Console Gamers Say Bring on the Pricing Wars

Frugal gamers unite.

With Microsoft Corp. knocking $50 off the price of the Xbox 360 today and Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 price drop storage capacity increase last month, conditions will only get better for us, the consumers.

We’re finally nearing that sweet spot in the console generation cycle where manufacturers assemble their products at a lower cost, and attract the customers who had been waiting for a price drop.

Microsoft is acknowledging that, after almost two years without a price drop, it’s time. “The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360,” said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president of Global Retail Sales and Marketing Group for Microsoft.

Sony has been struggling to give gamers an incentive to purchase its next-gen system. By losing exclusivity of the Grand Theft Auto series and with whispers of Metal Gear Solid 4 making its way to the Xbox 360, Sony needs to find other ways to push systems.

One analyst predicts that Sony will bite back at a later date when the PS3 has enough blockbusters to set it apart from its competitors. Sony may instead shift focus to the Playstation 2 this year by dropping its price in time for the holidays, said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.

And Pachter predicts we could be seeing a less expensive line of PS3s around the time of the GTA 4 launch next year — a similar practice as Microsoft’s price reduction just before the release of Madden ’08.

Nintendo Wii, however, may be more comfortable at its price point, still remaining the least expensive console of this generation on the market. Considering Wiis continue to sell out within a week of reaching store shelves, Nintendo Co. is likely set at $250 for at least until the end of this year.


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