Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday that it will cut prices on several versions of its Xbox 360 game console.

The software giant said it will lower the price of its 20-gigabyte unit by $50 to $349 starting on Wednesday. It's most basic console, without a hard drive or wireless controllers, will go down by $20 to $279. The top-of-the-line Xbox 360 Elite with a 120-gigabyte hard drive and high-definition video support will drop $50 to $449.

The confirmation ends weeks of speculation after blurred images found online purportedly showed ads from Wal-Mart and Toys R Us reflecting the price cuts.

The reduction puts the Xbox console within the range of its closest competitors, Sony's Playstation 3 and Nintendo's Wii.

Sony cut prices on its own game system last month, reducing its 60GB game console by $100 to $499.

The company has been under pressure to cut prices on the expensive console to help boost sales. Sales of both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have lagged behind Nintendo's Wii system.

The Nintendo device sold more than 381,000 units in June; the 360 and the PS3 sold a combined 297,000 units during the same time, according to data from NPD Group.