On the heels of Sony reducing the price of its PlayStation 3 and announcing the PlayStation 3 Slim, Microsoft announced Thursday that it too will be dropping the price of its console.
Starting Friday, the Xbox 360 Elite will be priced at $299, $100 cheaper than its current price. The Xbox 360 Pro, which currently retails for $299 will be priced at $249 starting Friday. Once retailers sell through their entire stock of Xbox 360 Pro units, that SKU will no longer be offered by the hardware maker.
Going forward, Microsoft will offer only the $299 Xbox 360 Elite with its 120GB hard drive, and the $199 Xbox 360 Arcade which comes bundled with five games and a 256MB memory unit.
Microsoft's decision to reduce the price of the Xbox 360 isn't a surprise. Numerous rumors have been swirling around the Web for weeks. But perhaps the reason for the price drop, at least according to Microsoft, might surprise you.
When I pushed Microsoft's director of product management for Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, Aaron Greenberg, on why the company had decided to reduce the Xbox 360's price now, he said that it had been planned for months.
"I'm sure some will think this is a response to competitor pricing," Greenberg said. "But we had planned this reduction months in advance. Retail circular ads and store merchandising were all lined up. We wanted to be ready for the holiday season."
Microsoft wouldn't say whether it is generating a profit off the sale of each Xbox 360 unit it sells. Greenberg would only say that, overall, Microsoft's Xbox division is profitable. That stands in stark contrast to Sony's PlayStation 3, which is currently being sold at a loss.… Read more