Hold your fire, gamers: Xbox 360 and PS3 price cuts due this fall

Parents and gamers coming of age may be in for a break later this year, as it is rumored that both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 will have price cuts. Technology site Ars Technica claims that both Sony and Microsoft will drop their prices in order to better compete with the Nintendo Wii, later this year.

While there are always rumors about price drops in the video game market, Joystiq.com points out that the Mole at Ars Technica has a solid reputation in knowing what's going on in the industry.

On top of the Mole's past performance, history shows that it's time for another price drop, and a significant one at that. The Xbox 360 has already seen three price drops, which have given it an edge over the pricier PlayStation 3; but it hasn't yet reached the halfway price point that its predecessor, the Xbox, did by the fourth year of its release.

Given Microsoft's focus on digital downloads, I'd venture a guess that Microsoft will try to offer an Xbox 360 with hard drive for $199 -- half of what it cost when it launched in 2005. The Mole also predicts that Sony will be introducing a new, slimmer PlayStation 3, which will also cost less, although it's harder to estimate exactly how much less.