updated 07:25 pm EDT, Wed September 3, 2008
Xbox 360 Price Cut in US
Microsoft today confirmed heavily reported price cuts for the Xbox 360 in the US following recently official moves in Japan. The base Xbox 360 Arcade is now the least expensive current-generation console and keeps to its 512MB memory card and absence of other extras to reach $199; the upgraded Xbox 360 Pro with a 60GB hard drive drops by $50 to sell for $299, while the black Elite console with a 120GB hard drive has been reduced by a similar amount to $399.
The move is justified by Microsoft as essential to sparking console sales, which it notes have historically surged the moment a console's price drops to below the $200 mark in the US. The addition of Netflix support in the coming fall software update will also make the Arcade one of the least expensive Internet video sources and a practical alternative to cable TV, Microsoft claims.
Reducing Xbox pricing also creates a clearer separation between Microsoft's game systems and those of Sony. The top-end Elite now costs as much as Sony's least expensive PlayStation 3, which holds a smaller 80GB of content in return for Blu-ray and Wi-Fi. Sony has so far declined to drop its prices below $399 in favor of replacing outgoing models.
The Microsoft price reductions take effect as of September 5th.