When this console generation kicked off, Microsoft was first out of the gate.  Their head start certainly worked out well for them — the Xbox 360 has proven vastly more popular that the original Xbox.  Flash forward nearly five years, and we’re still looking at the same Xbox 360.  So, is the oldest console on the market due for a refresh?  Maybe.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has gone public with his expectation that, not only will a “slim” version of the Xbox 360 be released, but it will include both Natal, and a 250 GB hard drive.  Noting that he expects to see price cuts on both Xbox 360 and PS3 this Fall, Pachter anticipates a $299.99 price for the proposed 360 Slim/Natal bundle.

“At a minimum, we anticipate the introduction of a more feature-packed Xbox 360 as the standard SKU in late 2010 (likely with a 250Gb hard drive) at the same $299 price point, and think that Microsoft will cut price before the fall only if it begins to lose significant market share to Sony.”

“It is far more likely that we will see a slim version of the Xbox 360 with a 250 Gb hard drive and with Project Natal bundled into the box while maintaining the $299 price point, especially if Sony does not lower the price of the PS3 by the time Natal and Sony’s Move controllers launch in the fall.”

Sony, of course, has already moved to a slim version of their current console.  A size reduction for Nintendo’s Wii simply isn’t necessary.  It would seem to be Microsoft’s turn.

Not much time has passed since the leaked photos of a revised Xbox 360 motherboard surfaced.  Microsoft has repeatedly claimed that they see the launch of Natal as being akin to the launch of a new console.  They have also not been shy about discussing their expectations for Natal’s sales.  Given all that is known, Pachter’s predictions may still be merely conjecture. But they are believable conjecture.

So, what do you think?  Is the Xbox 360 Slim/Natal/250 GB hard drive bundle happening?  Can Microsoft hit that price?  And, most importatnt of all, is this something you non-360 owners would buy?

Source: VG247