Rumours of a forthcoming Xbox 360 price-cut have been circulating the Internet in recent weeks. According to reports, Microsoft's Arcade, Premium and Elite models are scheduled for a drop in price to $199, $299 and $399, respectively.
This past weekend, VGChartz.com managed to somewhat confirm those reports with a leaked inventory image. The snapshot, pictured below, shows an Xbox 360 Arcade system with a price-tag of $199.99 on track for a September 7th launch.
All signs point to a Microsoft price assault as soon as next month, and the newly-priced Xbox 360 range could prove to be hugely appealing. If the reports are indeed true, Microsoft's Xbox 360 Arcade may soon dip toward the all-important £100 price-tag here in the UK.
Should that be the case, Nintendo and Sony may feel the need to retort with price cuts of their own, we believe. Therefore, we've created a little breakdown of how we feel the console war could shape up this holiday season.
These prices are of course entirely speculative, and neither Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony has made an official statement. Nonetheless, here's our prediction:
|Launch Date||Launch Price||Current Price||Christmas '08 Price*|
|Xbox 360 Arcade||December 2005||£209.99 (Core)||£159.99||£99.99|
|Xbox 360 Premium (60GB)||December 2005||£279.99 (20GB)||£199.99||£149.99|
|Xbox 360 Elite (120GB)||August 2007||£299.99||£299.99||£199.99|
|Nintendo Wii||December 2006||£179||£179||£149|
|PlayStation 3 (60GB)||November 2006||£425||£299 (40GB)||Discontinued|
|PlayStation 3 (80GB)||August 2008||£299.99||£299.99||£299.99|
Over the past few months, Microsoft has clearly outlined its intent to capture the European gaming market. Should the Xbox 360 Arcade be priced at £99.99 this Christmas, it may well achieve its goal. Similarly, the Xbox 360 Premium and Xbox 360 Elite, priced at £149.99 and £199.99 should provide an ample boost in sales.
Nintendo, on the other hand, is in a far more comfortable position. The price of its Wii console has yet to budge and it still continues to fly off shelves. If, however, Nintendo finds Microsoft's lowly-priced Arcade to pose a real threat, we could see the first small price cut on Nintendo's all-conquering console.
Sony, unfortunately, may face a tougher challenge. It plans to discontinue its 40GB PlayStation 3 when the 80GB successor rolls out later this month. Having already heavily cut prices on its high-tech console, it may struggle to bring those prices any lower in the immediate future. Though we may not see price cuts on the flagship 80GB PlayStation 3 this Christmas, we're certain there will be bundle-deals to compensate.
With each of the three challengers having a solid foothold in the next-gen war, these speculative price-cuts could result in only one winner; the consumer.