Once again, the rumor gnomes were correct in their predictions. As of this coming Friday, the 28th of September, Microsoft's Xbox 360 Elite is dropping $100 in price, to $299. The Xbox 360 Pro is dropping to $249, "while supplies last." No more Pro units will be manufactured. The one change in the Elite? No longer will an HDMI cable be packed into the box.
The $100 price drop, of course, mirrors the price drop that Sony included when they introduced the new PS3 "Slim" model. Speaking to Ars Technica, Microsoft's Director of Product Management for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE (he must have extra-wide business cards) Aaron Greenberg said that the timing was just a coincidence: "We actually planned this months in advance; we plan the strategy for the life cycle years in advance."
On the question of the missing HDMI cable, Greenberg claims gamers weren't using them. While this may have been true back at the launch of the Xbox 360 Elite, HDMI is becoming more and more prevalent as people upgrade their TVs. I find it hard to believe fewer customers are using the cables now then they were at the launch.
According to some sources, the PS3 price cut could translate into a sales increase of as much as 60%. Will the Xbox price cut result in the same kind of jump? Time will tell, but this blogger intends to replace his not-so-trusty, twice-repaired launch 360 (with its anemic 20 gig hard drive and no HDMI), with an Elite sometime this fall.
How about you? If you have an older Xbox, will you upgrade? If you've never taken the plunge, will this prompt you to "Jump in?"