Microsoft Europe bigwig Chris Lewis has shrugged off suggestions that this morning's Xbox 360 Elite price-drop was done deliberately to undermine the imminent launch of PS3 Slim.
"As we've said before, we have our own rhythm that we march to and that's not going to change," Chris Lewis, VP of MS Europe, told GamesIndustry.biz.
"The timing was very deliberate: these things take considerable time to plan, and for that reason I'm sure you'll appreciate this is very much part of the strategy that was planned some time ago.
"We think it's very appropriate anyway," he added. "We've always said we'd offer great value and be competitive, we're still €50 or better in price than our nearest competition, and we'll focus on creating great value as well as fabulous services and content for consumers."
Lewis said a move like this will be "part and parcel of the plan" for Xbox 360 over its lifetime, however long that may be. "Our appetite to continue to win, and to hold our lead and grow our lead over the competition is very central to what we have planned in and budgeted in for the year," he explained.
As of tomorrow, the Xbox 360 Elite costs Ł199.99, while the Xbox 360 Arcade rises to Ł159.99. This, as Lewis reiterated, is to offset exchange rate "fluctuations" in the UK.
He is confident Microsoft still offers "the most affordable console on the market", though, and expects people to continue "flocking" to shops to buy it.
Incidentally, the removal of the HDMI lead from the Xbox 360 Elite box gives "flexibility" to buyers to decide what sort of set-up configuration they want, said Lewis. Shortly before, he rather more credibly suggested the lead was taken out so the price could be lowered.
Head over to GamesIndustry.biz for the full chat with Microsoft's Chris Lewis.