Xbox 360 gets Aussie price cut

Xbox 360 Arcade now cheaper down under than Wii; more than 400,000 360s sold in Australia/New Zealand to date.

Rumours have been swirling that the Xbox 360 is about to get another price cut in the US, following cuts in Europe and Asia earlier this year. It seems the Aussies have beaten the Americans to the punch, however, with confirmation that all of the various 360 SKUs will be receiving price reductions down under from today.

Effective from July 2, the Xbox 360 Arcade unit will receive an A$50 price drop and will now retail for A$349 ($333), A$50 cheaper than the retail price of the Nintendo Wii locally. The Xbox 360 Pro bundle will now retail for A$499 (down from A$579), while the Elite will sell for A$649 (down from A$729).

An Xbox 360 exec has also confirmed with GameSpot AU that the 360's total install base in Australia and New Zealand has now reached more than 400,000 units, putting it second in the market behind the Wii. We spoke to Jeremy Hinton, Xbox group product marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, about the rationale behind the price cut, whether Microsoft was feeling pressure from its console competitors, and what sales impact they were expecting from today's announcement.

GameSpot AU: We've seen price drops staggered throughout different times for different regions this year. What's the rationale behind that?

Jeremy Hinton: Today we're just announcing price adjustments in Australia. One of the big changes Microsoft has made is that with price drops, you'd see the US would drop, and pretty much within two weeks we would drop as well. Now, it's very much the individual countries who manage what they feel would be best for their respective regions. In March we had a price drop in Europe, and in April we had a price drop in Asia. So we're definitely moving away from that big global strategy.

GS AU: What's the reason behind the cut?

JH: We'd had a pretty good track record of--wherever possible--passing along savings to the consumer. So with the recent currency fluctuations as well as some cost savings we've been able to make, we thought that the July period was a perfect time to pass those along to the consumer for people looking to lay by for Christmas.

GS AU: So can this be taken as a sign that--in the Australian market anyway--the 360 is facing a lot more competitive pressure from the Wii and PS3?

JH: No, absolutely not. This is a strategy we've had for some time. Decisions are made not necessarily around what the competition are doing. And from our point of view, the last 12 months have been very successful--more dollars have gone through retail tills on Xbox 360 products than both of our competitors.

GS AU: So the 360 is now the cheapest console on the Australian market. What advantages does that give you?

JH: It's great because we're seeing in other areas that we're heading into tough financial times, and basically any opportunity to make a saving on what is an entertainment product makes it more attractive to families in particular. There's also no question that the Wii is appealing very broadly, but at A$50 cheaper, the 360 is probably something that now goes into a lot of people's consideration. And from what I hear, there are some retailers offering deals through July which will put it significantly lower than the retail price.

GS AU: How will this price drop affect sales?

JH: We do expect sales to spike, as with any price drop. It was interesting the last time we dropped the price--we didn't see an immediate spike. Nowadays, people aren't really sitting by, absolutely certain they want an Xbox 360, but waiting with bated breath for a price drop. When they hear that the 360 is cheaper, or they see an ad, that's when they think maybe they'll check it out. In line with that, we've got a fairly hefty marketing campaign which will run over the next few weeks that will help tell consumers.

GS AU: Jeremy Hinton, thanks for your time.

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Discussion

36 comments
Spiteful49
Spiteful49

How much are the PS3 SKU's over in Australia? Too bad their inport/export tax it so high. You guys should complain to the government. Prices would be lower.

Alucard1475
Alucard1475

That is still 30% - 40% more than in the US. We are so holy sh** ripped off.

Sammojo
Sammojo

Why would anyone buy an arcade, it has no hard drive. Unless you were planning to buy one in the future, but that would end up costing more than a Prem... Australia's overpriced products are not because of shipping. The economy just allows each store to sell things at an over inflated price. Since everyone is doing it, and making money, they just keep doing it. I try to buy all my gaming products from the US. I wish the 360 was region free, then I could have bought one in the US.

nrCooldude
nrCooldude

oh come on! "passing savings on to the customer"? yeah, right.. they just wanna sell out the old systems to make way for the new 65nm GPU-equipped ones by august (not that i have any problems with that.. i'm holding back from buying one till the new one arrives)

dunnowhathuh
dunnowhathuh

Still love the difference in price between the American and Aussie versions though. I'd like to see the Aussie government reduce our ridiculously high tariffs one day just to see if the gaming companies bother reducing prices further though a part of me somehow doubts any major improvement. Wonder if Sony will follow suit cuz this drop would definitely mean that the 360 is going to put even more distance between it and the PS3.

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

If they do a similar price drop in N. America where the Arcade and Premium are priced $50 below and above the Wii it becomes: Arcade $199 Prem. $299 Elite $399 It will put a lot of pressure on the other consoles and be a great deal.

fattyhead
fattyhead

' "Oz is generally expensive in all aspects, mainly due to Import / Export costs." that is nothing but a lame excuse. the consoles and most games are made in asia and its much closer to aus than america'- imprezawrx500 thenephariouson is actually right imprezawrx500. Doesn't matter if Asia is closer. Australia has higher tariffs rates on imports than most countries. Yup it sucks.

jumpnjackflash0
jumpnjackflash0

I plan on moving from the U.S. to australia later this year, and seeing the pricing on anything video game or electronics related really bums me out. I thought about bringing my xbox with me but the whole region code screws me over if i want to play a game purchased in australia. That, and beer is pretty expensive down there, or so I've heard.

freek666
freek666

All I need now is money. :(

TicTac8745
TicTac8745

Nice to hear this price drop, maybe I'll pick up another 360 for my room

devildemondruid
devildemondruid

just another note i live in australia and in a catalogue here (for target) they were advertising the pro console for A$450 not A$500 of course it may only be a one week special but something to consider.

