Yesterday, Microsoft finally confirmed that the Xbox 360 would be getting a modest price drop in the US, taking the price of the Core system stateside to $279.99, the Elite package to $449.99, and the Premium bundle to $349.99. The current retail recommended price of the console (including 20GB hard drive) is £279 in the UK (approx. $566).
British gamers may have been hoping that the US price cut for the 360 might cross the Atlantic, but Microsoft's official comment on the matter for the time being is, "This announcement was specifically around pricing in the US. We have not announced any pricing changes in Europe."
The US pricing change followed Sony's decision to drop the price of the North American 60GB model of the PlayStation 3 to $499 in an announcement made just before the E3 Media and Business Summit commenced in July. The news generally went down well with analysts, even though a few days later SCEE CEO David Reeves told GameSpot that the company was just selling off old stock to make way for the newer (and more expensive) 80GB version.
In the UK, gamers were hoping for similar news, with the 60GB PS3 costing £425 ($862) and the 20GB version not being available. However, instead of a price drop, Reeves announced the "PS3 Starter Pack", which contained the console, two controllers, and two first-party games for the same price. The starter pack bundle was also announced for Australia, although it was discontinued shortly after.