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Even though not really on time with analysts’ expectations, Microsoft Xbox 360 will become more affordable shortly, according to flyers from powerful U.S.-based retailers, report some web-sites.

A news-story over Joystiq web-site quotes a number of posters from such American retailers as Circuit City, Target and Best Buy, which claim that starting from mid-August Microsoft’s Xbox 360 premium kit will cost $349 instead of $399, as it is priced now. The price was widely anticipated by numerous analysts, however, Microsoft has constantly denied such possibility in the near future.

Back in early July it was reported that Microsoft Xbox 360 core package will cost $249, the Xbox 360 premium version will drop to $349, whereas the Xbox 360 elite model will be available for $399.

The price slash of the Xbox 360 will help Microsoft to better compete against Nintendo Wii, which has been outselling the latest Xbox for many months now. Recently executives for Microsoft admitted that the company need to slash the pricing to fight Wii, however, no actual plan was outlined.

“We need to compete effectively for that customer and part of that is getting to the mass market price point for the console. We definitely are working on that area,” a Microsoft exec said in mid-July.

Microsoft Xbox 360 console is based around microprocessor developed by IBM, high-definition visual processing unit designed by ATI Technologies, I/O controller engineered by SiS and some other key components. The gaming machine provides a broad set of multimedia capabilities in addition to games. Depending on the bundle, Microsoft Xbox 360 currently costs from $299 to $479 in the U.S.

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