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.

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