On the heels of its best Friday ever, Microsoft has confirmed it will upgrade the capacity of its Xbox 360 Arcade model. The new machines will have 256MB of onboard memory. This means consumers won’t have to rely solely on sometimes awkward add on memory cards.
“We are constantly updating the console’s more than 1700 internal components. 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,”
said a spokesperson for Microsoft.
With prices for the Arcade model now highly competitive with the Wii, this move could help Microsoft continue to enjoy brisk console sales – as long as Microsoft doesn’t up the pricing too much to compensate for the built-in memory.
Black Friday sales of the Xbox 360 broke records with U.S. retailers reporting sales that beat the console’s own records in previous years. The numbers have the 360 beating out the PlayStation 3 by a three-to-one ratio. Sales were up an estimated 25 percent over Black Friday 2007.
“We entered into the Black Friday sales period with cautious optimism, knowing that dollar for dollar, Xbox 360 offers more social entertainment value than any other console on the market,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.
“Record Black Friday sales in the U.S., coupled with our existing global install base of 25 million and an online community of more than 14 million Xbox LIVE members, have laid the groundwork for continued global sales momentum in 2009.”
With prices that now start at $199.99, the Xbox 360 is the most well-rounded console on the market for the price. Offering not only game play ability, but also access to Xbox LIVE and its games, movies and television shows and also high-def DVD play, the console provides serious bang for the buck. If Microsoft does it right and keeps pricing where it is or only asks for a minor increase for the onboard memory, it likely will be a hard machine to beat in sales.