To fall in line with the recently announced price drop in the US, Australian gamers will now pay up to $100 less for the Xbox 360 console.
The Xbox 360 Pro system has dropped from $649 to $579.95, a saving of $69.00, while the Xbox 360 Core version (which lacks a hard drive and wireless controller) has been slashed from $499.95 to $399.95. This puts the price of Microsoft's console in line with the Nintendo Wii, which also sells for $399.
The price drop comes after an unprecedented 17 months at the original price point (most consoles receive a price cut within their first year on the market). According to Microsoft's Xbox director for Australia and New Zealand, David McLean, the decision is part of a larger strategy to penetrate the casual gaming market, with a variety of social and 'party' games slated for release this Christmas.
"We are starting to see some of those real social gaming experiences and with the console at the right price point it should enable us to be somewhat more competitive," McLean said. In addition to music/rhythm games like Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band, the console will still continue to cater to the hardcore demographic, with highly anticipated sequels Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 due to hit stores this year.
The price drop puts the Xbox 360 well below Sony's Playstation 3, which still retails for a RRP or $1000.