Hot on the heels of the PlayStation 3 price cut, the Xbox 360 price cut that’s been rumored for weeks officially starts today (Friday).
Here are the deets:
As rumored, the mid-priced Pro version of the console is going away. Its price has been reduced from $300 to $250, but once they’re gone, they’re gone. Just as a reminder, the Pro comes with the console, a 60-gigabyte hard drive, composite A/V cable, wireless controller, headset and ethernet cable for connecting to the Internet.
The Elite version of the console, which is black instead of white like the other versions, comes with all the stuff that comes with the Pro, but its hard drive is 120 gigabytes. The Elite used to cost $400, but now can be had for $300. There’s been one recent change, though. The Elite used to come with an HDMI cable for outputting high-definition video. That’s been taken out of the box. If you have an HDTV with an HDMI port, you’ll have to buy a cable separately. I recommend ordering one online, where the can be generally had for $5 or so. Brick-and-mortar retailers love to overcharge for HDMI cables, and you can end up paying as much as 10 times what you’d pay for a comparable cable on the Internet. I’m normally a huge advocate of buying locally, but not when it costs five to 10 times as much.
Lastly, there’s the Arcade version of the console. It sold for $200 before the price drop, and it’ll continue to sell for $200. It lacks a hard drive, but still comes with a controller and composite cable. You can get by without a hard drive, as the console has 512 megabytes of internal memory. If you plan to play on Xbox Live, though, you’ll want to buy one of the more expensive versions or eventually pick up a hard drive. That 512 MB will fill up fast once you start downloading stuff (much of it free) from Xbox Live.
There’s been no word yet on a Wii price cut. I wouldn’t get my hopes up, as unlike the PS3 and 360 cuts, there aren’t even credible rumors of a PS3 price cut yet. At $250, the Wii’s still near the cheapest current-generation console you can buy, and it’s still outselling both the 360 and PS3 by a handy margin. We’ll probably get our “price drop” in the form of cheap bundles of games and hardware for the holidays.