Microsoft has announced that all its models of Xbox 360 will see a price drop, with the premium model now set at $349.99, the core at $279.99, the new Elite at $449.99 and the forthcoming Halo model set at $399.99, to coincide with the launch of EA's Madden NFL 08.
Calling Madden "one of the most important mass-appeal franchises in video games," Microsoft says the release of the game will kick off its oft-cited "greatest holiday lineup in video game history," and says that, with the accompanying price drop, it offers a console for "all interests and budgets."
According to an announcement from the firm on the default Xbox 360 hardware bundle, which originally launched at $399.99 in November 2005: "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."
In addition to this, the Xbox 360 Core System, formerly costing $299.99, and shipping without a hard drive, now has an ERP of $279.99 (U.S.). Finally, the black Xbox Elite, which comes with a 120GB hard drive as before, will be priced at an ERP of $449.99 (U.S.), reduced from its initial April 2007 launch of $479.99.
Finally, it's been confirmed that the Xbox 360 Halo 3 Special Edition Console will hit store shelves in September with an ERP of $399.99 (U.S.). Featuring a "Spartan green-and-gold finish," the console will include a matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 20GB hard drive, Xbox 360 Headset, and an Xbox 360 Play and Charge Kit.
In a release, Microsoft sales and marketing corporate VP Mitch Koch said that “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."
Touting what the company calls a "record-setting attach rate of 6.1" as well as its E3 highlighted lineup including Guitar Hero III, Halo 3, Madden NFL 08, and Rock Band, Koch said, "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."