Alright, I am going to try to keep this simple and not go into all of the details that you will most likely find boring. By now I am sure that everybody knows that the Xbox 360 Arcade is going to be dropping to $200 with the Premium at $300 and nobody cares about the Elite.
What this does is finally push an entry level Xbox 360 down to a price that is cheaper that a Wii. You might argue that you shouldn’t get the Arcade because of the lack of hard drive but I will disagree with you. Let me break it down for everybody. Assuming that the actual Arcade SKU remains the same (there are rumors of motion control and all that) you will get all of these things:
1. Xbox 360
2. 256MB Memory Card
3. Wireless Controller
4. 5 Free XBLA games ($50 value right there)
What these four things enable you to do is play every single Xbox 360 game on the market and be able to save. You will also be able to purchase Xbox Live Gold and play online. What you will not be able to do is download game demos or any of the other DLC for that matter.
Consider this as well. If you bought the Arcade SKU you can pick up a used 20 GB hard drive at your local GameStop for $60 and you will have all the functionality of the Premium SKU for about $40 less and you will have 5 games on top of that. Sure you won’t have the 60GB storage that the Premium’s are coming with now but who cares, it is really easy to delete game demos that you are never going to play again. So if any of you don’t have an Xbox 360 yet and are looking to buy one, I would suggest going with the Arcade and picking up the used hard drive to go with it.
On top of all that, the Arcade SKU will be cheaper than the Wii, as mentioned previously. This is a big deal. Nintendo claims that they are in their own market and aren’t competing with Xbox 360 or PS3 but we all know that isn’t true. Nintendo has been able to make mad profits selling the Wii at $250 for almost two years now. Where MS and Sony take losses on hardware and make up for it in software sales, Nintendo is making profit on both ends.
What Microsoft has done will now put pressure on Nintendo to drop the price of the Wii, especially if the rumors about the motion controller for the 360 are true. The holiday season is coming up and Microsoft knows how to advertise. Microsoft also has the whole new dashboard update coming with those avatars and you know they are going to push those like crazy.
If Microsoft can pit their Arcade SKU against the Wii properly they are going to have a great holiday season. I just wonder how long it is going to take Nintendo to drop the price of the Wii down to $200 to match the 360. All I know is that the next 4 months are going to be very interesting.