NEWS: Microsoft cuts the price of Xbox 360

It looks like we're in for a price war in the games market, with Microsoft announcing it has just cut the price of its Xbox 360 games console.

The Arcade pack now sells for £159.99 (down from £199.99), the Premium pack falls from £259.99 to £199.99 and the Elite drops from £299.99 to £259.99.

This makes the Arcade pack cheaper than Nintendo's hugely popular Wii console (typically £179.99). All prices come into effect from March 14.

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

"History shows that £159.99 is the price point where a console's audience begins to expand, and with these new prices in place we're ready to bring more consumers into the Xbox 360 world."

Last year Sony introduced a cheaper, 40GB version of the PS3 at £299.

In a further twist to the battle of the games consoles, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said his firm will work with Blu-ray technology, now that HD DVD has died.

"We've already been working on, in Windows, device driver support for Blu-ray drives and the like, and I think the world moves on... we'll support Blu-ray in ways that make sense," says Ballmer.

However, whether this ever means there'll be a Blu-ray add-on module for the Xbox 360 (or even one built in) is anyone's guess. Would be cool though, wouldn't it?

Technorati Tags: Blu-ray, gaming, Microsoft, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.