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Major retailers drop Xbox One price by $50

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(Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft may not want to lower the price of the Xbox One just yet, but that's not stopping some of the world’s biggest retailers from doing it anyway.

Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon have all cut the cost of the Xbox One Titanfall bundle from $500 to $450, putting the system within reach of Sony's $400 PlayStation 4.

Whether the decisions were made to spur sales at the retail level or came with the tacit approval of Microsoft is unclear, but typically any major price reduction doesn't happen without the stakeholder's knowledge.

The bundling of Titanfall was, in some ways, an initial price cut for the Xbox One since it saved buyers the $60 they would have spent on the game. But there's a precedent for a $50 cut.

On Feb. 24, Microsoft lowered the retail price of the Xbox One in the UK from £429.99 to £399.99 - the equivalent of a $50 price cut in the U.S. That raised questions of whether the company planned to do so in the U.S.

How long these retail price cuts will last is still a mystery. Walmart, Best Buy and Amazon may simply be using them as short term loss leaders to lure shoppers into buying other items as well. If the 'sales' last for a longer period, though, it could be seen as a subtle acknowledgement that the Xbox One was priced too highly at the start of this cycle.

Microsoft has previously brushed off questions about its pricing strategy, saying it believed the Xbox One offered a good value for its $499 price tag (which was $100 more than the PS4's launch price).

Analysts, meanwhile, have suggested to Yahoo Games that we could see a lot of this sort of price maneuvering for the next year as both Microsoft and Sony block and tackle at the start of this console generation.

"These are the early days," says P.J. McNealy, of Digital World Research. "Skirmishes over pricing or bundles or DLC or peripherals are going to be a lot of what we hear about through the holiday of 2015."

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