Microsoft cutting price of high-end Xbox 360

August 27, 2009 By BARBARA ORTUTAY , AP Technology Writer
-- FILE ** In a Nov. 9, 2005, file photo the Microsoft Xbox 360 is on display at the the annual Microsoft shareholder meeting in Bellevue Wash. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005. Microsoft is cutting the price of the high-end Xbox 360 console by $100, matching Sony's PlayStation 3, which saw its price slashed by $100 last week. (AP Photo/John Froschauer/fiole)

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. is slashing the price of the high-end Xbox 360 console by $100, matching Sony's $100 price cut for the PlayStation 3 last week.

Now, both the Elite and the PS3 will cost $299. The price cuts in both cases are worldwide, though the exact amounts vary by region depending on currencies.

, which has had three versions of its Xbox 360 available at three different prices, also was to announce Thursday it is phasing out the mid-range, Pro, version of the console. It will be available for $249, down from $299, while supplies last.

The cheapest Xbox, the Arcade, which comes without a hard drive, will still cost $199.

The price cuts are effective Friday, said David Dennis, a spokesman for Microsoft.

companies hope the price cuts will re-ignite sales in time for the holiday rush. For the bulk of this year, the industry has suffered from weak sales - hurt by the recession and lackluster game release schedules, which have kept consumers waiting to spend money on new titles.

The announcement from Microsoft leaves only Nintendo Co. without a price cut for the fall, at least for now. The has cost $250 since its launch nearly three years ago.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft has sold more than 31.4 million of the Xbox 360 machines globally, compared with 23.7 million PS3 machines sold by Sony Corp. and 52.6 million Wiis.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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