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Microsoft has confirmed that it has shaved a couple of gigabytes off the hard drive built into its Xbox games console. The machine, due to go on sale next month will ship with an 8Gb hard drive, rather than 10Gb. Web site ActiveWin reported yesterday that it had received various reports of the specification change, and subsequently learned from Microsoft that the modification was official. The software giant wouldn't say why the decision had been made, but cost has to be the chief consideration. Microsoft is believed to be subsidising the console's retail price by a fair margin - as all console suppliers do, to a greater or lesser extent - and with a $500 million marketing budget to fund too, we can well see why the company might try and make a few savings here and there.