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MS lops Xbox prices (in North America)

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Microsoft cut the price of Xbox in North America to $199 this morning, confirming the suspicions of industry observers and analysts. The price cut puts the console at a rough £137 / €219.

Further to the hardware price drop, several of the console's software titles have been moved to a lower price bracket of $29.99, and memory cards will now run to $29.99 each.

With Controller S now on the US market, the Xbox is a very attractive proposition.

American gamers have never had it so good, and with the consoles now on a level playing field, the future for all three is very bright. Microsoft typically does not release sales figures by territory, as it told us after the Japanese and European launches, but in the case of the US where the console is now outstripping sales of the Cube, we expect that it will make an exception.

Microsoft has so far addressed two of the console’s major criticisms; controller size and price, and we understand that the company may be designing a smaller revision of the console (rather like a PlayStation-to-PSone transition), to address the third, size.

Obviously the software is not in doubt, and at $199 a lot of the console's games may start to sell it to an even greater extent.

Rumours yesterday indicated that Microsoft was replacing a few components in the console, and that another manufacturer had won the contract to supply DVD drives. This is thought to be a cost-cutting measure, but it is also expected to help the company curb piracy by changing the way vaunted mod chips will need to work.

All in all, the only thing standing between Xbox and real success now is the public's perception of the console and the company which makes it.

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