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Console "sweet spot" is $199, says Microsoft

Hufford "well aware" of ideal price for family consumer

As Microsoft reveals intentions to target families with new titles and a renewed marketing push, group product manager David Hufford has said he's well aware that USD 199 is the ideal price for the family audience.

Although the company has avoided a significant price reduction of the Xbox 360 since release in late 2005, analysts and industry watchers expect a cut in time for the Christmas period.

"We are well aware that the sweet spot of the market is really 199 bucks," said Hufford, speaking to Bloomberg.

Observing Nintendo's lower price point for the Wii, he stated: "When Mom walks into the store and sees she can get a console with a game for USD 250, she sees it as a USD 300 value. They've done a good job."

It's not only price where Microsoft intends to follow its rival's lead. Targeting the family group with new titles and a renewed marketing push is another priority, as it hopes to shake off the 'hardcore' tag that held back sales of the original Xbox.

"If we don't make that move, make it early and expand our demographic, we will wind up in the same place as with Xbox 1, a solid business with 25 million people," commented Xbox boss Peter Moore.

"What I need is a solid business with 90 million people."

According to Institutional Investor's analyst Heather Bellini, Microsoft could lower the price of the Xbox 360 as soon as September. She also believes that power in numbers could key to Microsoft's seasonal success.

"If they really are going to have a good Christmas games line-up, then they just have to have the largest number of boxes out there so that they sell the largest number of games."

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.