Let’s break down the financial forecast for the current console market. At GamesCon yesterday, Sony finally unveiled its slimmer PS3 with a 120GB and much celebrated $299 price tag, due out on Sept. 1 in the U.S. and Europe, and two days later in Japan. Not only are internet retailers ablaze with preorders, they’ve also marked down the fatter current 80GB SKU down to that same $299 price point. If you’ve been here or at any other gaming site in the past 24 hours this is nothing new, but I’m not going to let redundancy keep me from properly setting up this article.
Despite having its own briefing this morning, Microsoft still has no response. There’s plenty of rumors and analysis buzzing around, but let’s stick to the facts here. Everyone is excited about this slim PS3 and waiting for Microsoft to do something to compete with Sony’s sexy new package. However, it’s looks to me as if Amazon has taken matters into their own hands.
To the naked eye, it would appear that Xbox 360 prices have remained unchanged. The Pro SKU is staying put at $299 across all channels, with the Elite still at its now bloated $399. However, if you look at two key items on Amazon.com, you’ll see a peculiar development. The Xbox 360 Arcade is currently priced at $179.96, while Microsoft’s 120GB HDD is also on sale for $119.97. When their powers combine, you’ve got yourself the rough equivalent of an Elite for a grand total of $299.93. Coincidence?