Microsoft is going "Crazy Eddie" to entice consumers to snap up its Xbox One video game consoles this holiday season: The software giant is temporarily reducing the price of all Xbox One models, including special edition bundles, by $50 from November 2, 2014 through January 3, 2015. So the deals start this Sunday.
"There's never been a better time to own an Xbox One," Microsoft writes in a post to the Xbox Wire blog.
Put more accurately, there's never been a better time to buy an Xbox One, as this promotion doesn't in fact improve matters for those who foolishly shelled out top dollar during last year's holiday season launch period. In fact, given the paucity of original and desirable content that we've gotten over the past year, I would argue—and indeed will soon do so formally—that anyone who bought the Xbox One up front last year was effectively ripped off. (To be fair, I predicted this.)
This year, things are improving somewhat.
Microsoft has now reduced the price of acquiring an Xbox One twice since its launch last year, which should tell you everything you need to know about how well it's really doing in the market. It released a $400 version of the core console sans Kinect in June and made other changes to the ecosystem, including ending the Xbox Live Gold requirement for many services. And while sales improved in the wake of that first price cut, the Xbox One has yet to outsell the market-leading PlayStation 4 in any month over the past year. Sony, by comparison, has not had to reduce pricing on the PS4 even once.
So while this second price cut is supposedly temporary—seriously, can you even imagine Microsoft raising Xbox One prices back to the previous levels after the holidays?—if you were on the fence about Xbox One, this is absolutely a reason to at least reevaluate things.
A $500 top-of-the-line Xbox One with Kinect will cost $450 during the promotion, and the $400 Kinect-less version will sell for $350. But better values can be found in the special edition bundles, which for holiday 2014 include:
Xbox One Assassin's Creed Bundle. Available in both non-Kinect ($350) and Kinect ($450) versions, this bundle features a standard black Xbox One console and two games: Assassin's Creed: Unity and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The Kinect version also includes a third title, Dance Central Spotlight. It arrives November 2.
Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle, Available in limited quantities now, this $350 bundle features a special white version of the Xbox One console and wireless controller, a digital copy of Sunset Overdrive, and special Day One edition in-game items.
Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle. Available November 3 for $450, this bundle includes a special edition Advanced Warfare console with a 1 TB hard drive and a custom controller, a limited edition in-game exoskeleton, and a digital copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition.
These consoles and bundles should be available at most major national retailers in the United States, Microsoft says, including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Stores, Target, Toys 'R Us and Walmart.