in the German Financial Times claims to corroborate reports circulating earlier this week –
– that Microsoft will cut the price of the Xbox 360.
Reportedly ahead of Microsoft’s official confirmation on Monday morning, the paper says that the price of the entry-level Arcade SKU will be dropped to €199 while the Pro will cost €299.
These are bigger drops than the €50 per SKU reductions reported earlier this week.
The Arcade pack features no HD and a disc of Xbox Live Arcade titles, and was introduced last year as a response to the widening demographic of the games audience. The Pro, meanwhile, comes with a hard drive and wireless controller.
According to the Financial Times report the repricing, which makes the Arcade the cheapest of the three current gen consoles available on the market, was motivated by the success of Nintendo’s Wii.
The report, however, does not disclose what change in price is due for the Elite model of the 360, saying Microsoft is ‘still deciding’ whether or not to change the price of the high-end version of the console, which boasts a bigger hard drive and is coloured black, and was introduced last year also.
Meanwhile other reports on the web say Dutch retailer Bart Smit has confirmed the SKUs’ repricing, claiming a drop from €549 to €399 for the Elite, a €299 bundle (including Viva Pinata and Forza 2) for the Pro, and the €199 Arcade bundle.
In pounds sterling, the new prices would be around 150 (Arcade), 230 (Pro), and 300.
It’s not yet known if the price drops, if true, will be comparably implemented in North America, or if they will remain exclusive to Europe, a territory previously referred to by Microsoft execs as crucial for growing the 360 installed-base.
Official word from Microsoft is expected Monday morning.