Well as E3 approaches, it looks Microsoft just can't keep a lid on their announcements. The lowered price on the 20GB unit has been rumored for a while now, and the idea has even been bandied about that its purpose was to clear the shelves to make room for a 60GB unit. While this of course is still waiting on some sort of official word (likely coming around or at MS's E3 press conference), a leaked email supposedly sent out to GameStop and Blockbuster company buyers seems to confirm both the new 60GB SKU as well as a "Live Starter Pack" for Arcade owners, which consists of a 60GB HDD, 3 Months of Live, a Headset, and an ethernet cable, all for $99.99.

Additionally, the email states the 20GB HDD is being phased out altogether and that the 120GB stand alone drive will receive a price cut to $149.99 (HA!). Word is that the 60GB Pro Unit will hit before the month is out and the Live Starter Pack will hit late October or early November. Whether or not the new 60GB SKU will be subject to the new price drop is unknown, but doubtful. Likely the 20GBs at $299.99 are a fire sale, and the 60GBs will still be $349.99.

The full text of the email can be found after the break.

With the introduction of the 60GB Pro console in July, we have research that suggests it is very important to have a 60GB stand alone Hard Drive to go along with it to allow the consumer a full range of choices and values. In late October/early November (exact date TBD but most likely last week in October or 1st week in November), we will ship the Xbox 360 60GB Hard Drive, tentatively called the "Xbox 360 60GB LIVE Starter Pack". This will be an excellent value price at and ERP of $99.99 with an 18% retail margin that contains:
  • 60GB Hard Drive
  • 3 Months of Xbox Live
  • Xbox 360 Wired Headset
  • Xbox 360 Ethernet Cable (same one that is included with Pro and Elite)
Positioning: For Xbox 360 Arcade and Core console owners, the Xbox 360 60GB Live Starter Pack offers all of the components to get onto Xbox LIVE and jump in to on line multiplayer gaming and Marketplace content downloads at an incredible value.

With the end of life of the 20GB Hard Drive and the price drop of the 120GB Hard Drive to $149.99 in September, this new 60GB hard drive will fit very well into our "Choice and Value" pillar and will fit nicely into our accessory line up. Exact SKU/UPC/Set up info will come soon and once we nail down the exact MSD, I will let you all know immediately.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.