Things aren't looking good for Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT ) Xbox One. After what was admittedly a very strong debut, sales of the console have slowed to a crawl. Last month, according to research firm NPD, rival Sony's (NYSE: SNE ) PlayStation 4 outsold Microsoft's console in the U.S. by a ratio of 2 to 1.
Is the runaway success of the PlayStation 4 simply overshadowing Microsoft's latest console, or is the Xbox One not doing as well as Redmond expected? The latter is looking increasingly likely, as retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, and GameStop (NYSE: GME) have begun to offer heavy incentives on the Microsoft console.
Pushing the Xbox One
If you're in the market for the Xbox One, I'd suggest purchasing it from Wal-Mart or Target. If you buy Microsoft's machine from Wal-Mart, the big-box retailer will throw in a free game worth $50. If you'd prefer to spend the money on something else, Target will give you a gift card for the same amount.
In addition to offering $10 off the purchase of a second wireless controller, GameStop is letting cash-strapped customers reserve the console on layaway.
Good luck finding a PlayStation 4
In stark contrast, Sony's rival PlayStation 4 is virtually impossible to find. Of the six GameStops I called in my area, not a single one had the machine in stock, and none of GameStop's employees could tell me when their next shipment would arrive.
They did, however, offer to ship a PlayStation 4 directly to my house when it turned up -- assuming that I was willing to purchase a nearly $700 bundle that comes with games and an extra controller.
Gamestop even allowing layaway on units after launch.?
Oh this is bad very bad for MS.