Online Games Get a BoostA sagging online gaming industry got a boost recently by Microsoft when the Redmond-based software maker announced it had lowered the price of its Xbox console and added more software titles. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced Monday that it was lowering the price of its video console game system, Xbox, both in the USA, Canada and Mexico. The move came on the heels of Apple Computers (NASDAQ: AAPL) recent pull back in its European rollout of iPod mini, citing the lack of components. The iPod mini holds up to 1,000 songs which compliment Apples iTunes online music library. Microsofts Xbox now comes with a music feature called ""Xbox Music Mixer" that broadens the systems features. Microsoft claimed to have over 750,000 Xbox Live subscribers and market growth of 2%. Sales of console hardware dropped 27% in 2003 based on dollar volume, but portable hardware sales rose considerably - up 54% last year. Console and portable software sales also made a strong showing, posting a record-breaking $5.8 billion in revenue, besting 2002’s $5.5 billion in sales. By comparison, PC game software sales slowed to $1.2 billion in 2003, down 14% from 2002’s $1.4 billion. Factoring PC games into overall industry software sales resulted in a 1.5% increase in 2003, to $7 billion, up from $6.9 billion in 2002.