Photos have surfaced online of new packaging for the Xbox 360 Arcade that seem to suggest that Microsoft will be going from three Xbox 360 variants to just two - the Arcade and the Elite.
Some enterprising Gamestop employees sent pictures to Kotaku earlier this week, and the results are... well, let's just say that they're interesting. In the image we see two boxes, both packaging for the Xbox 360 Arcade, and both listing the features included in the various models of 360s.
The old one (on the left) includes the lightweight Arcade and heavyweight Elite as well as the middle-ground of the Xbox 360 Pro, while the new packaging (on the right) lists only the Elite and Arcade - the Pro is nowhere to be seen. Assuming this is correct, this would mean that Microsoft plans on phasing out the Pro entirely, going with only two models.
It seems odd at first - the Pro was, for many, the "standard" 360. Why get rid of the nice middle ground between the cheap and quick Arcade and the more expensive Elite? The immediately obvious answer is that Microsoft plans on lowering the price of the 360 Elite, possibly to counteract a hypothetical price cut from Sony for the PS3 - say, one accompanying a Slim PS3, even.
It's worth noting that, if true, both the price cut and phasing out of the Pro were predicted by Ars Technica's "Mole" at the end of June.