In what is surely a case of pure coincidence, Microsoft has announced that on Friday, August 28, they will be dropping the price of their top-model console, and discontinuing a lower-spec model.
The 120GB XBOX 360 Elite (seen here in its fancy new packaging) will soon be available for $299, matching the 120GB PS3 slim exactly. The 60GB Pro version, which held that price point before, will be discontinued after current stock sells out at its new $249 price. The hard drive-less Arcade will remain at $199 (yes it’s true, an XBOX 360 costs less than a Wii).
Not only are Microsoft matching Sony on price, they are matching them in cheapness as well. No longer will the Elite be bundled with an HDMI cable – it will only include standard-def cables in the box. Contrary to popular myth however, you do not need to spend $30 or $50 or even $10 on a fancy HDMI cable. A $2.50 cable from Monoprice will be more than adequate (remember digital means 1’s and 0’s – there is no such thing as difference in quality as long as the data is being passed through).
Also, Wi-Fi is still missing in action. In the XBOX 360 vs Playstation 3 wars, this is always a major blow to the 360. The XBOX 360 Wi-Fi adapter still costs about $100, which is beyond ridiculous when other non-proprietary products go for $20 at most. Microsoft had the chance to resolve that major issue here and fight for the lead, but they blew it. Again.
Still, we can’t complain too much, when the war brings us better deals. No longer is the Elite to be considered the Retarded sibling in the XBOX 360 family. It is now the one to get, for anything more than very basic game playing.