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Microsoft Price Cuts May Indicate Xbox One Will Come BEFORE E3

Two major UK retailers, Shopto and BestBuy have slashed the price of the Xbox 360 (250GB) gaming console to under £160, almost a 25 per cent discount off the recommended retail price and a step that leaves us to believe that the next generation Microsoft gaming console, commonly called the Xbox 720, may be out well before E3 2012 in June next year.

Shopto's price (opens in new tab) at only £154.85 (including shipping) is the lowest ever for the console and is a mere £10 more than the 4GB model which appears to be on the brink of becoming obsolete.

We reported yesterday that Microsoft may be previewing its next generation console at E3, next June, after video game company Crytek said that they were developing their next hit console game, TimeSplitters 4, using Microsoft's DX11 environment which is not available for Xbox 360.

However, the deep discounts applied to the consoles by the retailers appear to be permanent rather than temporary discounts aimed at boosting sales. This means that Microsoft, like Nintendo with the Wii and the Wii U, may be looking to clear out stock.

And the only reason they'd clear stocks is because they've got something else coming up; this also comes a few weeks after Microsoft announced that it will be giving a free Xbox 360 gaming console to all students who buy a Windows 7 PC or laptop costing over $699.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.