Sony isn't the only console manufacturer that's cutting prices this month. Word has it that newly priced Microsoft Xbox 360s are about to start appearing in stores in North America with the Xbox 360 Elite package now set at a PS3-matching $299. That'll get you a Xbox 360 console with 120 GB hard drive, 3 USB ports, a headset, and a HDMI port, but not a HDMI cable (instead you get old fashioned composite video cables — how quaint!). Kombo has the scant details, and if all of these console reconfigurations have you stumped, then Gossip Gamers has a handy feature comparison chart focusing on what's in and what's out in the new version of the PS3 and the three flavors of Xbox 360 (which, note, hasn't been updated with the new Xbox price list or HDMI cable-less Elite package).
Price cuts are good for everyone in end, as they tend to kickstart a fresh round of purchases. Larger install bases make for larger audiences, which in turn can be a tasty carrot for publishers on the fence about greenlighting the next big great game. Meanwhile, more people playing new consoles leads to a larger available pool of gamers for online multiplayer games. Even if you aren't planning to buy a new PS3 or Xbox 360 because you already have one (or both), you'll still benefit from the additional sales that these price cuts and console redesigns will generate. Everybody wins!