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PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 price drops will hit later this year - report

Price cuts to follow phase out of smaller hard drive SKUs

Price drops weren't on the lips of any of the big three at this year's E3, but rumours persist that a PlayStation 3 price reduction is imminent, to be closely followed by a similar move by Microsoft.

A drop in the price of the PS3 is due this autumn, according to a source speaking to Ars Technica, predicting that once current stock of the 80GB hardware has sold through, the 160GB hard drive model will become prevalent.

Sony will then drop the price of the console towards the end of the year and launch a new PS3 Slim at around the same time. How big that price drop will be remains to be seen, but the company will no doubt hope consumers will react favourably to any step to narrow the price difference between it and the Xbox 360 Elite system.

As for Microsoft's strategy for 2009 - it could be set to do away with the 60GB Xbox 360 Pro entirely in favour for the Elite system.

With the company's shift to sell full retail games through Xbox Live and also films and other content via Zune video, a bigger hard drive as standard would be logical.

The source concluded some solid bundles will help shift remaining stock of the Pro Xbox 360, with a price cut in early September aiding sales of the 120GB version, then a further new bundle will hit retail around October.

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