Microsoft Slashes Xbox Prices

Tech vendor also plans to add Facebook and Twitter links to gaming platform.
Microsoft announced Thursday that it has cut the price of its Xbox 360 Elite console by $100 and is now selling the unit for $299. The tech company also lowered the price of the Xbox 360 Pro by $50, to $150.

"With the holiday season right around the corner, it's already time to start looking for entertainment and gifts that everyone will enjoy," said Shane Kim, corporate VP of strategy and business development for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, in a statement.

"If you're looking for deep experiences that don't require deep pockets, now is the time to purchase an Xbox 360," said Kim. "We've got the best games, a vast library of TV shows and movies, new music experiences, more ways to connect friends and family, and so much more on the horizon," said Kim.

Microsoft also said it intends to add built-in links to social networking sites Facebook and Twitter to the Xbox platform.

Additionally, the software maker is developing Project Natal for the Xbox. Project Natal is a hands-free controller that allows users to control on-screen action through hand gestures and other movements. No release date has been set.

Microsoft's Xbox franchise is under pressure from the economic downturn and intense competitive pressure from rivals Sony and Nintendo. The company's sales of Xbox and PC-gaming related revenue fell 12% in the most recent quarter, mostly due to declining console sales and price cuts.

Microsoft shipped 1.2 million Xbox 360 consoles in its fiscal fourth quarter, compared to 1.3 million units in the same period a year ago.