When Microsoft released the Xbox One S All Digital edition earlier this year, its price left everyone scratching their heads. The new console, that lacked a disc-drive, was roughly the same price as a console with a disc drive and in a few instances, even more expensive.
With an MSRP of $249.99, there was very little incentive to buy the console. Yes, it comes with three games, but all those games are available with GamePass which depending on how you sign up for the service, ranges in price from $1-$10 a month; hardly a great value.
When I first caught wind of the device, known as the Maverick console, I had heard that $199 was the top end of the targeted range of the hardware. Even though Microsoft has officially stated that the console would always be $50 less than an Xbox One S with an optical drive, bundles and third-party sales haven’t made that always true.
But, this week, there was Amazon Prime Days and Microsoft finally started getting aggressive with the digital-only version of the Xbox One S. The company was offering the console, the three games (Horizon 3, Sea of Thieves, and Minecraft) plus the phantom white controller for $199.
Sold as a stand-alone product, the retail price would be over $300 but Microsoft offered this bundle for $199 and consumers finally showed interest. In the Microsoft gaming category, it quickly jumped to the #1 selling item and in the overall gaming category section, it was selling faster than the PlayStation and Switch. Now that the bundle is no longer available, the console is quickly falling off of the charts.
Even with the small flash-in-the-pan success, Microsoft now has the data to know what the tipping point is for the console. At $199, with two controllers ( white included and phantom-white bundled) with three games, the $199 bundle was the first sign of success for the All Digital edition console.
As we head towards the holiday shopping season, I would expect this bundle to return in similar form around that time. Microsoft has finally found the right bundle at the right price for the hardware to make it move off of shelves, the question now is how long do we have to wait for this package to return.