With the media fanning the flames of speculation for a PS3 price-reduction, Microsoft has offered a curve-ball of their own, increasing the price of the Xbox 360 Arcade to £159.99 from £129.99, with the five free XBLA games omitted from the bundle, too.
The news broke from Shopto.net bigwig Igor Cipolletta, who was informed of the increase in price by Microsoft, with another independent retailer confirming Cipolletta’s claims. The price of Xbox 360 accessories has also increased by one or two pounds.
Why, indeed. It’s a strange, almost perplexing move for Microsoft to make. If you’re trying to win a war, you generally refrain from shooting yourself in the foot. But is this a shameless attempt to earn more money, or has Microsoft’s hand been forced?
An article from Xboxist reveals the drop in strength of the Pound in comparison to the Euro may be the culprit for this price-increase. In recent months, the British Pound has skidded down the charts, whereas the Euro has maintained a strong slide.
Damn You Pound!
According to the Xboxist article, whose writer clearly understands economics far better than me, in order to recoup the losses Microsoft will incur from shipping and advertising in the UK, in contrast to the money saved in the rest of Europe, they’ve been forced to increase the price of their Xbox 360 console and its already expensive accessories.
We Brits have endured higher videogames costs for years, so such a development feels like a sucker punch to the gut. Sadly, for anyone planning to purchase an Xbox 360 Arcade this summer, you’ll be parting with more money than you initially planned.
Xbox 360 Pro Discontinued?
Amongst the news of the Arcade’s price-increase, further information on the rumoured demise of the Xbox 360 pro released, with Argos claiming Microsoft intend to phase the SKU from their roster, in tandem with a price-reduction for the Elite.
It would be an especially strange month if Microsoft were to increase the price of one 360 bundle, only to reduce the price of another! Confusion is certain to ripple amongst the masses of shoppers, informed of a more expensive Xbox 360 now existing, alongside a cheaper version. Right…