-CheeseEater-
-CheeseEater-

That's nice, but it still fails to explain the hilarious pricing over here.

sonic0491
sonic0491

ive already had 3 broken 360's. im not game to buy another when my ps3's been going over a year strong and i now have a dualshock 3.

overshine
overshine

"Oz is generally expensive in all aspects, mainly due to Import / Export costs." That'd make sense if our digital downloads weren't infiated as well. Downloading COD4 on Steam costs A$88.50, but it's only $50 in the US. We definitely get inflated prices on our games/consoles, but... what can we do? :/

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

"Oz is generally expensive in all aspects, mainly due to Import / Export costs." that is nothing but a lame excuse. the consoles and most games are made in asia and its much closer to aus than america

McGregor
McGregor

I would rather pay more money for the console and have them drop games by $10.

ctg867
ctg867

VG Chartz says that 400k number is BS. Looking more like 380k or 390k. Anyway, I'm still pretty confident that the PS3 is gonna pull ahead over there. It started out selling slower then the 360, but it hit a point during the holiday season last year where it started to sell just as good, if not better, nearly ever week afterward. Just take this into consideration: the 360 has been on the market 27 months in Australia, while the PS3 has only been on the market for 15 months. The 360 has sold around 388k units (14k per month), while the PS3 has sold 260k units (17k per month). It's sold better per month since it's launch, and like I said, the holidays pushed their sales forward in a huge way. Sure, it's great the price is dropping, it's sure to help stimulate sales, but just take into consideration what's going on over there and the reasons why they need to do what they're doing.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Oz is generally expensive in all aspects, mainly due to Import / Export costs.

TenP
TenP

I hope they follow suit here, I need to get one of those.

-GhostMLD-
-GhostMLD-

ace77765 dude....its just $50. Why ndo people make an ant hill into a mountain. You all can afford $50. Even on principle, LIVE still gives you what you pay for. Crossgame iinvites and chatting arent coming to PS3's update. and truskill match making is seriously invaluable.

Ace77765
Ace77765

No use, PS3 is adding features now and sooner or later voice chat for those who are browsing the net or one person playing mgs and the other playing call of duty. most important of all its free...and no I dont own a ps3 yet but xbl people know what im talking about

DLGx
DLGx

"europe drop in march, asia drop in april, aussie drop i n july. cmon, lets get a NA drop.....and make it COUNT!" They'd have to drop the prices another 2-3 times in both Europe and Aussie before we approach the give-away prices already found in the US.

the-bat-child
the-bat-child

@taj7575 "they DID update the hardware in 07, and rrod's are not even a problem anymore. stop talking about that bull" A friend of mine bought a brand new one 2 weeks ago and he got the RRoD on the initial power up. so no it is not bull.

jdr589
jdr589

xe.com for all your currency rate needs...

Chris_Farmer
Chris_Farmer

"stop price cut and update the hardwire i will not spend the money on xbox will get RRoD any one with me" Go back to school. And to add more to Sagacious_Tien's post: Everything in Australia is expensive. I have no freaking idea why but it's expensive. While every country is b***** about recessions and price hikes the Aussies won't be bothered since they're already used to being ripped off.

-GhostMLD-
-GhostMLD-

europe drop in march, asia drop in april, aussie drop i n july. cmon, lets get a NA drop.....and make it COUNT!

Guts5
Guts5

"A$729" Holy cow that sounds expensive. I dunno what the exchange rate is, but yeesh. A$649.99 still sounds really hi. I think next year will be the year that changes things. 360 and PS3 should make some major gains on the wii. The 360 should take the lead back from the wii here in the US. The majority of the big hitters for the wii have come and gone, so this is a great chance for the big boys to make up ground and/or pass wii in certain areas.

taj7575
taj7575

megoxq8 stop price cut and update the hardwire i will not spend the money on xbox will get RRoD any one with me ----------------------------------------------------- they DID update the hardware in 07, and rrod's are not even a problem anymore. stop talking about that bull

taj7575
taj7575

the_real_VIP, the 360 sold 400k at aussie, second to wii.

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

Wow, only 400,000 sold to date? That's even less than the number sold in Japan to date.

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Not exactly the same Guitar-Dunnie. There are localisation issues, as Australia uses a superior TV signal that the U.S and Japan doesn't use. This same signal is also used throughout Europe, which is why localisation releases are usually put together with that region. But that also entails having multiple language options, as there are many different languages throughout Europe. American's don't have VAT put in their pricing, whereas Australians do. Then there are other options, POS, Courier and Customs charges for Australia, competition, and other reasons.

Guitar-Dunnie
Guitar-Dunnie

I think it's funny how the Xboxs in Australia are the same as in the United States, as far as language and etc. So why not make it the same price as the U.S.?

yabbal
yabbal

Thanks Microsoft! Now the Australian Arcade bundle is only US$34 more than the Pro model in the US!

megoxq8
megoxq8

stop price cut and update the hardwire i will not spend the money on xbox will get RRoD any one with me

KiNgAlBo23
KiNgAlBo23

they need to drop $100 of the price in the states, which will make the arcade at $179, pro at $249 and elite at $349. sony will be screwed because they really cant afford to drop the price any lower. they are already loosing a fortune per PS3 sold.