Ahead of 2008’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) speculation is rife that Microsoft is about to cut the price of Xbox 360 consoles in North America. None of this has been officially confirmed yet, but it’s fair to say that when the Wall Street Journal joins the rumour-mongering, we can’t be too far from the truth. The WSJ cites sources who say Microsoft is about to slice $50 off the price of the 20GB Xbox 360 Pro, bringing it to $299.
The timing of this pricing decision is very important; while Microsoft has relaxed a few of the prices here in Europe, it has been a while since our chums across the pond got a decent discount. At the same time, Sony’s rival PlayStation 3 has been enjoying a bit more success in the past 6-9 months, and has just seen the launch of the latest in its all-powerful Metal Gear Solid franchise.
With that out of the way, everything is shaping up for a major Xmas showdown between Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo’s Wii is expected to continue to stomp all over the pathetic battle between the warring giants, natch. However, with major sequels like Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2 each planned to fly their respective consoles flag during the festive period, the hardware battle is likely to heat up and price cuts are going to be essential to that.
There’s no indication whether Microsoft will be cutting the cost of its Elite and Arcade models as well, and further more there have been suggestions that the 20GB model might soon be phased out entirely. If the price cut does come into effect, some say as early as this Sunday (although it would be a surprise if Microsoft didn’t want to make a big deal out of an announcement during its Monday E3 keynote), then it might be a good idea to grab them while you still can. Insert your own ‘before it RRoDs on you’ joke at your leisure.