Taiwanese component manufacturers have briefed press sources in the country that they expect Microsoft to offer its Xbox 360 at $100 less across the world in the coming months, a move that spurred Microsoft to deny any price cut was planned.
"Microsoft is planning to cut the retail price of its Xbox 360 Pro System from US$399 currently to US$299 in an attempt to compete with the PlayStation 3 (PS3), which will be launched by Sony in November of this year, according to Taiwan-based OEM component makers," reported the DigiTimes following the purported leak earlier this week.
The report continued: "Microsoft, to prepare for the price cut, has negotiated reduced production costs for the Xbox 360 with Taiwan-based manufacturing partners, stated the sources. The manufacturers estimate that the total production cost can be reduced by 15-20% due to diminishing costs for most components along with increasing production scales and decreasing defect rates, the sources pointed out. Considering Sony will sell a 20GB HDD (hard disk drive) and 60GB HDD PS3, each with a built-in blue-laser Blu-ray Disc drive, for US$499 and US$599, respectively, Microsoft plans to maximize the price competitiveness of its Xbox 360 Pro System by dropping prices so that the model can be equipped with an external HD-DVD drive in the future for under US$399, the sources indicated."
So is it true? It certainly makes sense and of course, the rumour of a $100 price drop to see off the PlayStation 3 is as old as the hills. Peter Moore, speaking to us in recent weeks
, debunked the rumour saying, "We're all feeling pretty comfortable with where we're at right now. I'm not sure why we'd change it. Sony gave us a price drop at E3. Obviously we don't talk about pricing [openly] and stuff happens but we have no plans to cut the price right now. ...we're very happy with things as they stand."
Microsoft in the US has refused to comment on the rumour, though its Taiwanese arm went on the record to say it was misinformation circulating.
Given the well-respected smoke and fire equation, we'll keep an eye on these smoldering embers and report back if we hear anything more.