German gaming site AreaGames claims to have quite the scoop on the Xbox360. The premium bundle will see a €100 ($130) price drop while the core bundle will be discontinued, they claim. Also, a HDMI-compatible console including a 120GB hard drive, previously codenamed ´Zephyr´, will be launched in May.
In fact, the site claims that many retailers are already selling the premium pack for €299, the previous price point of the core bundle, as Xboxic translates.
First up, they investigated a bit on why German megastores MediaMarkt and Saturn are all of a sudden selling the Xbox 360 Premium pack at 299 euro. While wholesale price is still at around 350 euro, the included games can also be sold separately. Combined with gross purchase discounts awarded for stocking lots of Xbox 360 games besides the consoles, the total wholesale price easily drops below 300, resulting in many if not all retailers now being able to offer the Premium pack at 299 euro and still make a modest profit. Even if the new price doesn’t become official, who cares if all retailers use it?
This is wrong. An on-the-spot check with my local outlet revealed that this was a one-off sales campaign which ended Saturday. The German site´s assessment that Microsoft selling more bundles to retail and various other bonusses will make for a permanent price drop is not true. Retail prices of both versions are back to normal.
However, local sales reps hoped that Microsoft would now correct their recommended retail prices in the wake of the sales campaign. One thing is clear, though: a permanent price drop will only happen this way.
I have also placed a call to the holding company of those two retail chains and will update the story with their reply as soon as I get it.
Also, remember what Peter Moore told me at X06 when I asked him about a possible price drop. If you listen to his answer, you will find that most of his reasoning still holds. While the console´s components have undoubtedly have come down in price, Microsoft will be more than keen to actually make a bit of money with this whole Xbox venture, I am sure. Do not expect a price drop from Microsoft while Sony sticks to its original price.
Sources: AreaGames (German), Xboxic
Thanks to: MaxConsole, Xbox-Archiv (German)