From Nov. 2 to Jan. 3, the baseline model Xbox One will cost $350.
Among Microsoft’s holiday offerings is an Assassin’s Creed: Unity bundle, which will include a copy of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. A different version of the Assassin’s Creed bundle will include the Kinect camera and a copy of Dance Central Spotlight.
A Sunset Overdrive-themed bundle will feature a white Xbox One console and a white controller. The final new bundle on offer, themed to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, will include an Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive (twice the size of a default Xbox One hard drive), a console and controller decorated in a Call of Duty theme, and exclusive in-game content.
Xbox One debuted with a $500 pricetag less than a year ago. The dramatic price drop is reflective of the trouble Microsoft has had in getting Xbox One units installed in gamers’ homes. This, in turn, is largely reflective of Microsoft’s misguided marketing strategy of selling the console as a home media system, versus a gaming system.
Integration with cable television at a time when people are cancelling cable and the ability to watch sports stats in a snap-in window on the side of the screen were the main selling points of the Xbox One as a media center. Both flummoxed gamers as design elements they ought to care about.
Microsoft also originally marketed the Xbox One as a digital-games-only console, which would upset the used game trade, and Microsoft said Xbox One users would need their consoles to be hooked up to the internet at all times. The original package also included a $100 Kinect 2 camera, when the Kinect on the Xbox 360 had proved to be relatively worthless for core gaming (which is largely the case for the Xbox One, as well). The PlayStation 4, on the other hand, sold for an MSRP of $400 upon release without these hindrances.
Sony reported 10 million PlayStation 4 units sold through on Aug. 12. Sell-through means consoles that have actually been installed in users’ homes. The last time Microsoft reported sales numbers back in April, it reported 5 million units sell-in. Sell-in means consoles sold to retail stores and stocked on shelves.
Starting Nov. 2 the Xbox One bundles with the Kinect camera will also drop in price by $50, retailing for $450, not $500.