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Microsoft confirms Xbox 360 price cuts for Europe

Mon 10 Mar 2008 2:32pm GMT / 10:32am EDT / 7:32am PDT

Microsoft has officially cut the price of the all three Xbox 360 models across Europe — with the Arcade unit now selling for GBP 159.99.

Microsoft has officially cut the price of all three Xbox 360 models across Europe — with the Arcade unit selling for GBP 159.99.

The Arcade SKU now retails for less than Nintendo's Wii, as Microsoft looks to boost sales during the busy Easter retail period and ahead of the release of the highly-anticipated title Grand Theft Auto IV at the end of April.

The Premium 360 now has a recommended retail price of GBP 199.99, a saving of GBP 50, while the black Elite model will sell for GBP 259.99.

All prices come in to effect on March 14.

"Xbox 360 is now mass market in Europe," commented Chris Lewis, vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business in Europe.

"We have reached and surpassed several key milestones that form part of our long term strategic plan to achieve critical mass in Europe; and our portfolio now offers the kind of mainstream entertainment experiences that secure wider appeal for Xbox 360.

"These factors allow us to execute on our strategy to widen the market for Xbox 360, as planned," he added.

According to Microsoft's data, the Xbox 360 has the highest software attach rate of the three current generation consoles in Europe, with seven titles to every machine.

Retailers had already pre-empted Microsoft's move, with online store Amazon.co.uk slashing the price this morning following confirmation of the price drop by the German edition of the Financial Times.

"We continue to offer intense, immersive gaming experiences for gamers — but now weāre priced in a way that will allow new consumers to find out for themselves why Xbox 360 is the ultimate in high-definition entertainment," said Lewis.

"History shows that GBP 159.99 is the price point where a consoleās audience begins to expand, and with these new ERPs in place weāre ready to bring more consumers into the Xbox 360 world."

Microsoft has stated on numerous occasions that Europe is the most important battleground for the Xbox 360 in the current console war with Sony's PlayStation 3.

Last month Shane Kim reiterated this point at D.I.C.E. in Las Vegas, and said that this fiscal year would be the most financially successful for Microsoft Game Studios.

He also said that the Xbox 360 should experience a longer life cycle than the original Xbox.

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