PlayStation 3 Price Drops to $249

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Effective immediately, Sony’s PlayStation 3 is $50 cheaper. The home game system now costs $249 for a 160 GB model, or $299 for a 320 GB model.

As far as price cuts go, the PS3′s is pretty straightforward. Sony is offering a limited edition 320 GB console with Infamous 2 for $299, but otherwise there’s no additional effort to pack in a PlayStation Move or to hook people into 3D gaming. (Sony will, however, offer a standalone Move and game bundle later this year, and plans to bundle a PS3, a game and small 3D TV with PlayStation branding this fall, as announced at E3in June.)

(MORE: PS Vita Bumped to 2012—Your Move, Nintendo)

All eyes will now be on Microsoft to cut the price of its Xbox 360, which currently costs $200 for a basic 4 GB console or $300 when bundled with either the Kinect motion sensing camera or a 250 GB hard drive. However, Microsoft is dominating the U.S. console market right now, and may not feel the pressure to make a price cut right away. It’s safe to guess, at least, that Microsoft will do something to sell more Kinect units as it prepares a major Kinect software pushfor the holidays.

Nintendo, you’ll recall, already cut the Wii’s price to $150 after retooling its pack-in software. But I wouldn’t rule out some bigger bundles or lower prices as the holiday season approaches — especially with the Wii U scheduled to launch in 2012.

Sony probably knows that the holidays will bring good deals from Nintendo and Microsoft, and is cutting the PS3′s price now to get a jump on sales. Last time the PS3 got a price cut in 2009, retailers added free games to their PS3 bundles during the holiday shopping season. If you’re in the market for a game console but can hold off for a few months, you’ll likely get more for your money.

This article originally appeared on Technologizer...

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