Not content to merely cut the price of the Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite package to $299.99 to match the MSRP of the recently redesigned and repriced Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft is now offering a $50 rebate to those in the United States who buy a console between now and October 5, 2009 and jump through the requisite rebate hoops by November 20, 2009. If you're interested in buying a Xbox 360 and haven't yet done so, then this seems to be the time to buy. Kombo has the details.
One can only wonder if this is perhaps the result of pressure from a combination of Sony's recent price cut and Nintendo's rumored price cut. In the case of the former, they're underselling the PlayStation 3, and in the case of the latter, they've matched pricing, unless a drop in the Wii's price does indeed take effect.
Anything that results in lower costs to the consumer is great, but in this case I can't help but see the desperation dripping from this offer. It's all about sales numbers this time around. PS3 sales have skyrocketed since Sony cut the price on its console, and yet while Microsoft has offered their own deal, I have a feeling that the company is afraid that sales numbers for this month will show an embarrassingly large gap between its console and the comparative competition. This rebate arriving at the tail-end of the month looks like an attempt to give the Xbox 360 sales numbers a quick kick for the sake of saving face.