After Xbox One Price Drop, Will Microsoft Rule Holiday Sales?

Opinion: GameSpot's editors discuss the Xbox One's position following the $50 deals news, and whether its poised to finally overtake the PS4.

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The Xbox One just got a $50 price drop through the end of the year, but after getting outsold by the PS4 in the US every month this year, will it be enough to put Microsoft's console on top? GameSpot's editors discuss.

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Price Cut Could Lead to Happy Holiday for Xbox One

Microsoft's Xbox One price drop news today is a big deal and could be a turning point for the system that's lagged behind the PlayStation 4 for a year now. The $50 price cut applies to all Xbox One systems, bringing the entry-level console down to $350. That's a healthy $50 less expensive than the rival PS4. In November 2013, you needed to pay $500 for an Xbox One--and no pack-in games were available, at least not in the US. In November 2014? You'll be able to get an Xbox One and your choice of high-profile games (Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, or Assassin's Creed Unity) starting at $350. That's quite a compelling value.

Pricing is always important, but it's heightened during the holiday shopping period, and Microsoft is smart to launch this promotion so early in November. The price drop goes into effect the week of a historically Xbox-led Call of Duty series debut (Advanced Warfare) and just one week before Halo: The Master Chief Collection arrives. If any Xbox 360 (or PS3 or Wii) owner was on the fence about upgrading to Xbox One, this price cut should make all the difference in swaying their decision. -- Eddie Makuch

I still have a PC, and $350 will buy a lot of Steam games

Earlier this month, I bought a long HDMI cable to connect my PC to my big screen TV for around $15, and now that I can switch to Steam's Big Picture mode, it's basically the best console I've ever owned. I'm happy to see that Sunset Overdrive turned out great, but I'm not ready to spend around $350 to play it. If you don't have a PC, sure, it's not a bad deal, but if you do, there's a Steam holiday sale around the corner, and $350 will get you dozens of games. If Microsoft wants to attract more PC gamers, I suspect they'll need a few more exclusives first. -- Emanuel Maiberg

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Great for Some, Too Late for Many Others

I have no doubt this will help Xbox One this holiday season; someone trying to decide which console to purchase might be swayed into picking up a One just to save some money. But what this offer can't affect is the buying decision of those who have already picked up a PS4--and are therefore influencing what console their friends pick up. Nobody wants to be that one person with a different system than everyone else they'd ordinarily play games with online. And with PlayStation Plus outclassing Games With Gold, a one-time $50 savings won't be enough to impact a major buying decision for a lot of people. -- Chris Pereira

Still Settling for Second

Say what you will about Xbox One sales so far, but there's no denying that a $50 price drop is a win for consumers. The trouble is, if you weren't in the market for an Xbox One before the price drop, I'd argue a $50 saving still isn't going to convince you buy one over a PlayStation 4, or even a Wii U.

Price might have helped Sony garner an early sales lead over Microsoft, but at this point, word of mouth is what's moving consoles. Rightly or wrongly, there's a perception that Sony's console is easier to use, and far more powerful then Microsoft's, while PlayStation Plus with its choice of free games has come to represent better value than Xbox Live. The early adopters opted for a PS4, and it's costing Microsoft dearly.

Sure, saving $50 might win Microsoft a few new customers, while excellent exclusives like Forza Horizon 2 and Sunset Overdrive might win it a few more. But it all seems too late. Like Sony did with the PlayStation 3, Microsoft might have to settle for second place with the Xbox One. After all, if all your friends are playing online on PS4, why go with anything else? -- Mark Walton

Can Only Be a Good Thing

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Price is demonstrably one of the most basic and crucial factors when weighing up whether a console is worth buying or not, so it would be reckless to assume a $50 discount will have no effect at all.

But price is only part of a complex equation. It's likely just as important to consider whether the Xbox One has the right games for you right now, and whether you're interested in its multimedia capabilities, and even what console your friends own.

What's certain is this: The Xbox One is now more desirable to the tune of $50. How much that revenue drop will hurt Microsoft remains to be seen, but for the consumer, it's an obvious win. -- Rob Crossley

Game Changer

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that November will be the first time that the Xbox One overtakes the PS4. The $50 price drop is big, but paired with the $100 discount from Microsoft stores, it puts the Xbox One into the coveted "impulse purchase range" that the original Wii used to have. Paired with the PS4's lack of exclusives this holiday and the Call of Duty franchise's strong association with Xbox, Microsoft is in a strong position for Black Friday.

Now, this opinion is assuming that Sony isn't going to fire back with their own price drop or compelling bundle (as nice as the $275 system deal is, that only lasts through November 9). In the long term, PlayStation still has the overall advantage both in terms of public perception and a commanding sales lead. But for now, Microsoft is showing that its still in the race and is just getting its second wind. -- Justin Haywald

What do you think? Has the price been an impediment to going next-gen, or have you already made your choice? Let us know in the comments below!

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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