After the price cut in Japan last week it was hardly a surprise to see Microsoft slash the cost of its Xbox 360 in the US to just under $200, taking it under the Wii's price-point for the first time.

According to a press release from the company, the Arcade 360 package will go on sale this Friday at $199 (£112), which is down by $80 (£45) from the current price.

First under the bar

That compares with Nintendo's soaraway Wii, which retails in the US at $250 (£140) and the cheapest $399 (£225) iteration of Sony's PS3.

The release quotes MS exec Don Mattrick as saying, "We are thrilled to be the first next-generation console on the market to reach $199, a price that invites everyone to enjoy Xbox 360".

Who's next?

As if to prove the point, it goes on to say, "History shows that more than 75 per cent of all console sales happen after the price falls below the $200 mark".

Do you think they're trying to say something?

Regardless of the Microsoft message on the battle for console territory, one thing we – and any other gleeful gamer – can add is that it's pretty clear the Xbox 360 won't be the only console under the $200 line for long – watch this space.