Over the 2014 holiday season, Microsoft temporarily reduced the price of all Xbox One models by $50, with the base model selling for $350, a move that resulted in “a record-breaking holiday season.” But less than two weeks after returning Xbox One pricing to pre-holiday prices, Microsoft has relented, and has again reduced all Xbox One models by $50.
The bad news? Once again, this appears to be a temporary offer, though this time it’s not clear when the promotional pricing ends. My advice to Microsoft? Make it permanent already.
“Building off a record-setting holiday, we are excited to announce a new promotion in which fans in the U.S. can buy an Xbox One at a special price of $349, starting January 16, from their preferred retailer,” Microsoft corporate vice president Mike Nichols said in a prepared statement. “We are thankful for all the excitement for Xbox One this holiday and proud to offer more fans the amazing games lineup, Xbox Live gaming community, and continual innovation that Xbox One fans have come to enjoy.”
In addition to this new—and apparently temporary—price drop, Microsoft also revealed some information about its successes selling Xbox One over the holiday 2014 season. But it fell short of matching Sony’s disclosures: That company previously revealed that it has sold over 18.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles to consumers through the end of the holidays, with over 4.1 million sold during the holiday season alone.
Here’s what Microsoft did say about Xbox One sales during the holidays.
Xbox One was the best-selling console in the U.S. in November and December. What Microsoft doesn’t say, of course, is that PS4 outsold Xbox One in both months overall.
Xbox One sold more games throughout November and December in the U.S. than any other current-generation platform. Again, this is a US-only claim.
Xbox One dramatically outsold its predecessor. According to Microsoft, Xbox One “weekly average sales during these months outpaced Xbox 360 by 50 percent at the same point in its lifecycle.”
In 2014, users logged nearly 8 billion hours globally in apps across Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This is a 50 percent increase from time spent in 2013.
So that’s all very vague. Looking ahead to 2015, Microsoft points to new games—Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Evolve, Screamride, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ori and the Blind Forest, Battlefield Hardline—and others as evidence that this year will be even better.
I guess we’ll see.