Xbox 360 Arcade dropping to $199?

Scuttlebutt from anonymous sources suggests that Microsoft's will be the first console to reach the magic mass market number with a September price cut.

RUMOR CONTROL Source: According to an oddly written Ars Technica story, Microsoft is going to cut the price of the Xbox 360 in early September. That was followed by a bit of photographic supporting evidence from VGChartz.

What we heard: Ars Technica ended last week with a tip from the same mole who clued the tech-savvy site in to Microsoft's 60GB Xbox 360 configuration announced last month. According to the mole, Microsoft is planning an early September price drop for the hard-drive-less Xbox 360 Arcade system. Currently selling for $279, the bundle would supposedly be dropped to $199.

Accompanying that drop would be $50 cuts to the tags of the 60GB Pro and 120GB Elite hardware packages. That would put the Pro system at $299, with the Elite fetching $399. Presumably, the currently available but discontinued $299 Xbox 360 Pro 20GB system will have sold out entirely by then.

Further evidence for the Xbox Live Arcade system's price drop appeared over the weekend on VGchartz, with a picture sent in from an anonymous reader showing a retailer's inventory screen. According to that picture and the accompanying article, the Xbox 360 Arcade price drop is set for September 7.

Ars Technica's source also seems to be from the retail sector, as some of the information passed along seemed to be targeted to game sellers' concerns. And if there's one thing that history has shown us about retailers, it's that they apparently love nothing more than letting price cut cats out of console makers' bags.

The official story: Microsoft had not responded to a request for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Probably not bogus.

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