Microsoft is cutting the European price for its Xbox 360 video game console by 50 euros to 349.99 euros ($470), following a similar cut in the United States.
The company said in a statement on Monday that the lower price for the Xbox model with a 20 gigabyte hard drive would be effective from August 24. It also plans to launch a new model, Xbox 360 Elite, that will ship with a 120 gigabyte hard disk and cost 449.99 euros.
The European price of the entry-level model Xbox 360 Core, which does not include a hard drive, will be cut by 20 euros to 279.99 euros, Microsoft said.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced a price cut by about 13 percent for its main Xbox 360 model in the United States, hoping to boost sales ahead of the crucial holiday season.
Microsoft reduced the U.S. price of the Xbox 360 Premium model by $50 to $350. Sony had previously cut the price of its PlayStation 3 machine by 17 percent to $500.
Faced with unexpectedly strong competition from Nintendo’s cheaper Wii console, Microsoft is aiming at expanding the appeal of the Xbox 360 to an audience outside its core fan base of young men.
The rising sophistication of consoles, which boast graphics performance that rivals personal computers costing several times as much, means manufacturers are more reluctant to drop prices. That’s particularly true for Microsoft, which has yet to turn a profit on the Xbox business it launched in 2001 in a bid to challenge Sony’s growing dominance in the living room.
By the end of June, Microsoft had sold 5.6 million Xbox 360s in the United States, compared with 2.8 million Wiis and 1.4 million PS3s — the latter two launched a year later.
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