In a climate where price cut pressure is increasing on nearly all hardware manufacturers, Microsoft is actually raising the price of its Xbox 360 Arcade bundle from £129.99 ($212) to £159.99 ($261) in the UK, according to media reports.
UK outlet Eurogamer says that the five Xbox Live Arcade games included in the bundle will also be dropped
from the package, an assertion corroborated by two retailers in the site's report.
The current conversion rate of Pounds Sterling to Euros is likely a factor in the price increase, and could impact accessory prices, too. But the price boost also comes alongside strong and widespread consumer press rumors that Microsoft will soon discontinue its middle-line SKU, the Xbox 360 Premium.
Some analysts also expect Microsoft to cut the price of its high-end Elite SKU in North America to $300, and consumer outlets including the Kotaku weblog have spotted catalogs already advertising the Elite at $299
as of August 30, supporting the likelihood of an announcement from Microsoft during GamesCom this week.
Although Microsoft has been tight-lipped as expected on hardware price strategy, a reduction for the Elite SKU could also lend credence to speculation that the Pro will soon be phased out.