Today's official news of price changes
to the Xbox 360 range has resulted in lots of 'messaging' from Microsoft executives.
Over in the States where the Elite has dropped in price but the Arcade is unchanged
, David Dennis, Microsoft Xbox 360 product manager, said to USA Today
, "This is really an effort to pass the cost reduction we are able to achieve through engineering and manufacturing onto consumers.
"Reducing the number of (models) really just simplifies our manufacturing and makes it easier for our retail partners to manage their inventory and makes the purchase decision easier for consumers. It's really a win-win-win all around."
Over here in Europe, where the Elite goes down by £30 and the Arcade up by £30, apparently the price cut is not about passing on cost reduction achieved "through engineering and manufacturing", it's about taking the HDMI cable out of the bundle.
In a statement released to the press, Microsoft states, "In order to offer the Xbox Elite to consumers at a reduced price, now €50/£30 less at $249.99/£199.99, we eliminated the inclusion of an HDMI cable. That said, we are confident that providing even better value for our premium console will allow people the flexibility to purchase the HDMI cable of their choice so they can enjoy the full benefits of our high-definition and 1080p experiences over Xbox Live."
That doesn't strike us as an engineering and manufacturing price reduction.
On terms of the price rise for the Arcade, Chris Lewis, Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft EMEA (phew!) has explained
, "The reality now is partly to offset currency exchange rate fluctuations which have impacted us in local market conditions – particularly in the UK."
"So we've reset the price point (from RRP £129.99 back to £159.99) largely based on exchange rate fluctuations, but are still very happy we offer great value through the Xbox 360 Arcade."