The sale of the XBOX platform has always lagged behind in Japan even from the days of the original console release. The X360 has also been unable to beat the Japanese maker’s (Sony and Nintendo) game systems in terms of number of units sold. In light of the current market situation in Japan, Microsoft yesterday announced that it would reduce the price of all the Xbox 360 systems this month. Here is what Gamespot reports:
Today, at a Tokyo media event, Microsoft announced that it is slashing the prices of all three of its Xbox 360 models…in Japan. Starting on September 11, the 120GB Elite will go from ¥47,800 (about $441*) to 39,800 ($368) and the newly 60GB Pro will go on sale for ¥29,800 ($275)–¥5,000 ($46) less than its 20GB predecessor. Most significantly, however, is the price cut of the hard drive-free Xbox 360 Arcade, which will see a drastic drop from ¥27,800 ($257) to ¥19,800 ($183).
This would bring the Xbox 360 almost $50 below its toughest competitor, also making it the first current-generation gaming console to break the $200 barrier. Currently, the Nintendo Wii retails for ¥25,000 (about $230), and the 80GB version of the PlayStation 3 for a mammoth ¥39,800 (almost $368). This seems like another desperate attempt by Microsoft to get a strong position in the hostile Japanese market.
Rumors had surfaced a few weeks before after the release of the latest 60GB Xbox 360 Pro version that Microsoft may be planning an early September price cut on all Xbox 360 systems. While this has been proved accurate for the people across the Pacific, the North American and European markets still maintain the previous price tags.
Microsoft has been reluctant to comment on such speculations in the past and is keeping up the tradition. However leaked scans of flyers at the gaming blog Joystiq suggest that the western markets would also see a price drop probably from the 7th of this month. Whether or not this turns out to be accurate, it is safe to assume that the price drop here wouldn’t be as significant as the ones made in Japan.
I’ll keep watch on the industry as always, and will post any update on the case. In the mean while you are welcomed to comment and share your thoughts.