The rumors of September Xbox 360 price cuts in the USA came in right on the money when Microsoft formally announced them on Wednesday. Check out the lead paragraph in the press release:
Imagine if friends and families had the ability to instantly watch movies from Netflix, live out their musical fantasies through Rock Band 2 and Lips, star in their own Hollywood classics with You’re in the Movies, or have the power to never miss the latest episode of Heroes—all from one device, starting at $199.*
Yes we are talking the Xbox 360 here, but the console beloved of hard core gamers seems to have suddenly developed broad family entertainment appeal. It almost sounds as family oriented as the number 1 selling Nintendo Wii and gosh, now the Xbox 360 Arcade model described above is $50 dollars cheaper than the Wii.
All snarking aside, Microsoft clearly did what they had to do to try to hold their own in the face of the Wii’s runaway success and the Xbox’s fall into the number 3 spot in US sales behind the Wii and the Sony PS3. The full list of price cuts:
Microsoft had earlier in the week announced a roughly comparable price cut in Japan. Meanwhile it does not look like either Nintendo or Sony will follow suit in the US, since the former is still supply constrained while the latter apparently likes the the position of their high priced PS3 console just fine, buoyed by the fact that while the PS3 is an expensive game machine, it remains a cheap Blu-ray player.
Finally, for fans of the History of Business genre, Dean Takahashi has written a book on the history of the Xbox 360 and VentureBeat has the "final chapter", Xbox 360 defects: an inside history of Microsoft’s video game console woes.