While Nintendo is reaching out to the wider games market with the Wii console, Microsoft is luring in the casual gaming audience with a simple but effective strategy – dropping its entry-level, next-gen games console the Xbox 360 to a price point of €179.99.
From this Friday 19 September, the Xbox 360 Arcade – the family-oriented, entry-level product with 256MB memory, Xbox Live silver membership and five arcade games – will have an estimated retail price (ERP) of €179.99, while the classic Xbox 360 will be lowered from €279.99 to €239.99.
The saving on the classic Xbox 360 console will come as a welcome surprise to some fans, especially in light of its recent boost in storage from 20GB to 60GB.
Meanwhile the Xbox 360 Elite, which comes with 120GB storage, will drop to an ERP of €279.99
This tactic of lowering the price point is already delivering results in the US for Microsoft – according to Engadget, the Redmond-based firm has already reported a 100pc leap in console sales throughout the first weekend of the price cut.
With the Nintendo Wii on sale for €269.99 and Sony’s PS3 retailing at €379.99, the Xbox 360 is now the lowest-priced, next-gen games console on the market.
“We’re proud to be expanding the reach of Xbox as the first next-generation console to break the €200 barrier, making the platform up to €200 less expensive than competitors,” said Chris Lewis, vice-president, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business, Europe.
“History shows that the majority of console sales happen after this price point has been breached, and we’re well positioned to take advantage of this mass-market pricing.
“We’re passing on the benefits of being the first console to sell over 20 million units worldwide, and of the ever-expanding ecosystem of Xbox, to consumers.
By Marie Boran
Pictured: the Xbox 360 Elite games console gets a price drop