For a moment there, it looked like the beginning of a price war between Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 and the Sony (SNE) PS3.
Last week, Dell (DELL) started offering the $400 PS3 for the unheard-of price of $340. And yesterday, PC World noticed a sale at Amazon (AMZN) offering a subscription to Xbox Live (normally a $50/yr add-on) for $30.
It appears both deals were one-offs that have been rolled back. We checked in this morning: Dell is once again charging the full $400 for a PS3, and Amazon has raised the price on Xbox Live access to $42.79, at best a slight discount from $49.99.
We don’t know if these discounts were initiatives by e-commerce outlets trying to drum up post-holiday sales, or if Microsoft and/or Sony were working with e-tailers to suss out new potential new price points. (We called both Sony and Dell last week about the PS3-for-$340, neither responded.)
Price cuts may yet come. Particularly for Sony, whose premium-priced PS3 performed poorly over the holidays, it’s hard to see what else but price cuts could help the system get new traction.