Despite taking the crown as the winner of the previous-gen console wars, Microsoft has struggled to consolidate with the Xbox One. Having been outsold by the PlayStation 4 for the most part since their respective arrivals towards the end of 2013, the software giant’s decision to cut the price to just $349 a few months back prompted a receptive response from the gaming community with strong sales last November, and as such, the Windows maker has once again slashed the cost of its flagship console.
The fact that the PlayStation 4 is slightly more powerful than the Xbox One may have swayed a few purists early on in the day, but that’s not the only reason why the sequel to the Xbox 360 hasn’t been as strong as Microsoft would have hoped. In fact, the original announcement, which focused on entertainment rather than gaming prowess, did its cause no favors whatsoever, and it’s generally perceived that the initial bundling of the Kinect sensor as standard was a major gaffe as well.
But since offering the console without Kinect – a move that cut the retail price considerably – Microsoft also made a further reduction as a holiday gift during the closing stages of 2014, and having pushed more units than Sony during the price crash, the Xbox One finds itself selling for $349 once more.
Microsoft is painting this as some kind of promotion, so it’s not clear as to whether the revised price will be temporary or indeed permanent. At this point, we don’t know whether this is a U.S.-only offer or if other nations will be joining, but if you are a gamer in the United States, then you will be able to snap up the Xbox One at this pre-Christmas price.
The original price of the Xbox One, which released just over a year ago, was 500 bucks, and while $349 sounds like a major adjustment, you don’t get the Kinect peripheral with this new cheaper configuration.
Still, with Microsoft looking to make up ground after a strong first year from Sony and the PlayStation 4, a $50 saving isn’t going to do the company any harm at all, and if you missed the holiday season bonanza, now’s your chance to snag an Xbox One on the cheap.