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Latest PS3 and Xbox 360 price cut rumors

Thanks to another "mole" story by Ars Technica, we're hearing more rumblings of price cuts for the PS3 and Xbox 360 this holiday season. It all sounds pretty logical--but it's still just a rumor.

Rumor has it the Xbox 360 Elite will take the place of the Pro.

Ars Technica's "favorite inside source" is at it again, telling the Web site that Sony is clearing inventory on the $399 80GB PS3 in advance of "dropping the price of hardware and launching the PS3 Slim rumor in the fall."

At the same time, Ars' mole claims the 60GB Xbox 360 Pro ($299) will be replaced by the Xbox 360 Elite ($399), which has a higher-capacity 120GB hard drive. In other words, Microsoft will offer up more hard drive capacity at the $299 price point, which seems to dovetail nicely with its plans to deliver a full assortment of retail game downloads that require more disc space than Xbox 360 Arcade titles.

According to the mole, which Ars claims has "an outstanding track record," we should also expect Microsoft to serve up some enticing system/game bundles for the holidays, similar to what we've already seen with the Halo 3/Fable 2 bundle.

In terms of rumors, this one sounds pretty straightforward and logical, and could really come from anybody who has some basic insight into the gaming industry. But hey, other blogs are posting this item, so we feel obligated to let you in on what's floating around out there.

Probably the most important thing to note is that the PS3 Slim rumor is alive and well and we expect it to continue to gain steam as we approach the end of the summer. In the light of Sony's inability to keep the PSP Go a secret, if the PS3 Slim is indeed for real, we somehow doubt Sony will be able to keep it completely under wraps.

It's also clear (if you believe this rumor) that Microsoft intends to keep the pressure on Sony, making sure the PS3 remains in third place behind the Wii and Xbox 360. The other day I spoke with Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, and he gave me the impression that Microsoft fully expects Sony to drop its price to $299 this year. "Otherwise, it's going to be very difficult for them to compete," Greenberg said. "They have to."

As always, feel free to comment.

(Source: Ars Technica)