Microsoft Slashes Overseas Xbox Prices


Price reductions in Britain range between 20 pounds ($40) and 50 pounds ($100) across the three Xbox 360 models. The Arcade pack has been cut to 200 euros ($307), while the Premium pack has been reduced to 370 euros ($568).

"Xbox 360 is now mass market in Europe," said Chris Lewis, vice president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business in Europe, in a written statement.

Lewis added that history has shown that the reduced price point "is where a console's audience begins to expand, and with these new ERP's in place, we're ready to bring more consumers in the Xbox 360 world," he said.

This is the second time in the last 12 months that Microsoft has attempted to gain market share for the Xbox 360 by cutting prices. In August 2007, the company reduced 7 percent of the euro price for its low-end model and 13 percent off its Premium model.

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The company claims that the Xbox 360 is now the number one next generation console in Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa, where it holds 42 percent of the market.

The Playstation brand has traditionally dominated the European market, although the console has lost some market share due to its high price and lack of cutting-edge games. Last October, Sony introduced a cheaper PS3 model in Europe for 400 euros while cutting its high-end version price to 500 euros in a similar effort to jump start sales.

Current price reductions for the Xbox come as Sony's PS3 is primed to capitalize on the company's high-definition DVD battle victory and an array of new games set to be launched later this year.

"The PS3 has gained some momentum recently," said Todd Mitchell, Kaufman Bros. analyst, in a Reuters report, "and I think as you go into this summer before the fall, Microsoft has got to do what they can to shore up sales."

Meanwhile, Nintendo is gaining market share with its Wii machine featuring a unique motion-sensing controls and interactive, easy to learn games.