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Xbox Price to Drop to $149

15 Mar, 2004 By: David Ward

In an effort to narrow the gap with Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft will cut the U.S. price of the Xbox by $30, to $149.99, at month's end, sources told Video Store Magazine.

“Xbox is dropping their price [between March 28 and April 1],” a game publishing executive close to the retail community said. “That's verified. They've changed ad prices, they changed everything — that price is coming down.”

Asked for a response, an Xbox spokesperson said, “Microsoft does not comment on rumors and speculation.”

Xbox has been running a solid but distant second to PS2 in the console market, but may be concerned about Nintendo's GameCube, which is in third place but has picked up considerable market share since cutting its hardware price to $99 last fall.

Retailers confirmed the Xbox move to game publishers while both were at Sony's Destination PlayStation sales meeting late last month. At that meeting, Sony officials said the launch of the PSP portable player has been pushed back until early 2005, but didn't mention any plans to lower PS2's $179.99 price. Sony did tell retailers and publishers they expect to sell between 5 million and 7.5 million PS2 hardware units in North America this year. But one source for a major video retail chain said that when Microsoft cuts its price, “I'd be surprised if Sony didn't match it right away.”

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