Now Brazilians can buy 360s, even if they don't have a top hat, a monocle, or a swimming pool full of money.
Countries outside of Japan and North America are no strangers to shelling out a king's ransom for games and consoles. That problem isn't going to change overnight, but Microsoft will be making life a little easier for Brazilian gamers in October. Microsoft, in conjunction with Flextronics Inc., plans to open a manufacturing plant in Manaus, Brazil that will drive Xbox prices down by about 40%. Microsoft Gold memberships, Microsoft Points, and many Microsoft-published games will see reductions as well.
In preparation for the new systems, 360s on Brazilian shelves right now will receive a slight discount and include copies of Forza Motorsport 3 and Alan Wake. New systems will hit stores starting on October 5, and come with asking prices of R$799 ($435 USD) for a basic model and R$1399 ($761 USD) for a system with a 250-gig hard drive and a Kinect peripheral. Compared to what these systems cost in the U.S., the new prices are still quite expensive, but should prove much more affordable than importing systems. Gold memberships, Microsoft points, and games will see reductions somewhere in the neighborhood of R$10-30, depending on the exact product.
While this price drop is good news for Brazilians who are looking to buy or upgrade their 360s, Microsoft might not be motivated entirely by consumer welfare. Over the summer, Sony made big strides in the Latin American market, including offering exclusive bundles and opening a Brazilian PSN Store. Making 360s more readily available in Brazil might just be part of the competition, but hey, when companies compete, everyone wins.