Even though numerous companies are lowering prices on various consumer electronics (CE) and PC hardware, Microsoft Corp. has reportedly decided to raise the price of its Xbox 360 Arcade video game console in the United Kingdom. The reason for the increase is devaluation of the British pound against U.S. dollar and Euro.
Starting the 1st of September, Microsoft Xbox 360 Arcade will cost £159.99 in the UK, up £30 from the current price of £129.99, reports Eurogamer web-site. In addition, Xbox 360 Arcade will no longer include five free XBLA games in its bundle. Moreover, Microsoft will also increase the price of individual accessories for the Xbox 360 game systems, it is claimed.
According to reports, the reason for the price hike is devaluation of the British pound against Euro and U.S. dollar. The motivation seems to be somewhat strange since the price of the Xbox 360 Arcade is already higher in the U.K. compared to the U.S. Still, in mainland Europe the cost of the console is even higher at the moment. Moreover, exclusion of free games from the bundle seems to be a very anti-consumer move, considering the fact that after the price increase consumers in Britain will pay for the console more than gamers in Europe or the USA.
At present £129.99 equals to €152 or $215, whereas the recommended retail price of Xbox 360 Arcade is €179 in Europe and $199 in the U.S. Apparently, Microsoft does not want to drop the price of the Xbox 360 Arcade in Europe, despite of the fact that it costs $253 here, but prefers to increase the price of the entry-level X360 to £159.99, which equals to $296 or €187.
Although video game retailers have confirmed the price hike in an interview with the media, Microsoft itself yet has to confirm and comment on the move.