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Microsoft drops 360 price, Arcade down to $199

360 beats the Wii to the $200 finish line

After months of anticipation from analysts, internet pundits (i.e. us), and bargain-searching parents, Microsoft finally announced a price drop for the Xbox 360 which went active as of September 5, according to an official press release. The main focus was of course on the lowest-priced Xbox SKU, the Arcade, which aims to bring casual and family gamers into the Xbox 360 fold (and, naturally, out of the Wii one).

The Xbox 360 Arcade, previously $279.99, moved down to $199.99, undercutting the Wii’s price – static since launch – which has so stymied Xbox breakthroughs into the casual demographic. The 60GB Xbox 360 also moved down from $349.99 to $299.99, and the Elite was cut by $50 from $449.99 to $399.99.

Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business senior vice president Don Mattrick made it clear in the press release that the Arcade price drop is a direct stab at Nintendo’s Wii sales, saying with pride that Microsoft is “thrilled to be the first next-generation console on the market to reach $199[.]”

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