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Pre-E3 price drop for Xbox 360?

Pictures circulating on the Internet from US retailer K-Mart purportedly show a $299 Premium SKU

Last year, Sony cut the price of the PlayStation shortly before the E3 Media & Business Summit - choosing to get the announcement out of the way so that they could spend the show talking about content.

If recent rumours are to be believed, Microsoft may be doing something similar this year.

Images recently posted on the forums at High-Def Digest, show a "new low price" of USD 299 for the Premium Xbox 360 SKU - a USD 50 drop from the current retail price for that model.

The flier, from US retailer K-Mart, is dated for July 6 - the week prior to the E3 Summit.

There was no indication whether the other two Xbox 360 SKUs would offer similar price drops, and Microsoft is not commenting upon the rumours.

Given the age of the console and the fact that it has been outsold by the PlayStation 3 in the US over the past few months, it isn't surprising that Microsoft would choose to lower the price - although some analysts thought cuts were more likely to come in the fall.

Sony - whose top priority is restoring the games business to profitability - is therefore unlikely to follow Microsoft's move with a price cut of its own.

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Mark Androvich