Microsoft has once again snubbed Australians by cutting the price of the Xbox in the US by 13% but not down under. They are also asking Australians who are having problems with the Xbox 360 consoles “Red Ring of Death” problem to call a US support number at their own expense to find a solution to their problem.
The Premium model console will go on sale for $350 (A$410) down from the earlier price of US$400. In Australia the Xbox Premium Console sells for between $640 and $700 more than $200 over the US price.
This year retailers have claimed that over 30% of Xbox 360 consoles have failed, resulting in the Company allocating $1.3 billion to extend the warranty on the Xbox 360 console. However Microsoft has failed to explain to the media in Australia why the console failed or what consumers should do . Microsoft who normally suffer from verbal diarhoea telling the media how good their gaming console and games are , have not only failed to issue any media statements on the failure but are directing Australian to a US and Canadian service number which fails when one tries to call the toll free number.
SmartHouse discovered the issue when we visited the Microsoft Australia web site and visited the Xbox 360 support section. Under the problem question Xbox 360: Three red lights flash on the Ring of Light visitors are prompted after reading information on the issue to contact Xbox Customer Support visiting this web site:
And if you have had no luck fixing the problem you can go to:
Here you will find the following instructions.
Assistance by phone seven days a week. 1-800-4MY-XBOX, International (direct dial to U.S.): 425-635-7180 Hearing Impaired (TDD device): 1-866-740-9269 or 425-635-7102
Hours of operation (every day): 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M. Eastern Time 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. Pacific Time
The only problem is that for Australians to get access to this service they have to make a long distance call to the US.
Microsoft says that if these steps do not resolve the behaviour contact Xbox Customer Support. A Customer Support agent will be able to provide additional assistance or determine whether the console requires a repair.
The move to cut prices comes after rival Sony made its PlayStation 3 (PS3) 17% cheaper in the US, with a price tag of $500. Microsoft is also making its Xbox 360 Core, which has no hard drive, and its 120-gigabyte Elite model, cheaper in a bid to target a wider audience.
Traditionally Microsoft has aimed its games consoles at young men, but with Nintendo gaining success by targeting older players and women, the US firm has started to expand its audience.
“As we look to the holidays we want to bring in more gamers and lower the price for those customers,” said Aaron Greenberg, head of Xbox 360’s group product manager.
The basic Microsoft console with no hard drive or wireless controllers will be $20 cheaper, costing $279, and the Xbox 360 Elite, a model with high-definition video, will be cut by $50 to cost $449.
The move marks the first price cut for the Xbox 360 since it launched in November 2005.
As consoles become more complicated, and more expensive to make, firms producing them are loathe to reduce prices.
But analysts say the price cut is unlikely to make a big difference.
“It’s not the price that sells the consoles, it’s the games that sells the consoles,” said Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner. He added: “From that perspective, Microsoft is in pretty good shape.”