European Xbox 360 Price Cut Confirmed, Detailed; Arcade Unit Now Cheaper Than Wii

Confirming recent rumors of a price drop, Microsoft has announced that it will be lowering the price of all European Xbox 360 hardware by 80 euros/£40-50.

Effective this Friday, March 14, the cut drops the estimated retail price of the hard disc drive-lacking Arcade unit to 199.99 euros/£159.99, with the 20GB HDD-equipped Xbox 360 priced at 269.99 euros/£199.99. The Elite Xbox 360, which includes a 120GB HDD, will sell at 369.99 euros/£259.99.

Under the new prices, the Arcade unit is cheaper than a Nintendo Wii, which carries an ERP of 249.99 euros/£179.99.

Though the slash brings the prices of European Xbox 360 hardware much closer to those of the United States, the difference between the two, in the words of Shacknews editor Maarten Goldstein, "is still grossly unfair with the current euro/USD rate."

Going by today's euro/USD exchange rate, the new price of the Arcade unit, which has an MSRP of $279.99 in the United States, translates to $307.11. Compared to US MSRP of $349.99, the price of a European Premium unit will be $414.58, with the $449.99 Elite going for $568.14 in Euroland.