Microsoft to Lower Xbox 360 Price for Holidays

Shortly after Sony announced it would raise the price of its PlayStation 3 this fall, Microsoft lowered the price of its Xbox 360 line to a base price of $250.

The lowered price positions Xbox to compete for holiday gift purchases with both Sony and Nintendo.

Microsoft is offering several new games and services with the Xbox 360 as the video game technology platform enters its seventh year. Its two exclusive major releases this fall are Forza Horizon and Halo 4. Its most significant new service is Xbox Music, which ties into the new

Windows 8 operating system.

Still, Xbox retail partners Best Buy, Kmart, Target, Amazon, and GameStop are all selling new Xbox 360 bundles at a $50 discount this holiday season, which may be enough to give the brand a temporary competitive edge.

GameStop is offering a $250 Xbox package including a 250GB Xbox 360, a copy of Forza Motorsport 4, and a download voucher for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as well as another $250 package featuring a 4GB Xbox 360 and a Kinect.

Those who keep an eye on the video game business say the price drops are clearing the way for Microsoft’s eventual release of its new console, the Xbox 720, or Durango as some refer to it, next fall.

The discounts are also a means of Microsoft playing on mixed reactions to Sony’s confusingly priced new PlayStation 3 bundles, all of which begin at $270, and none of which come with a game such as Halo 4 to help move units. (The PlayStation’s next major exclusive game will be God of War: Ascension, which will not be released until March.)

Microsoft’s subtle price cut has poised the Xbox to rule the pre-Christmas purchasing season, and help the 360 wrap up its seventh year on a high note.

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