Microsoft Xbox 360 to get 60 GB

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Microsoft Xbox 360 to get 60 GB

REDMOND: Microsoft Corp, the world’s largest software maker, will triple the storage capacity of its Xbox 360 video-game console to compete with market leaders Nintendo Co and Sony Corp.

The Xbox 360, with a suggested retail price of $349, will have 60 gigabytes of storage starting in early August at stores in the US and Canada, the company said today in a statement. Microsoft will drop the price of its 20-gigabyte machines to $299 “while supplies last,” it said. Microsoft announced the changes in advance of tomorrow’s opening of the E3 Business & Media Summit in Los Angeles.

Xbox sales in the US lagged behind Nintendo’s top-selling Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 in the first five months of 2008, according to NPD Group Inc, a Port Washington, New York-based market researcher. In the battle for second place, PS3 has been helped by new games and a Blu-ray DVD player that can be used to watch movies as well as play games.

A PlayStation 3 with a 40-gigabyte hard drive has a suggested retail price of $399.99. Tokyo-based Sony also sells a $499 version with an 80-gigabyte drive, a copy of the “Metal Gear Solid 4” game and a special controller. The Wii’s suggested price remains $249.99 on a stand-alone basis.

Sony Chairman Howard Stringer said on July 11 his company doesn’t plan to cut the price of the PlayStation 3.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, fell 20 cents to $25.25 on July 11 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have declined 29 percent this year. Sony’s American depositary receipts fell 71 cents to $40.46X and have fallen 25 percent.

Sony sold 1.2 million PS3 consoles and Microsoft sold 1.12 million Xbox 360s in the U.S. from January through May, according to NPD Group. Nintendo sold 2.8 million Wii players.


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