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FACTBOX: Video game rivals Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony

(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp will cut the price of its high-end Xbox 360 video game console by $100, or 25 percent, on Friday, stepping up the price war in the video game console market.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Elite will be lowered to $299.99, just days after rival Sony Corp cut the price of its console, PlayStation 3. So far, Nintendo Co Ltd says it has no plans to cut the price of the Wii, despite growing pressure to do so.

Here is a breakdown of the current generation of video game consoles. Hard drives are typically used to save games in progress and also store downloaded content such as video, music and pictures.

Microsoft Xbox 360

* launched in U.S., November 2005

* about 30 million shipped

* each hardware model comes with the ability to watch video in high definition via HDMI output; access to Xbox LIVE online system; ability to play DVD disks

* current models (as of Sept 2009)

-- Xbox 360 Arcade, $199 (hard drive sold separately)

-- Xbox 360 Pro, with 60 gigabyte hard drive, $249

(discontinued)

-- Xbox 360 Elite, with 120 gigabyte hard drive, $299

Nintendo Wii

* launched in U.S., November 2006

* about 52 million shipped

* single model at $249

* less than 1 gigabyte internal memory

* does not play DVDs

* Wii controllers feature technology that senses a user’s

movements

Sony PlayStation 3

* launched in the U.S. and Japan, Nov 2006

* about 24 million units shipped

* each hardware model comes with: the ability to watch

video in high definition via HDMI output; a PlayStation

network membership; the ability to plays DVDs and Blu-ray

discs.

* current models (as of Sept 2009):

-- 120 gigabyte hard drive, $299 (new)

-- 80 gigabyte hard drive, $299 (was $399)

-- 160 gigabyte hard drive, $399 (was $499)

Reporting by Franklin Paul; editing by Andre Grenon

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