Microsoft Trims Xbox One Price by $50 Ahead of Holidays

'Tis the season. Microsoft slashes the price of its Xbox One console in time for the holidays, but will it be enough to catch up to Sony?

Xbox One

On Nov. 2, holiday shoppers can pick up Microsoft's Xbox One video game system for as little $349, or $50 less than the current manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), as part of a promotional discount that will last through Jan. 3, 2015. The discount applies to any Xbox One console or bundle.

"Fans don't have to wait for Black Friday this year to enjoy great savings on Xbox One," said Microsoft Corporate Vice President Yusuf Mehdi in an Oct. 27 blog post. "We're gearing up for one of our biggest holidays ever and we are thrilled to offer fans up to $150 in savings on Xbox One and some of the biggest blockbuster games of the season."

Achieving $150 in savings requires picking up the right bundle. For example, the Xbox One Assassin's Creed Bundle with Kinect will soon sell for $449, which includes the Assassin's Creed: Unity, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Dance Central Spotlight games, an estimated value of $150.

Other holiday bundles include Assassin's Creed (sans Kinect, $349), Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive ($349) and Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle ($449).

It's a head start that may help the company close the sales gap with rival Sony and its strong-selling PlayStation 4 (PS4) console. "We're pleased to start the season off early with an incredible portfolio that includes millions of hours of fun for gamers and their friends," said Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft's Xbox division.

Despite having launched only a week earlier than Xbox One and sharing similar components, PS4 blasted past Xbox One in terms of sales.

On Aug. 12, Sony announced that it had sold its 10 millionth PS4 after the console arrived in the United States on Nov. 15, 2013. "The responses we have received for the PS4 system's unique gameplay experiences powered by the network, along with its vast game portfolio, has been phenomenal, and I am absolutely delighted that PS4 was able to reach this commemorative milestone in less than 9 months," said Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a statement.

Sony's PS4 retails for $399. Microsoft's Xbox One sold for $499 when it first shipped on Nov. 22, 2013. In June, the company reversed course, made the Kinect motion controller optional and introduced a basic Xbox One offering for $399.

Microsoft announced on April 17 that it had shipped 5 million Xbox Ones. Last week, during an earnings call, the company reported that it had sold a total of 2.4 million Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles in its fiscal 2015 first quarter, a year-over-year improvement of 102 percent. The company remains tight-lipped on the exact number of Xbox Ones that have landed in the hands of consumers.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...