Last week Sony cut the price of its 80GB PlayStation 3 console by $100 and announced a slimline 120GB version will debut next month at the same price point, $299.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft will lower the price of its Xbox 360 Elite from $399 to $299, effective Friday — putting the two consoles on a more even footing going into a recession holiday shopping season.
The company also is expected to phase out the mid-range Pro console, which will get a $50 price drop, to $249 from $299, while supplies last.
Nintendo is the only video game company that hasn’t budged on its console prices, but the speculation is that won’t last for long: Sales of the $250 Wii dropped last month for the first time since it launched three years ago, and recent software lineups just haven’t been living up to expectations.
Microsoft dropped the Xbox 360’s price ($80 or $50, depending on the hard drive configuration) around this time last year.
Clarification: As a commenter points out, while the Xbox and PS3 will have the same pricetag off the shelf, it’s technically less expensive to own a PS3 because the PlayStation Network online service is free — whereas Xbox LIVE requires a paid subscription above and beyond the console’s cost.