This week saw several retailers further stir up speculation that an Xbox 360 Elite price drop and PlayStation 3 slimline model are imminent. First up was the Xbox 360 Pro product page (pictured top) on the site of UK retailer Argos, which apologetically informed consumers that the SKU is no more. “We are very sorry but Microsoft have (sic) discontinued this line,” reads the page, which urges would-be buyers to purchase the Xbox 360 Elite as an alternative–the same scenario behind the model’s rumored repricing to $299. Also, attempting to buy the Pro from its Argos page leads to a 404 error.
Following a flurry of headlines on the “discontinued” Pro, Argos reportedly told British industry site MCV that the posting was an “administrative error.” For its part, Microsoft stuck to the company line. “We’ve made no such announcements and are working with our retail partners to ensure they have the right inventory of consoles to meet the needs of their customers,” a rep told GameSpot.
Meanwhile, the rival PlayStation 3 console appears to be getting a price drop elsewhere in Europe. Tech blog Engadget’s Spanish site noticed that GameStop Iberia announced that the PS3’s price was now officially €299 ($424.58) via Twitter, €100 ($142) less than the standard price. A caching site reveals that GameStop Iberia twittered no fewer than three different €299 price-drop announcements on August 9 and 10 (pictured center)–all of which are no longer on the retailer’s Twitter feed. Why the posts were pulled is unclear, but overenthusiastic tweets have preempted major announcements before, most recently Command & Conquer 4.
Meanwhile, French electronics retailer Fnac is already offering the 80GB PS3 Infamous bundle for just €299. However, that price appears to be only for the Portuguese store (Fnac.pt, pictured bottom), with the regular Fnac.com being sold out of the stand-alone 80GB PS3. The French site does offer two Gran Turismo 5 Prologue 80GB PS3 bundles–one with Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and the other with Grand Theft Auto IV–for the standard retail price of €399 ($566.58).
Sony reps had not yet responded to requests for comment on the apparently European PS3 price fluctuations as of press time.