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Microsoft plans to add a $479 Xbox 360 Elite to its lineup of less pricey game machines, and Sony is dropping prices, too. NEWSWEEK debates the console wars with San Jose Mercury News technology columnist Dean Takahashi.

CROAL: Microsoft is trying to milk the hard-core user and undercut Sony's Playstation 3. But the $479 Xbox 360 Elite only plays regular DVD movies. For $20 more, you can get an entry-level PS3 that also plays Blu-Ray movies. The Elite is just not a better value.
TAKAHASHI: Consider this: Internet protocol TV may be coming to the Xbox 360 this year. One great feature of IPTV is the digital video recorder. You can use it to find shows and record your favorite shows. That's where the 120-gigabyte hard drive comes in handy. Now consider the options. Microsoft could team up with a telecom on an IPTV service, offering the Xbox 360 Elite to consumers for about $279 in exchange for a two-year subscription. Think how much pressure that would put on Sony.

Check out the full debate at extra.NEWSWEEK.com.