The rampant speculation, the endless images of circulars, the bogs of "insider emails" are all correct: The Xbox 360 is getting a $US50 price drop starting this Wednesday, Microsoft announced tonight.
As of Wednesday the Elite will be $US449, the Halo Limited Edition Xbox 360 (when it hits) will be $US399, the standard will be $US349 and the core will be $US279.
The price drop is meant to be timed to the upcoming release of Madden 08, said Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, as a way to grab up all of those Playstation 2 Madden fans who haven't yet upgraded to the Playstation 3.
"Madden is the number one selling game, and we felt like that was the right title to lead with," he said. "We know Madden will bring a lot of PS2 owners into the store and that's a specific reason for this timing. We feel we have the showcase platform for Madden this year and with this drop we hope to be the home for those gamers this season."
Greenberg said that the decision to time the price drop with the release of Madden has been in the works for a very long time and that the 360 price drop has nothing to do with the recent PS3 pricing flux.
"We've had this on our plans for a long time, an extremely long time," he said. "We did not make this decision even heading into E3, this is all based on before hand. We had the first media briefing (at E3) so we could have been the first to announce it, but it was never on our calendar. The benefit of pre-planning, of having this time, outweighed being one-upped, perhaps, at E3."
Greenberg pointed out that the 360 has been the same price for 21 months, the longest any console has maintained their launch price.
Too bad Microsoft didn't drop the core down a bit more and make it competitive with the Wii. I think $US249 would have made things very interesting for Nintendo.Microsoft Lowers Price of Xbox 360 by $50
Price drop coincides with release of "Madden NFL 08" on Xbox 360, one of many titles that make up the greatest holiday lineup in video game history.
REDMOND, Wash. - Aug. 6, 2007 - Microsoft Corp. today kicked off the greatest holiday lineup in video game history by announcing it will reduce the retail price of Xbox 360â„¢ by $50 (U.S.) beginning Aug. 8 at United States retailers nationwide. Soon to follow, Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) will release its blockbuster video game title "Madden NFL 08" on Aug. 14. "Madden NFL Football," one of the most important mass-appeal franchises in video games, was the top-selling game of 2006 and is the top-selling franchise of the past 10 years. Only Xbox 360 offers a console for all interests and budgets.
"The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president, Global Retail Sales and Marketing Group, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.. "On the eve of the best holiday games lineup ever and the launch of 'Madden NFL 08,' there has never been a better time to jump into Xbox 360."
Xbox 360 will enhance the value of its entire family of consoles beginning on Aug. 8. At a new price of $US349.99, Xbox 360 offers an unsurpassed experience right out of the box with a 20 GB hard drive, wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, and more. For those looking for the ultimate value and the freedom to customise their console as they see fit, Xbox 360 Core System now has an estimated retail price (ERP) of $279.99 (U.S.). Xbox 360 Core System provides everything gamers need to hit the ground running while giving consumers the ability to add new features and accessories they want. Dressed in black and equipped with a 120GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Elite will be priced at an ERP of $449.99 (U.S.) for those who want the premium games and entertainment experience. In anticipation of this year's largest blockbuster game launch, the Xbox 360 HaloÂ® 3 Special Edition Console will hit store shelves in September with an ERP of $399.99 (U.S.). Featuring an authentic Spartan green-and-gold finish, this console will include a matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 20GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Headset an Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit and more.
In addition to being a great value, Xbox 360 is the only place consumers will be able to play all of this year's biggest titles: "Guitar Hero IIIâ„¢: Legends of Rock" (RedOctane/Activision), "Halo 3" (Bungie), "Madden NFL 08" (EA) and "Rock Band" (MTV Games). Xbox 360 is also home to the most exclusive games, such as "Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation" (NAMCO BANDAI Games), "BioShock" (2K Games), "Lost Odysseyâ„¢" (Mistwalker and feelplus Inc.), "Blue Dragon" (Mistwalker and feelplus Inc.), "Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action," (Screenlife), "Naruto: Rise of a Ninja" (Ubisoft), "Project Gotham RacingÂ® 4" (Bizarre Creations Ltd.) and "Mass Effect" (BioWare Corp.). With a record-setting attach rate of 6.1 games per console sold (NPD, June 2007), a new price and the greatest holiday games lineup ever, Xbox 360 has proved itself as the home of the best games and entertainment at the best value.