Assuming the Xbox 360 Core pack price stays the same at around $300 US, that gives Microsoft a $200 window to play with in order to make a next-gen optical capable 360 competitive in price with Sony's Blu-ray toting PlayStation 3. Of course by this November the Xbox's price structure could change drastically, as they have stated many times their intentions to drive down price and cost
. What GamesIndustry heard from a UK retail source, however, is that the 360 + HD DVD
(which may or may not come bundled together) will still weigh in lighter on the wallet than the PlayStation 3
by a significant margin -- however, that margin is pending British pounds, with the Xbox and HD DVD being £339 ($640 US), and the PS3 at £399 ($750 US). So what isn't immediately taken into account here is the effective price differential in currency conversion between nations; in the US that same PlayStation 3 will debut for $499, about $250 less than it will for our British counterparts, thus making the window for pricing the drive competitively much larger in overseas markets. If you ask us, we'll vote for a US price window of $200 to $250 (depending on the going rate for an Xbox at the time of launch), but any more than that and it'll be a hard sell being that it's really only a movie add-on to gaming platform.