Microsoft today announced it is lowering the estimated retail price (ERP) for its Xbox 360 family of consoles in Europe.
From Friday, 14th March, Xbox 360, which includes a 20GB hard drive and one wireless controller, will have an ERP of €269.99/£199.99 ($415) – a saving of €80/£50 (about $123) on the current ERP. The Xbox 360 Elite, which comes with a massive 120GB hard drive enabling consumers to store huge quantities of content downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace as well as their own music, will have an ERP of €369.99/£259.99 ($568) – a saving of €80/£40. The Xbox 360 Arcade console, perfect for those wishing to make their first foray into the gaming and entertainment world of Xbox, will have an ERP of €199.99/£159.99 ($307) – a saving of €80/£20.
Note that Microsoft doesn’t disclose any information regarding their intention to lower the prices in North America.
The new ERPs are part of Microsoft’s ongoing strategy to open up the ultimate in high-definition gaming and entertainment to an even wider audience. As you know, Microsoft usually reduces its console pricing right before the release of new long-anticipated game titles. This time the price cut seems to be connected with the upcoming launch of GTA IV, from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, next month. This game is expected to stimulate X-box 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 sales, however it will not be available for Nintendo’s Wii.