Microsoft Xbox 360 game consoles are in for a price cut of $50 to $80 beginning Friday.

Microsoft will cut the price of the Xbox 360 by $50 to $80 on Friday in a bid to woo more mainstream audiences to its games and entertainment system during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

The company announced the price cuts this afternoon, noting that its lowest-price Xbox 360 Arcade model, which will sell for $199.99 on Friday, will be the cheapest current-generation system, undercutting the market-leading Nintendo Wii.

The three Xbox models and their new U.S. prices are as follows:

• Xbox 360 Arcade, $199.99, was $279.99.

• Xbox 360 with 60 gigabyte hard drive, $299.99, was $349.99.

• Xbox 360 Elite with 120 gigabyte hard drive, $399.99, was $449.99.

Benjamin J. Romano: 206-464-2149 or bromano@seattletimes.com