Rumor: Xbox Elite being phased out, assuming 'limited edition' retail role

According to Fudzilla, Microsoft will be ending the mass availability of the Xbox 360 Elite in many parts of the world and plans on positioning it as a more "limited edition" console, as was originally intended.

Supposedly, retailers are less supportive of the higher-priced Elite consoles during these craptacular economic times, because their consumer demand is lower than the Arcade and Pro. As a result, Microsoft may be limiting the console's sales to select retailers in North America and Europe and stop taking Elite orders in other territories sometime during Q2.

The rumored Elite phase-out would allow it to be marketed as a "limited edition" offering, giving MS the option to sell specially themed (and possibly higher priced) Elite bundles when triple-A titles need promotion. (Think the Resident Evil 5 Elite bundle.) Fudzilla also mentions that Microsoft wants to expand the 360's storage capabilities by releasing a standalone drive that's larger than the Elite's current 120GB model.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.