Microsoft drops X-Box price to increase competitiveness

Kristyn Soltis

$100, $50 cut from different models

Nathaniel Hume, 21, is a professional Halo 2 and Halo 3 Xbox player.

He plays about 20 hours a week and has received thousands of dollars for winning competitions. To date, he’s won two free consoles from playing in tournaments, but he still bought the original Xbox.

Hume paid $299 when it was first released in 2001, which is the current cost of Microsoft Xbox’s latest Elite model after they slashed $100 off its price tag.

On Aug. 27, Microsoft enacted the $100 price drop to allow consumers to buy the console at the competitive price of $299.

The Pro model Xbox 360 console also will be dropped to $250 from $300 while supplies last. Once the Pro models are sold out, the only 360 models that will be available are the Elite and Arcade.

“I think the price drop is a good thing and Xbox easily did that because of the actions of Sony,” Hume said.

Sony recently announced the news of a newly redesigned and less expensive PlayStation 3.

The slimmer PS3 will be available for $299, the same price as the Elite model Xbox 360.

Aaron Greenberg, Director of Product Management for Xbox 360, has said the timing of the price drop is coincidental but logical due to the upcoming holiday season.

Hume said the price he paid when he bought his Xbox was unfair.

“It’s not a fair price for being how many times it has broken and needed to be sent in for repairs,” he said.

Xbox gaming consoles have experienced a glitch called the “Red Ring of Death.” This fault causes about 30 to 33 percent of all Xbox 360s to completely fail.

The user sees the problem when the Xbox 360 “Ring of Light” on the front of the console changes from its usual green color to three quadrants of red. It generally happens when the system overheats.

Matt Heiss, junior marketing major, owns the Xbox special edition Halo console.

“It has the least amount of red ring of death rate and runs a different graphical processing unit chip,” Heiss said.

A GPU is a specialized logic chip, which renders 2D or 3D images.

Heiss said at the time he bought his Xbox, the Halo edition was $50 cheaper than the elite and $50 more than Xbox pro.

Heiss believes the price drop of the Xbox 360 is just a way to wean out the existing consoles to make room for future systems.

What is to come in the future of Microsoft Xbox?

Project Natal, a controller-free gaming and entertainment experience, which is scheduled to be “released soon.”

Contact technology reporter Kristyn Soltis at [email protected].