Microsoft says it’ll officially rollback the big Xbox One price cut that helped the price of some Xbox One consoles fall to as low as $329 during the holiday shopping season.
January 3rd will be the final day that Microsoft offers still offers the $50 promotional pricing that it introduced in the fall, according to Xbox Wire. From now until then users can still take advantage of the savings, making it possible to pick up an Xbox One for $349 at most retail locations. That’s the version of the Xbox One that doesn’t include a Kinect 2 sensor for motion gaming and television control. The other version of the Xbox One — that does include a Kinect 2 sensor — is $449 until the savings expires.
In the post revealing the deal’s expiration, Microsoft also shared details about the deals some retailers that are still offering. Best Buy, Amazon, GameStop and Target are selling their Xbox Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundles with the $50 discount and a $50 gift card. Toys ‘R Us, one of the United States largest toy stores in the United States, is offering both consoles with the $50 in savings and a free Xbox One controller.
Meijer is offering the savings on both consoles and a free Xbox One. That’s in addition to the two free Assassin’s Creed games that come with the bundle already. Finally, Newegg is selling both versions of the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed bundle with a 12-month subscription to Xbox Live and $20 in Newegg credit. A year of Xbox Live costs $60 a year.
The $50 in savings started out of necessity. When the console launched last year there was just one version. That original Xbox One bundle came with no extra games, a single wireless controller and a Kinect 2 sensor for $499. To boost sales, Microsoft introduced an Xbox One console without a Kinect 2 sensor in the box for $399. All year long it’s been bundling different games with its consoles too. The additional $50 in savings was seen as a quick way to finally end Sony’s domination of sales in the United States. The tactic seems to have succeeded. The Xbox One topped sales of Sony’s PS4 during the month of November.
Without the savings every Xbox One bundle should revert back to their normal price. That’s $399 for an Xbox One that doesn’t include a Kinect 2 sensor and $499 for one that does. That being said, the console should still be competitively priced with the PS4. The base version of that console also costs $399. Xbox One buyers are still getting a slightly better deal; the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity bundles include two free games. One is this year’s Assassin’s Creed Unity game. On the PS4 and Xbox One it normally costs $60. The other is last year’s Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. That game costs $29.99 from GameStop.
With most holiday purchases now made, Microsoft is now promoting the games that the Xbox One offers exclusively. Those include Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2. With the bulk of its console savings set to expire, it’ll need those exclusive games to help attract buyers going into 2015.
In recent days it’s pushed a number of different ads on websites and more promoting the Halo 5: Guardians beta that started yesterday. In the Halo 5: Guardians beta users get some hands on time with the multiplayer experience changes that developer 343 industries is introducing. That beta will last until January 28th, but the final version of the game won’t launch until the fall of 2015. Microsoft and most of its retail partners are already taking pre-orders.