Confirming snapshots of leaked advertisements posted in video-game enthusiast blogs around the web late last month, Microsoft has announced it is lowering the price for all editions of its Xbox 360 console in the United States, starting August 8, in anticipation of EA's Madden NFL 08, which will debut on August 14.

The low-end or "core" version of the console will retail for $279, $20 less than its current price, while the high-end 120-gig "elite" system will sell for $449, down $30, and the package formerly known as Premium, which includes a 20-gig hard drive, is dropping $50, from $399 to $349. The upcoming limited edition Halo 3 console will be $499. Although the price cut is only half the size of the one operated by Sony for its PS3, it is still significant and shows that Microsoft is willing to compete with the Wii in the entry-level arena, although at $250, Nintendo's console undercuts even the cheapest "core" version.

"The fact that we have been able to keep our launch price longer than any other console while retaining our leadership position demonstrates that consumers believe in the value of Xbox 360," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president, Global Retail Sales and Marketing Group, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.
When it comes to consoles, it's not just the price that sells the console, it's the games, and from that perspective Microsoft could do very well this holiday season as they are touting "the greatest holiday lineup ever," with highly anticipated exclusives such as Halo 3, Mass Effect, BioShock and Blue Dragon, and non-exclusives Guitar Hero III, Rock Band and Madden.