Frugal gamers, rejoice! Microsoft Corp. has cut the price of its Xbox One console by $50 in the U.S. as of Friday. The company hopes to boost sales of the console after a similar cut drove a successful holiday shopping season, when the Xbox One outsold Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 in November and December.
It’s been less than two weeks since Microsoft raised the price of the Xbox One back to its original $399; the console’s price dropped to $349 right before Black Friday and consumers flocked to the discounted device. Microsoft says the latest price cut is a “promotion,” meaning it will likely go on for a limited time.
The Xbox One has gone through several price cuts. It first launched in late 2013, bundled with the Kinect motion-control system for $499. After being outpaced by the PlayStation 4, which launched at $399, Microsoft began selling the Xbox One on its own, also priced at $399. Until the 2014 holiday season, the PlayStation had a healthy lead on the Xbox One in terms of sales.
While the newer Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and also the Nintendo Wii U sold well during the holiday season, overall console sales were down 4 percent at the end of year, compared with the year prior, according to market research firm NPD Group. Still, many older, now cheaper consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are attracting price-sensitive gamers.
Wii U sales trail both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4's. However, Nintendo Co. says December was the strongest month for sales of its Wii U, with a 29 percent increase from the year prior. The console sells for $299.