The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - Microsoft Corp. is slashing the price of the high-end Xbox 360 console by $100, matching Sony's $100 price cut for the PlayStation 3 last week.
Now, both the Xbox 360 Elite and the PS3 will cost $299. The price cuts in both cases are worldwide, though the exact amounts vary by region depending on currencies.
Microsoft, which has had three versions ofits Xbox 360 available at three different prices, also was to announce Thursday it is phasing out the mid-range, Pro, version of the console. It will be available for $249, down from $299, while supplies last.
The cheapest Xbox, the Arcade, which comes without a hard drive, will still cost $199.
The price cuts are effective Friday, said David Dennis, a spokesman for Microsoft.
Video game companies hope the price cuts will re-ignite sales in time for the holiday rush. For the bulk of this year, the industry has suffered from weak sales - hurt by the recession and lackluster game release schedules, which have kept consumers waiting to spend money on new titles.
The announcement from Microsoft leaves only Nintendo Co. without a price cut for the fall, at least for now. The Wii has cost $250 since its launch nearly three years ago.
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft has sold more than 31.4 million of the Xbox 360 machines globally, compared with 23.7 million PS3 machines sold by Sony Corp. and 52.6 million Wiis.