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Holiday Price Drops

September 28, 2009 - Dave Hecei
As I write this entry there are only 86 shopping days left in the holiday season. To go along with this are the usual new product releases, like the latest batch of iPods, and now we have the usual price reductions. While this years Black Friday, the kill-or-be-killed day after thanksgiving, has been rumored to have some of the lowest prices ever seen, some of the first price reductions seen have been on the latest gaming systems.

Back at the end of August, the Xbox 360 had its price slashed. Microsoft dropped the price of the Xbox 360 Arcade, the one without a hard drive, to $199 and the $299 Pro was replaced by the Elite, which used to be $399. Microsoft seems to have ESP when it comes to gaming systems since they beat everyone to the punch, this time with a price drop and last time by releasing the 360 a year before Sony got out the PS3.

Next came Sony and the newly redesigned PS3. While Sony was late getting out the original PS3, they have narrowed the gap in sales. This is probably due more to the fact that Sony has a little bit better reputation for quality, but mostly because the PS3 is also a great Blu-Ray DVD player as well as a great gaming consol. The new PS3 Slim was introduced on September 1st with a price of $299.

Late to the price war is Nintendo with their best-selling Wii. The Wii gaming system was the surprise of the industry by outselling the Xbox 360 and the PS 3 during the last two holiday seasons. Originally priced at $250, the Wii has dropped to $199 this week. Nintendo has finally caught up on production of the Wii, which up until recently has been difficult to find in stock at many retail outlets.

It’s hard to tell if this is just the typical price reduction due to lower component costs or if this is due to dead sales from the current economic climate. I am of the opinion that costs have come down allowing the systems to be priced lower.

Unfortunately, reports have been coming in on software sales for gaming systems. Sales are at an all-time low over the summer. This could just be seasonal, but I’m sure the system makers are hoping these price reduction will increase sales and thus increase software sales, the real moneymaker.


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