Microsoft will cut prices on its Xbox 360 models across the board this Friday, bringing the lowest-end Arcade model down to $199 -- $50 less than Nintendo's Wii, until now the least expensive current-gen home console.
The standard Xbox 360 model, which includes a 60GB hard drive, will see a price cut from $349 to $299, and the HDMI-equipped 120GB will drop from $449 to $399.
The Arcade, previously priced at $279, includes a 256MB memory unit but does not include a hard drive.
The news, as reported by
BusinessWeek, follows rumors that Microsoft would soon lower its price points to become more competitive with the affordable, mass-market Wii.
The move is planned to take effect September 5 in the U.S. retail market. GameStop senior VP Bob McKenzie, cited by BusinessWeek, expects the adjustment to increase Xbox 360 sales severalfold.