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Microsoft's Xbox 360 Halo Special Edition boasts 360 Elite features, without the big price tag. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft makes no moves to the Xbox 360 price, but instead announced a new Halo-themed console

On Thursday, Microsoft stunned the industry by announcing that it would extend the warranty on Xbox 360s afflicted with the Red Ring of Death (RROD) to three years following DailyTech’s report on Xbox 360 failure rates. On Tuesday night, the spotlight is once again on Microsoft with it hosting the first big press conference at this year’s slimmed-down E3.

Following Sony’s big announcement of the PlayStation 3 price drop, many turned their eyes over to Microsoft to see if it would respond with a price reduction of its own. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter even went as far as to tell clients that he is expecting Microsoft to drop the price of the Xbox 360 console across all its product line. Pachter believes that the 60GB PS3, at $499, represents a favorable comparison against the Xbox 360, and that Microsoft will drop the price to widen the gap.

Unfortunately, for those hoping that the analyst’s prophecy would turn out to be true, Microsoft did nothing to the price of its latest consoles. This effectively puts the 60GB PlayStation 3 console, along with its Blu-ray Disc playing capabilities, $20 apart from the HDMI-capable Xbox 360 Elite. In the Canadian market, the Xbox 360 Elite and the 60GB PS3 will share the exact same $549 price tag, giving consumers more to think about than just their wallets.

Perhaps the only “all new” surprise of the press conference was when Peter Moore reached behind the counter to pull out a new Xbox 360 console SKU. Although some may be hoping for that surprise to be the announcement of a more reliable, 65nm chip-based machine, or one with HD DVD built-in, the actual new console is a Halo Special Edition Console.

The Halo Special Edition Console will be shipping this September, no doubt alongside Halo 3’s September 25 release date. The console features an authentic Spartan green and gold finish and comes with matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, 20GB Hard Drive, Headset, Play & Charge Kit, HDMI output and exclusive Halo 3 Gamer Pics and Theme available via Xbox Live download. Microsoft has yet to announce pricing for the Halo Special Edition Console.

The special green Xbox 360 isn’t the only Halo promo item on Microsoft’s list. Last month, retailer GameStop revealed special Halo 3-themed Xbox 360 controllers featuring Todd McFarlane artwork and Spartan green wireless headset. For those who must have all things Halo 3, GameStop is also selling an appropriately themed Halo 3 Zune music player.



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RE: Sony and MS
By Cygni on 7/11/2007 11:59:54 AM , Rating: 3
There is no reason for Microsoft to drop the price on the 360. It is still dominating the sales in its marketplace, and the PS3's price drop will have little to no effect. The PS3 is failing in the market because of its games. It has little to do with either the price or capabilities of the console.

If the PS3 begins to gain momentum, a reactionary price cut is possible... but now is not the time, with Halo 3 and many other huge titles right on the horizion. It will take time for the PS3 to tear any marketshare back from MS, and in the meantime, MS will keep the price right where they are.

Also, the 360 will never drop to a price point to compete with the Wii. The Wii is targeted at a completly different market and although they do overlap and compete for some segments, neither is targeting the others share at this point. The 360 is too expensive to produce and complex, and the Wii too underpowered for either company to push into the others arenas.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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