Confirming reports late last night, Microsoft has announced that the European price of the Xbox will be reduced to €299 / £199 effective from 26th April. "We are making a clear statement today," said Sandy Duncan, "we mean business in Europe." "The phenomenally positive response to Xbox through reviews, awards and game sales has demonstrated that consumers love Xbox. We want to make sure that price is not the obstacle to the Xbox experience." Microsoft has also announced that the Australian Xbox is to be reduced in price to AUS$399 (€241 / £150). Australia is now one of the cheapest places in the world that we know of to buy Microsoft's console, rivalling even Japan. The rest of the Microsoft press release is full of back-patting about software sales and attach rates, with the company pointing out that the 2.8 attach rate (confirmed by ELSPA ChartTrack) is one of the highest in UK gaming history. Of course, this does not mean Xbox software outsold PlayStation 2 software. As Handelsblatt reported last night, PS2 has been outselling Xbox since a week its 14th March launch. And those of you looking for a bit of consistency, please make note of the comments from Electronic Arts veepee David Gardner. "Xbox enjoyed a great launch in Europe - fantastic product and fantastic games," he pointed out. "It's great they're making a move that will enable more customers to enjoy Xbox," he said, before adding that 2002 FIFA World Cup and Xbox-exclusive Buffy the Vampire Slayer may now reach an even greater audience in Europe. Retail reaction so far seems quite positive, with The GAME Group plc. Commercial Director Lisa Morgan describing the price cut and free games for early adopters initiative as "a great move for Xbox." Xbox sales were never all that bad in the UK, of course, even if they failed to compete with PlayStation 2. "We will benefit from increased hardware sales, which in turn results in increased peripheral and game sales," she pointed out. "We're glad Microsoft has made an aggressive move to remove the price barrier." Related Feature - EA kicks Xbox's teeth in
Source - press release
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