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In an attempt to boost popularity of the Xbox 360 in Japan, Microsoft Corp. on Monday slashed pricing of the video game system in the country. As a result, the device now costs less than Nintendo’s massively popular Wii, however, it remains to be seen whether the price-cut increases popularity of Xbox 360 dramatically.

“We have set the prices with hopes more people will be able to enjoy Xbox 360,” Takashi Sensui, who heads Microsoft’s Xbox operations in Japan, said at a Tokyo event to outline the company’s year-end business strategy, reports Associated Press.

Starting from the 11th of September, 2008, Xbox 360 Arcade will cost ¥19 800 ($182), Xbox 360 Pro 60GB will debut at ¥29 800 ($274), whereas the price of Xbox 360 Elite will be slashed to ¥39 800 ($366). By contrast, Nintendo Wii costs ¥25 000 ($230), whereas Sony PlayStation 3 is priced at ¥40 000 ($367) in Japan.

Earlier this year the world's largest designer of software already slashed pricing of Xbox 360 in various regions, however, given the weak dollar, the console still has the lowest price in the USA and Japan. Later this year Microsoft reportedly plans to reduce Xbox 360 pricing in the U.S. as well.

Price-cuts are only one way to boost market acceptance of video game consoles. Microsoft’s partners recently introduced a number of titles exclusive available for the PlayStation 3, whereas the software giant itself reportedly intends to unveil motion-sensing game controller similar to Nintendo Wiimote later this year.

Tags: Microsoft, Xbox, Playstation, Wii

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