Pachter: Rumored Xbox 360 Price, Feature Set Sprucing Could Squeeze Sony

Evidence suggests that the mid-level Xbox 360 might soon see a price drop to $299, and we've seen rumors suggesting that the imminent cut would make way for a new, 60GB Xbox 360.

With price cuts possibly on the horizon that could bring console prices closer to the Wii's territory, should Nintendo worry? "The Wii audience is not choosing between 360 and Wii," said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. "Either they will buy a Wii only, or they will buy both a Wii and either a 360 or PS3. So Microsoft is right to consider the PS3 as the competition and to ignore the Wii."

Sony is the one, says Pachter, with more to be concerned about regarding possible pricing and feature set changes for the Xbox 360:

"Consumers see two boxes with very similar game experiences, and have to decide if a 360 with a 20Gb HDD, no Internet adapter, a very well-thought out Live experience and an extraordinary game library is a better deal at $349 (or $299) than a PS3 with built-in Internet adapter, a 40Gb HDD, a Blu-ray disc drive, a weak online experience and a relatively thin library of games for $399," said Pachter.

Both Sony and Microsoft unsurprisingly declined to comment on rumors or on their future price strategy.

Said Pachter, "So far, Americans consider the value proposition a toss-up, while Europeans value the PS3 more. Lower pricing and/or enhanced features for the 360 could change that."