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Tue, Oct 23, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Microsoft cuts Xbox price as console battle heats up

GAME WARS While Sony and Microsoft slash prices, Nintendo has adopted a different strategy by teasing potential players with brain teasers and virtual pets

AP , TOKYO

Microsoft is slashing Xbox 360 prices in Japan by about 13 percent as the price war among videogame consoles heats up around the world ahead of the key year-end shopping season.

The Xbox 360 console will sell in Japan for ?4,800 (US$304) from Nov. 1, down from ?9,795, the US software maker's Japan unit said in a statement yesterday.

A more basic version of the machine now selling for ?9,800 will go for ?7,800, Microsoft Corp said.

SONY

Last week in the US, Sony Corp cut the price of its PlayStation 3 game console.

It had already announced similar price cuts in Europe and Japan for the PS3.

The top-line PlayStation model, with an 80 gigabyte hard drive, now costs US$499 in the US, down from US$599. That effectively eliminated the lower-end model, which has a 60-gigabyte drive and sold for US$499.

A new low-end model with a 40-gigabyte drive will go on sale on Nov. 2 for US$399.

The big winner in game consoles recently has been Nintendo Co with its Wii machine.

NINTENDO

Nintendo, the Kyoto-based manufacturer of Pokemon and Super Mario games, has not announced any price cuts for the Wii, which is already cheaper than Xbox 36o or PS3.

The Wii now sells for US$250 in the US and ?5,000 in Japan. The Xbox 360 costs US$350 in the US.

Nintendo has chosen a different strategy from Sony and Microsoft, with their more expensive machines and has been trying to woo novices with brain teasers, sport games and virtual pets, instead of the usual shooter and role-playing games.

Since Wii went on sale late last year, Nintendo has shipped 9.3 million units around the world, with supplies barely keeping up with demand.

By the end of this fiscal year next March, Wii global shipments are expected to have reached 22.3 million.

So far, Sony has sold 5 million PlayStation 3s. The game console went on sale late last year in Japan and the US and in March in Europe.

Microsoft has sold 11.6 million Xbox 360 machines in the last two years.

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