According to a leaked email from Microsoft that's meant for the retailer buyer folks at places like GameStop, a new 60GB model will be available by the end of this month.
This would mark the end of the current 20GB Premium console and a price drop for the standalone 120GB hard drives. Microsoft has so far dodged any confirmation of this leak.
received the leaked email and posted this portion of it:
With the introduction of the 60GB Pro console in July, we have research that suggests it is very important to have a 60GB stand alone Hard Drive to go along with it to allow the consumer a full range of choices and values. In late October/early November (exact date TBD but most likely last week in October or 1st week in November), we will ship the Xbox 360 60GB Hard Drive, tentatively called the “Xbox 360 60GB LIVE Starter Pack”. This will be an excellent value price at and ERP of $99.99 with an 18% retail margin that contains:
• 60GB Hard Drive
• 3 Months of Xbox Live
• Xbox 360 Wired Headset
• Xbox 360 Ethernet Cable (same one that is included with Pro and Elite)
Positioning: For Xbox 360 Arcade and Core console owners, the Xbox 360 60GB Live Starter Pack offers all of the components to get onto Xbox LIVE and jump in to on line multiplayer gaming and Marketplace content downloads at an incredible value.
With the end of life of the 20GB Hard Drive and the price drop of the 120GB Hard Drive to $149.99 in September, this new 60GB hard drive will fit very well into our “Choice and Value” pillar and will fit nicely into our accessory line up. Exact SKU/UPC/Set up info will come soon and once we nail down the exact MSD, I will let you all know immediately.
When contacted for comment by 1UP a representative gave the standard response stating they "have nothing to announce at this time". However a further response from Microsoft’s PR director of global platforms, Heather Snavely, seems to spice it up a little:
"We can't comment on rumors. What I can tell you is that our plans for E3 haven't changed. We've got a lot of exciting news that, unfortunately, you and everyone else will have to wait to hear next week. The truth is, rumors will always be a part of our industry -- it's just one more sign of how eager gamers are to learn how we'll innovate next."
While the news in general would be good and makes sense given the growth of the XBLA games catalogue - I do hope that Microsoft doesn't intend to mark this as one of the big announcements at E3, it would be a waste honestly.