Fudzilla's behind the scenes contacts have revealed a unique strategy for the high profile Elite edition, where retail orders of the Elite would cease in the second quarter of 2009 in order to allow remaining inventory to deplete. Once on hand inventory is eliminated, Microsoft would then consider phasing in a new limited edition version of the Elite, with exclusive distribution at select retailers.
According to the source, the primary reason for the elimination of the Arcade, Pro, and Elite business strategy is the economy. The Elite edition currently demanding a significant premium in price over the other versions. The Xbox 360 Arcade is priced at $199.99, the Pro at $299.99, and the Elite at $399.99. The main difference between the Pro and the Elite edition is the color scheme of the console and controller, and a 120 GB hard drive.
As reported by Fudzilla, Xbox 360 Elite consoles sit on the shelves significantly longer than the Arcade and Pro editions. With the Xbox 360 receiving significant upgrades in heat management, die size, and DVD drives, older Elite consoles tend to offer less value over the other versions the longer they sit.
Official responses on the matter are expected within the coming weeks.