Add another piece to the puzzle. We keep hearing about the rumored new Xbox 360 Slim based on the preliminary mock-ups of motherboards that have been making the rounds the last couple days. Then this morning brought more news in the form of external USB HDD support for the Xbox 360. There's more.
Xbox 360It looks like it's all leading up to an E3 announcement where Microsoft will finally be able to reach the magic price point for consoles. A source close to Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division mentioned that a price cut is likely to be announced this summer. With E3 being the biggest show this summer (June to be specific), then it only makes sense that all of our questions will get answered in one big announcement.
Based on the information we have so far, we're looking at a liquidation of the current model Xbox 360s for $149. This will open up retail space for the Slims which will likely debut at $199 and then quickly drop in price once the previous "fat" SKUs have been liquidated. Microsoft did this exact same thing when they jumped to HDMI in all consoles.
The most obvious thing is of course the USB HDD which would be required to make the jump to a Slimmer Xbox 360 as the current model HDD is the same height (or width depending on how your console sits) as the Xbox 360. Removing the HDD option altogether limits SKUs and cheaper parts means lower costs. Based on what we're hearing and the evidence so far, we're looking forward to the price cuts and slim announcement at E3.