Xbox One price cut in US for holiday season

28 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft cuts Xbox One price by $50 ahead of holiday season, but not in Canada.

Microsoft’s Xbox One is getting a $50 price cut to the $349 (U.S.) price from Nov. 2 until Jan. 3 in the U.S. as part of a holiday promotion which will not be available in Canada. “The $50 off any Xbox One holiday season promotion will be available in the U.S. at select major retailers.

Microsoft Corp., trying to win back customers for its Xbox One game console from Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4, will cut US$50 from the unit’s price next month for the upcoming holiday shopping season.My colleague David Thier just reported on the holiday price cut for Xbox One (it’s dropping from $399 to $349 between November 2 and January 3, 2015).It’s a limited-time thing, but Microsoft’s giving fence-sitters plenty of time to make up their minds, running the promotional pricing from November 2 (next Sunday) through January 3, 2015. In his report Thier mentions Microsoft’s system sales struggle versus Sony’s PlayStation 4, arguing that the Xbox One ”discount card will be its most powerful weapon to close the gap.” On that point I emphatically disagree. It’s Microsoft’s stellar selection of exclusives that will win the console war this holiday, especially when compared directly to Sony’s anemic PlayStation 4 lineup.

It’s also an “any Xbox One” thing, so you can basically knock $50 off whatever you like, from the base model without a game to any of the bundles, including the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity ($349, or $449 with Kinect and Dance Central Spotlight), Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ($449 with 1TB hard drive and custom housing) and Sunset Overdrive ($349 and a white finish) SKUs. I’ve spent almost all of my time gaming this year with my PS4, lavishing public praise on its user interface, its general snappiness, its aesthetic appeal, its superior hardware and internals. I’d include Nintendo’s Wii U, which checks the “most anticipated exclusives” and “innovative independent games” boxes, but it fumbles the “newest blockbuster franchises” one because of the abject state of third-party support. Since launching in November last year, Sony’s PlayStation’s PS4 — which retails for $449 in Canada — has been winning the new console battle — announcing in August that it has sold 10 million units. The Xbox One’s temporary price drop is both a sign of how much Microsoft’s trying to change the sales narrative around its flagship console — the perception that its basically getting clobbered by the PlayStation 4 worldwide — and an indication that the company’s willing to do more than it’s competition to make that happen.

After lagging sales, this past June, the company relented and made the Kinect optional and lowered the price to $399 — a move seen as an effort to help the console better compete with Sony on price. The newest IP for Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Resistance) is also Microsoft’s best Xbox One exclusive, and frankly one of the best video games released this year. You’re getting 100+ multiplayer maps spanning all four numbered Halo games and their associated DLC (seamlessly combined and hosted on dedicated servers) plus all the corresponding campaigns running at 1080p/60fps. Some will disagree that a collection of old games can be a compelling Xbox One system seller, but Halo happens to be the primary driver for Microsoft’s success in the console space.

Sure, the newest entry in Microsoft’s Xbox-exclusive racing franchise also lives on the Xbox 360, but every new console needs an exciting racing game. As with Sunset Overdrive, I feel like the developers created a racing title that racing fans wanted, with enough flexibility and tweaks to appeal to hardcore racing sim fanatics or even the most casual of gamers.

I haven’t played the final version, and I’m confident it will deliver everything LBP fans are craving, but I honestly don’t believe it’s a system seller on its own. Don’t count out Activision’s monster marketing budget for Destiny, obviously, but I think Bungie’s new IP will be overshadowed by Activision’s long-running pillar this holiday. One last thing: If we’re talking about the best console to buy this holiday season, not limited to systems from Sony and Microsoft, that choice goes handily to Nintendo’s Wii U.

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