Microsoft Corp. on Thursday said that it would reduce the price of its Xbox 360 Elite video game system and will discontinue the Xbox 360 Pro version of the console. Microsoft hopes to popularize its video game platform amid lowering price on Sony PlayStation 3.
From now on, Xbox 360 lineup will consist of Arcade and Elite models priced at $199 and $299, respectively. In addition, Xbox 360 Pro will be sold at $249 price-point while supplies last. The main difference between various versions of Xbox 360 is internal storage: the Arcade features 512MB of flash, the Pro version sports 60GB hard drive and the Elite model sports 120GB hard disk drive (HDD).
“With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s already time to start looking for entertainment and gifts that everyone will enjoy. If you’re looking for deep experiences that don’t require deep pockets, now is the time to purchase an Xbox 360,” advised Shane Kim, corporate vice president of strategy and business development for the interactive entertainment business at Microsoft Corp.
While Microsoft does have numerous high-quality games as well as other types of entertainment, e.g., a vast library of TV shows and movies, new music experiences, more ways to connect friends and family and even code-named Natal motion-sensing game controller on the horizon, the lineup of Xbox 360 consoles does not seem to be very competitive at the moment.
Even ex-executives of Microsoft, not talking about game developers, said that the Core and the Arcade flavors of Xbox 360 that have no hard drive were “a mistake”. Moreover, some games do used hard drives inside the consoles.
Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite 120GB looks rather pale at the same price-point with the PlayStation 3 slim since it does not feature Blu-ray disc player as well as some other advantages, e.g., integrated Wi-Fi controller.