October 9, 2007 - 8:36 am - Posted by iDunzo
With an eye on the upcoming holiday shopping season, Microsoft on Monday said it would bundle two video games with the Xbox 360 video game console.
Microsoft in August lowered the price of the consoles by $50 in an effort to keep pace with similar moves by rival Sony, which sells the PlayStation 3. The 20 GB Xbox 360 now sells for $350. The 120 GB Elite system retails for $450.
The U.S. price cuts followed Sony’s decision in July to lower the 60 GB version of the PlayStation 3 to $499 from $599.
While hardware pricing is important, games are the driving force behind consumers’ choice of video game console.
Among the most popular games on the Xbox is Microsoft’s sci-fi game Halo 3, which posted sales of more than $300 million in its first week on the market.
Released September 25, first day sales of Halo reached $170 million, and retailers took more than 1.7 million pre-orders — both industry records.
Nintendo in June sold 381,800 Wii consoles, compared with Sony’s 98,500 PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s 198,400 Xbox 360 machines.
The holiday shopping season, which officially begins the Friday after Thanksgiving and runs to Christmas, is the biggest retail season of the year, and a time when Microsoft and its rivals make major marketing pushes for their consoles.