In what is seen as keeping pace with Toshiba's HD DVD price slashing in the States, Microsoft has cut the cost of its HD DVD add-on drive for the Xbox 360.

Another $50 has been knocked off the recommended retail price for the high def accessory that brings the price in the US and Canada to $129.99.

This follows the previous price cut in late summer of last year that dropped the cost down to $180.

Online retailer Amazon has been selling the device for a short-term price offer of $79.99 this week only, resulting in it promptly selling out.

American consumers who opt to buy the HD DVD drive currently get a free HD DVD copy of of "King Kong" and qualify for the five free HD DVDs mail in promotion too.

Here in the UK the official price for the HD DVD add-on drive is £115. We asked Microsoft if a price cut was imminent for Britain and received the following stock statement in response:

"Currently there has been no announcement regarding a price cut in the UK, we do not comment on rumour or speculation."

An Xbox spokesperson did see fit to elaborate and added: "Microsoft takes a strategic approach to our products in each regional market and sets pricing accordingly".

"When the time is right, we will consider price reductions of our HD DVD player on a regional basis - but nothing has been announced at this point."