Microsoft drops the price of the Xbox 360 by $50.

Considering the glee with which Sony stuck it to Microsoft with repeated price drops during the hey day of the Xbox vs PS2 it must be quite satisfying for Microsoft to be able to turn the tables these days. They just announced their first price drop for the Xbox 360:

“The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360,” said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president, Global Retail Sales and Marketing Group, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “On the eve of the best holiday games lineup ever and the launch of ‘Madden NFL 08,’ there has never been a better time to jump into Xbox 360.”

Xbox 360 will enhance the value of its entire family of consoles beginning on Aug. 8. At a new ERP of $349.99 (U.S.), Xbox 360 offers an unsurpassed experience right out of the box with a 20GB hard drive, wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, and more. For those looking for the ultimate value and the freedom to customize their console as they see fit, Xbox 360 Core System now has an ERP of $279.99 (U.S.). Xbox 360 Core System provides everything needed to start gaming while giving consumers the ability to add new features and accessories they want. Dressed in black and equipped with a 120GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Elite will be priced at an ERP of $449.99 (U.S.) for those who want the premium games and entertainment experience. In anticipation of this year’s largest blockbuster game launch, the Xbox 360 Halo® 3 Special Edition Console will hit store shelves in September with an ERP of $399.99 (U.S.). Featuring an authentic Spartan green-and-gold finish, this console will include a matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 20GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Headset, an Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit, and more.

It helps that this is a real price drop as opposed to Sony’s 60GB PS3 clearance sale. Still not quite cheap enough for me to rush out and buy one, but it’s getting closer. If you’ve been holding off in hopes of a price drop then your wait has been worth it.

Sony finally cuts the price of the PS3 by $100. Kind of.

Rumors of an impending price cut have been swirling for weeks now with full page scans of Circuit City ads showing the 60GB PS3 being advertised for $499 which is $100 off the usual price. Then Sony issues a flat out denial that it was so much as thinking of a price cut. Then came this AP story:

Sony Corp. announced a revised PlayStation 3 console Monday with a bigger hard drive for storing downloaded content such as video games and high-definition movies.

The new $599 PS3 increases the system’s storage capacity from 60 to 80 gigabytes and also includes a retail copy of the online racing title “MotorStorm,’’ a company spokesman said.

Starting Monday, the current 60 gigabyte model will cost $499—a $100 price drop.

The larger capacity machine won’t be available in the United States and Canada until August.

Technically speaking the 80GB PS3 model isn’t new as it’s the official version released in Korea and there’s been rumors that it would be headed to the United States at some point in time as well. So it looks like both rumors were true. They did cut the price by $100 and they’re bringing over the 80GB version. Though, when you think about it, all they really did was eliminate the 20GB model (that happened some months back) and replaced it with the 60GB model so they could move the 80GB model over without raising the price for the top end machine.

Not too sure why anyone would spring the extra $100 for the 80GB model at this point. There were some actual differences between the 20GB and 60GB models (built-in wireless, HDMI connector, etc.) that made buying the 60GB version worth the extra cash, but the only difference on the new 80GB version is the size of the hard drive and you can swap out your PS3 hard drive yourself if you want to. Tack another $10 onto that $100 you saved and you can swap up to a 160GB HD for the cost of the 80GB model. Not that it matters too much as $499 is still more than I can justify at the moment without hitting at least a 4 or 5 numbers on the lotto or something. Still it brings the possibility of owning one a little closer and perhaps by the time one of the must-have games is released it’ll be down by another $100 or so and I’ll be working in an over-payed bodyguard/lackey job for Angelina Jolie or something.

Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?