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Xbox One Price Cut


Courtesy NICK WINGFIELD, New York TimesImage

 

SEATTLE — Sony‘s pricing advantage over Microsoft for the latest generation of game consoles didn’t last long.

On Friday, Walmart and Best Buy began offering a bundle of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Titanfall, a high-profile science fiction shooter game, for $450, a $50 cut from the combined price of the separate items. The new price becomes visible online only after you place the bundle in your online shopping cart and log in to the sites. The price cut also applies to the bundle in Walmart and Best Buy’s physical stores.

When Microsoft first began offering the bundle earlier this month for $500, it amounted to a price drop on the console, since Titanfall sells on its own for $60. Now, if you consider the fact that the $450 Xbox One bundle includes a $60 game, the price of Microsoft’s console is actually $10 lower than that of the $400 PlayStation 4 from Sony, which does not include a game.

David Dennis, a spokesman for Microsoft, said the price drops were the decision of its retail partners. “This is a special promotion offered by Walmart and Best Buy stores in the U.S.,” Mr. Dennis said in a statement. “Microsoft sets a suggested retail price, but specific pricing and offers vary by retailer.”

Even if retailers are in control of price, manufacturers like Microsoft set wholesale prices that can influence how much a retailer charges for a product. In this case, though, Mr. Dennis said Microsoft did not drop the wholesale price of its product.

It is clear one of Sony’s biggest advantages over the Xbox One, its price, is diminishing. The original $100 difference in price between the systems helped the PlayStation 4 outsell Xbox One during the consoles’ first few months on the market.

The release earlier this month of Titanfall, which is exclusively for Microsoft game systems, could help shift some momentum in Microsoft’s favor (in fact, it looks like anticipation for Titanfallhelped boost Xbox One sales even before the game came out).

Microsoft may also have benefited recently from the scarcity of PlayStation 4s on store shelves. Any advantage it has gotten from that could be fleeting, though. Jeff Shelman, a spokesman for Best Buy, said in an email that Best Buy’s inventory of PlayStation 4s will improve in the coming weeks, with the retailer receiving “tens of thousands” of the consoles from Sony.

Sony has its own big exclusive offering for the PlayStation 4, Infamous Second Son, an action adventure game that is set in a dystopian Seattle. That game went on sale Friday.

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