Microsoft has moved to officially deny a report which appeared in the New York Post earlier this week stating that the Xbox console would see a price cut to under $150 at some point in April.
The original article quoted unnamed sources at key US retailers saying that they had been warned of a price cut in April which would see the console dropping from its current price point of $179 to $149.
However, Microsoft quickly denied the report, stating that it does not have any plans to drop the price at this time.
The consensus among analysts and publishers alike is that both Sony and Microsoft will drop their console hardware prices before the E3 trade show in late May, with many expecting a drop to $129 rather than to $149 as the platform holders attempt to maintain strong hardware sales.
Faced with this, Microsoft's denial of the April price cut seems like a bit of a smokescreen - the chances are that the company will indeed cut the price of the Xbox, but in early May rather than in April.
The suggestion that the company will cut to $149, however, is interesting, since a cut to that level in late spring would almost ensure a further price cut in autumn in order to make the console more attractive for Christmas. It's likely that Microsoft has two plans in place, though - one for a $149 cut, and one for a $129 cut, with the final decision on which to go with depending entirely on how much Sony slashes off the PS2 price tag in its next cut.
Update #1: Corrected factual detail - the story appeared in the New York Post, not the New York Times.