed The Arcade - which is aimed squarely at the family market.

The reworked, low-end version of the console will have a price tag of 199.99 and will go on sale in the UK from Friday 26 October.

The move will be seen as an attempt to close the gap on Nintendo's Wii console which has been a big hit with families.

Microsoft is also releasing two games aimed at younger players, including one based on the Shrek movies.

Parental control

"As families gather together this Christmas, it's the perfect time to launch a family orientated Xbox 360 package that plays games, video and music," said Stephen McGill, head of gaming and entertainment for Microsoft UK.

The console will come bundled with five games, which were previously only available from its Xbox Live online service.

It will also feature family settings to allow parents to control what their children watch and play, he added.

The Arcade replaces the Core model of the console which had the same price tag but was not bundled with games.

It does not have the hard drive found on more expensive Xbox models but will have a memory card for saving progress in games.

Industry watchers will see the move as an attempt to gain ground on Nintendo.

People playing a Wii game
Nintendo's Wii is outselling its rivals

In the UK, the Wii became the fastest-selling console ever, shifting one million units in just 38 weeks.

In comparison, the world's best selling console, the PlayStation 2, took 50 weeks to reach one million in sales. The Xbox 360 took 60 weeks.

In the first half of 2007, Microsoft sold 122,565 units of the Xbox 360 in Japan, compared with 503,554 PlayStation 3 units and 1.78 million of the Wii.

In an effort to compete, Microsoft has cut the price of its Xbox console in Japan, Europe and the US.



SEE ALSO
Microsoft cuts Japan's Xbox price
22 Oct 07 |  Business
Sony offers cut-price PlayStation
05 Oct 07 |  Technology
Nintendo dominates in console war
03 Sep 07 |  Technology
Microsoft cuts Europe Xbox price
20 Aug 07 |  Business

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