In late June, tech and gaming news site Ars Technica reported that a cheaper 120GB slimline PlayStation 3 would be introduced in the fall. With Sony apparently preparing for such a move, it looks like Microsoft is prepping its countermove, also predicted by Ars Technica's mole.
Today, gaming blog Kotaku received a photo (pictured) from a retail source purporting to show the new packaging of the hard-drive-less, $199 Xbox 360 Arcade. Unlike the boxes of models shipped earlier this year, the box omits any mention of the 60GB Xbox 360 Pro, currently priced at $299.99. According to Ars Technica's mole, Microsoft's plan is to phase out the Pro and then reduce the price of the $399 120GB Xbox 360 Elite to either $349 or $299. If the box shot is accurate, Microsoft will be cutting its costs by no longer bundling the Elite with a component video or HDMI cable, as it does now.
When asked for comment about the Pro's potential disappearance, a Microsoft rep gave the following statement: "We've made no such announcements and are working with our retail partners to ensure they have the right inventory of consoles to meet the needs of their customers." However, with the launch of the Xbox Live Games on Demand store less than a week away, offering consumers more hard drive space at a lower price would make business sense.