PS3 and Xbox 360 price cuts rumored

Sony and Microsoft may soon continue their price wars with the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, possibly as early as June.

Industry publication MCV quotes a “senior publishing source” who says price cuts could come during June’s E3 expo in Los Angeles, and certainly no later than Christmas. The source said its company’s own financial projections for the year are based on reduced prices for these consoles.

Nintendo could also drop the price on the Wii, the source said.

PS3 and Xbox 360 price cuts rumored

I take the information with a grain of salt. Price cut rumors are par for the course before E3, and last year’s chatter didn’t pan out during the trade show, through Sony and Nintendo did release cheaper-consoles by year-end.  Also, publishers love the idea of cheaper consoles, because it translates to a bigger customer base for game sales, so this could be wishful thinking or a subtle form of pressure through media hype. When contacted by MCV, Sony “laughed away” the claims and Nintendo also dismissed them.

That said, late-year price cuts seem logical especially for Microsoft and Sony, as they release new motion controllers for their consoles. With Nintendo launching a new bundle that includes two games and the accuracy-boosting MotionPlus peripheral, the competition will get burned if they’re not competitive on price, no matter how good their technology is.

Microsoft, especially, is in the best position for a price cut. Unlike Sony, which has marketed its Move motion controller as a toy for hardcore gamers, the Xbox 360’s “Project Natal” motion-sensing camera seems geared towards families and casual play. That makes a competitive price with the Wii all the more crucial. And besides, Microsoft’s the only console maker that didn’t drop prices last year, so it’s got to have some wiggle room in manufacturing costs.

Either way, I expect to hear Sony and Microsoft finally come clean on the pricing of their motion controllers at E3. They’ve been cagey on that detail for long enough.