If you thought the £199, 60GB Xbox 360 that launched here in the UK on the 15th was good value, then think again. Clearly refusing to concede defeat in Japan, Microsoft has gone ahead and slashed the price of its Arcade model to ¥19,800 (£101.80 as I write this).
Takashi Sensui, Japanese Xbox division head, commented on the reduction saying that "we have set the prices with hopes more people will be able to enjoy Xbox 360". It's not much of a stretch to interpret that as an admission on Microsoft's part that not enough Japanese people are currently enjoying the Xbox 360. Hardly surprising in a country traditionally full of die-hard Nintendo and PlayStation fans. As this cheap-as-chips Xbox 360 now sits below the price of the Wii, though, it will be interesting to see how sales are affected over the coming weeks and months.
In addition to the low, low £100-odd Arcade system, Japan will also be getting a 60GB model introduced at ¥29,800 (~£153) and seeing a reduction in the Elite SKU's price to ¥39,800 (~£203). Considering the mark-up we have in the UK, the Japanese really have no excuse for complaining about the Xbox 360's price, now. You can get one cheaper than a Wii, for goodness sake!
Give it a couple of months and Microsoft will be hiding Xbox 360s in boxes of cereal!