Here I come Rock Band!
Xbox 360 now cheapest console
Prices drop on Friday
By Mike Smith
Are you still sitting on the fence about the Xbox 360?
Here’s some news that might make up your mind: as of Friday, Microsoft is cutting prices across the entire Xbox 360 model line-up, leaving the Arcade edition at $199, $50 cheaper than the Wii — which has been the cheapest way to get into next-gen gaming since its debut two years ago. The Arcade is the least capable of the three Xbox 360 models currently available, and includes a wired controller and a 256 MB memory card rather than the hard drives found on higher priced bundles.
The price drop sees Microsoft taking aim at the Wii’s enormous market share, and with stock shortages still plaguing potential Wii buyers, it might just work — especially when Microsoft is packing an ever-growing selection of family-friendly games, and planning an imminent interface overhaul that’ll make the machine’s dashboard easier to use. Retail giant GameStop is expecting the strategy to succeed, too, at least in the short term: the company’s senior vice-president was quoted in Business Week as saying he expected Xbox 360 sales to jump anywhere from 1.5 to three times in the wake of the move.
Microsoft’s other Xbox 360 hardware bundles received comparable price cuts, leaving the Premium edition (which includes a 60 GB hard drive) at $299, and the Elite (which includes a 120 GB hard drive and a snazzy matt black finish) at $399. Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation 3 remains the most expansive offering, with the cheapest system in its range retailing at $399.