Xbox 360 Elite: $449 ($30 cut)
Xbox Pro $349 ($50 cut)
Core $279 ($20 cut)
Update 2: Microsoft is cutting the price of the HD DVD drive to $179, the company said Thursday. A promotion similar to the recent Blu-Ray campaign gives buyers five free HD DVDs.
The “rumor” that Microsoft plans a price cut for the Xbox $360 is back — this time with a hard date and a dollar amount. The $50 cut will come Aug. 8, a week before EA’s super-popular “Madden 2008” streets, the Hollywood Reporter said.
Microsoft issued the standard “no comment” that adds up to a non-denial Tuesday, saying: “We have no announcements to make on pricing at this time.”
It was unclear if all three Xbox 360 machines would be affected.
The Elite model, which favors movie downloaders with its HDMI output and 120GB hard drive, debuted in late April. The console goes for $479. A price reduction on that unit would give fence-sitting high-def TV owners another good reason to upgrade their Xboxes to 1080p. Almost all decent HD TV sets come 1080p-ready these days. (The Elite does not play HD DVDs without the HD DVD add-on drive, however.)
The Pro model Xbox 360, by far the most popular, goes for $399 (a price point that with or without the $50 doesn’t add up for HD DVD consumers seeking a bargain — the shaky outboard HD player goes for
$199 $179). Almost all analysts consider the Pro 360 unit overpriced.
However it shakes out, the $50 Xbox cut will bring new customers into the Marketplace LIVE tent, with its quickly growing menu of downloadable movies and TV shows. Warner Home Video’s “300” and Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s “Heroes: Season 1” will be available as a high-definition download via the Marketplace.
Sony recently dropped the price of its 60GB PlayStation 3 from $599 to $499. That unit plays Blu-Ray discs.