Microsoft Drops Xbox 360 Price

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Analysts have long been saying that we’re overdue a price drop on Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but it looks like it took Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation 3 Slim to actually precipitate the change. The new, slimmer PS3 will hit the market at €300, which isn’t far off the current price of Microsoft’s console.

Xbox 360 Elite

Now though, Microsoft has announced a price drop on the Xbox 360. Initially details were looking a little vague on just what the prices would be for those of us working with euro (as opposed to sterling) but it had seemed a fairly safe bet that we’ll see the same $1:€1 relationship we’ve seen established by Sony and Microsoft in the past. Now that we know that’s not the case, there’s some good news and some bad news.

The Xbox 360 Arcade package seems to have taken a bit of a jump in price in Europe and been pushed up to €199. If you’re interested in the Arcade you’d do well to pick it up now for €175, because tomorrow it’ll be rising.

By contrast, the Xbox 360 Elite, with a 120GB hard drive will be dropping to around €50 less than that of the PlayStation 3 Slim at €249. Strangely enough, it seems as though Microsoft will be making the fairly pronounced move of ditching its Xbox 360 Premium altogether, which makes sense given the fact that there’s so little between the Elite and Arcade as it stands.

If nothing else, this sets the stage for something of a closer combat between the two consoles for the Christmas season this year. With both Sony and Microsoft offering premium consoles at similar if not identical price points, it seems as though this Christmas might well be the time when we see the console market take a bit of a turn against Nintendo’s vastly successful Wii, though at this point the Wii & DS combo seems to be pretty unassailable.

The new pricing is set to launch on Friday.

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