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MS slashes Xbox prices in Europe

Fears grow over kebab marketing campaign

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Microsoft is to slash the cost of its Xbox games console in Europe, the company announced today.

From April 26 it's expected that the games console will retail at E299 - around £199 in the UK.

In a statement Sandy Duncan, VP, Xbox Europe said: "We are making a clear statement today - we mean business in Europe. We want to make sure that price is not the obstacle to the Xbox experience."

The very mention of "price" and "obstacle" suggests that Microsoft has finally buckled to competitive pressure and done what many people have called for from the start.

Several reports suggested that despite an initial spike in sales many punters were simply turned off Xbox because of its price.

So, while this is welcome news for consumers who intend to buy the console after April 26, what of those who spent £300 acquiring their Xbox?

Well, in a gesture of goodwill and in a bid to say a "big thank you", these lucky people have until July 1 to apply for a special "reward" pack containing two free games and a controller.

Details of this can be found on the Xbox's country Web sites.

Of course, the most worrying thing for Microsoft is the realisation that its kebab wrapper marketing push may well have back-fired.

Indeed, when El Reg researchers checked yesterday there was still a massive pile of Xbox-branded wrappers in the kebab shop.

Either it's well stocked in these wrappers, or kebab sales have been slow. And if it's the latter, then we have to ask ourselves why kebab sales have been hit. ®

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