Well, the rumors were partially right. For weeks, we've been hearing that Microsoft would soon drop the price of the mainstream Xbox 360 console (the one with no real name; it's just called the Xbox 360) from $350 to $300 in the US. And they did. Sort of. For now. What's really happening is that Microsoft is changing the configuration of this mid-level Xbox 360 to include a 60 GB hard drive instead of the original 20 GB hard drive. But for a limited time--that is, while supplies last--you can buy an existing 20 GB Xbox 360 console for $300. But once they're gone, the new Xbox 360, with a 60 GB drive, will be what's sold on the market. And it will still cost $350.
Here's the press release:
Microsoft Corp. is giving consumers more gigabytes for their buck. The company today announced an Xbox 360 console with triple the storage space of the original console, but for the same price of $349 (U.S.) estimated retail price (ERP).
Available in retail stores in the U.S. and Canada starting in early August, the upgraded Xbox 360 will include a 60GB hard drive for storing the growing wealth of digital entertainment available for the console, including music, movies, television shows and game content. In addition, Microsoft today dropped the price of its 20GB Xbox 360 console in the U.S. and Canada to just $299 (U.S.) (ERP) while supplies last, a savings of $50.
Xbox 360 is just one of three Xbox 360 gaming and entertainment systems Microsoft offers. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Arcade, which comes with a 256MB memory unit and five Xbox LIVE Arcade games, is a value for the whole family for $279 (U.S.) (ERP), and the premium Xbox 360 Elite console is available with a 120GB hard drive for $449 (U.S.) (ERP).
These consoles are far too expensive. The Xbox 360 Arcade should cost just $250 to match the Wii. The mid-line Xbox 360, with a 60 GB drive, should cost $300. And the Xbox 360 Elite should cost $375. Why is it OK to charge too much for something that is selling poorly? Microsoft is losing ground to Sony now, for crying out loud. It's time to get aggressive.