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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 August 2007, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Microsoft to cut US price of Xbox
Xbox 360
Microsoft hopes to benefit from summer sales
Microsoft is to cut the US price of its main Xbox 360 game console by 13% in a bid to boost summer holiday sales.

The Premium model console will go on sale for $350 (172) down from the earlier price of $400, from August 8.

The move comes after rival Sony made its PlayStation 3 (PS3) 17% cheaper in the US, with a price tag of $500.

Microsoft is also making its Xbox 360 Core, which has no hard drive, and its 120-gigabyte Elite model, cheaper in a bid to target a wider audience.

'More gamers'

Traditionally Microsoft has aimed its games consoles at young men, but with Nintendo gaining success by targeting older players and women, the US firm has started to expand its audience.

"As we look to the holidays we want to bring in more gamers and lower the price for those customers," said Aaron Greenberg, head of Xbox 360's group product manager.

The basic Microsoft console with no hard drive or wireless controllers will be $20 cheaper, costing $279, and the Xbox 360 Elite, a model with high-definition video, will be cut by $50 to cost $449.

The move marks the first price cut for the Xbox 360 since it launched in November 2005.

As consoles become more complicated, and more expensive to make, firms producing them are loathe to reduce prices.

But analysts say the price cut is unlikely to make a big difference.

"It's not the price that sells the consoles, it's the games that sells the consoles," said Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner.

He added: "From that perspective, Microsoft is in pretty good shape."

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