With the Sony PlayStation 3 Slim and the price cut for the PS3 grabbing all the headlines recently, Microsoft’s retaliatory trimming of its own prices doesn’t come as a surprise.
Come Friday, the Xbox 360 Elite (with a 120GB hard drive) will be getting a price cut in the US and the Asia-Pacific region, as prices drop by $100 in America to bring the console’s cost to $299.99; and in Singapore, the price will be slashed to Sing $499, which is about Rs 17,000.
The Xbox 360 Pro will also be cheaper in the US as prices fall to $249.99. Microsoft announced that this model will be phased out and no new units will be produced once the current lot of Pro consoles sell out.
Going forward, Microsoft will offer only the $299 Xbox 360 Elite with its 120GB hard drive, and the $199 Xbox 360 Arcade which comes bundled with five games and a 256MB memory unit.
There is a catch, though: The new, cheaper Xbox 360 Elite package will not include an HDMI cable in the bundle, like the current ones have.
Microsoft's director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, Aaron Greenberg, defended the company against talk of this being a retaliatory move to Sony's new product and prices.
"I'm sure some will think this is a response to competitor pricing," Greenberg told CNET. "But we had planned this reduction months in advance. Retail circular ads and store merchandising were all lined up."
A 250GB Xbox 360 Elite?