New 60GB version will be $349 in August
Last modified on Monday, 14 July 2008 07:29
Today Microsoft officially announced what we confirmed two weeks ago, which is that the price of the Xbox 360 Pro system would drop to $299. Some retailers jumped the gun announcing the price drop on their Web sites prior to the official word from Microsoft today, but our attempts to obtain one prior to today at the $299 price failed.
However, it would seem that there is a catch to the announcement, which is the $299 price drop. The $299 price is only for the Xbox 360 Pro system featuring the 20GB hard drive and it's only while supplies last. It is unknown at this time what kind of inventory Microsoft is sitting on or how long Microsoft expects this inventory to last.
The real catch of the news is that starting in early August, Microsoft will be releasing the new version of the Xbox 360 Pro system, with a 60GB hard drive, and this version of the system will retail for the standard $349 price tag. According to Microsoft the move is in response to the need for players to have larger storage capacity than the 20GB that has been previously found in the Pro version of the system.
The news really has caught some off guard who expected Microsoft to announce that the $299 price would continue for the mid-range Xbox 360 offering, but it does appear to be more of an inventory clearance move than anything else, to get ready for the holiday season. However, we do suspect that they may drop the price on the 60GB Pro version of the system for the holiday season.
While no official announcement has been made yet, it is expected that Microsoft will announce that they will be dropping the current price of the separate 20GB hard drive while supplies last, and they will start to offer the 60GB hard drive separately, as well, for owners of the Arcade and Pro versions of the system. It is expected that when the announcement is made that the 60GB hard drive will be offered for the same $99 price tag that the 20GB hard drive has been sold at or perhaps a bit more.
We suspect that the 120GB hard drive option will also continue to be offered, as well, for the immediate future, but sales of the 120GB hard drive have not been as brisk as Microsoft might have liked due to what many view as a higher price tag than necessary. Rumors of an upcoming 320GB hard drive option for the Xbox 360 continue, but we still cannot confirm them.
In the meantime, Microsoft can get a handle on how much the $50 price drop on the Xbox 360 really means to consumers and how much of a potential the price drop could have this holiday season in the predicted console price war. Microsoft did not make any announcement on a price drop on either the Arcade version of the system, which will continue to hold steady at $279, or the Elite version with the 120GB hard drive, which will continue to go for $449.