Microsoft has finally announced a European price cut for the Xbox 360 across the Core and Premium models, while the UK price of the Elite has been confirmed.
As of Friday 24th August the “estimated” (read: “suggested”) price of the 20GB Premium edition will drop by £30 to £249.99. The entry-level Core system, with no built-in hard disk, will drop in price by £20 to £179.99.
Meanwhile, the Elite will hit retailers on Friday
. The cost will be £299.99 for those wanting the 120GB of hard disk space and HDMI port the Elite offers.
To go with the Elite, Microsoft is also releasing an add-on 120GB hard drive at £129.99, a black controller at £32.99, the Play & Charge kit (complete with charging lead and rechargeable battery pack) at £14.99 and the rechargeable battery pack on its own at £9.99.
In a burst of corporo-enthusiasm Microsoft's head of Gaming & Entertainment for the UK, Stephen McGill said, “We’re pleased to be able to offer Xbox 360 at a new, lower estimated retail price. We pioneered the successful concept of multiple products for multiple categories of consumer. First-timers will love the Xbox 360 Core system, which offers an affordable entry into high-definition gaming. The Xbox 360 Elite, with its large hard drive and wireless controller, will appeal to casual and experienced gamers and families. The Xbox 360 opens up whole new avenues of entertainment for those who seek the ultimate gaming and entertainment experience.”
Thanks, Steve. “Whether it’s our lead in console sales, record-setting games and accessory attach rates or our leading online service, evidence is everywhere that Xbox is thriving”, he went on. ”When you combine that momentum with these great-value offerings with our unbeatable Christmas game line-up, it’s clear that Xbox 360 is uniquely placed to take the UK by storm this Christmas.”
The price drop is not what you would call unexpected, with rumours of a price drop having been floating around for some time now. Microsoft, of course, has remained coy on the subject until now. On August 7th the company told SPOnG
, "We have not announced any pricing changes in Europe."
With Microsoft having already cut the price of the 360 in America
, however, it was never likely that we wouldn't see a similar move over here.
The £300 price tag of the Elite comes as good news for Microsoft fans, with major retailers such as GAME and HMV having listed the price at £330
back in July. The price of the Elite undercuts the cost of the PS3 starter pack
, complete with a hard drive that's half the size at 60GB, by £125. The new price of the Core model puts it at the same price as the Wii.