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Microsoft drops Xbox One price back to $349, hints at gaming focus in Windows 10

Update: Added reference to screenshot support coming to the Xbox One.

Microsoft has just announced that starting tomorrow, January 16, you will once again be able to purchase a new Xbox One for $349. Additionally, the company hinted (only slightly) that we'll get some new information concerning how the Xbox team is looking to help PC gaming flourish at its upcoming Windows 10 event on January 21.

The price cut is an extension of what we previously saw over the holiday season. According to Microsoft, the drop was a boon for console sales, and it seems to want to extend that good fortune.

While the price cut is great news for those who missed out over the holiday season, the even bigger news is of the Xbox team's involvement in gaming on Windows 10. From Microsoft (opens in new tab):

The Xbox team is continually working hard to expand and improve the experience across myriad devices – including home gaming PCs, soon to be powered by Windows 10. Our goal is to help PC gaming flourish, and we're excited to be helping shape the future of Windows. Phil Spencer will be sharing more on the Windows consumer experience at a Windows event on January 21, including the role that gaming will play.

We can only speculate on what that means for now, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't excited to see where this goes. In any event, be sure to tune into Windows Central on January 21, when we'll be bringing you all of the coverage live from Redmond. Also, don't forget that Microsoft will also be live-streaming the event if you'd like to tune in that way as well.

Finally, Phil Spencer notes that they are working on bringing screenshot support to the Xbox One, so gamers rejoice!

Source: Xbox Wire (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

108 Comments
  • Very smart move. Now the question is will Sony counter or can they afford to. Or do they even care
  • the PS4 still has a fairly sizable lead over the XB1, so I doubt we'll be seeing a price drop anytime soon.  Though this should help narrow the gap by quite a bit, which could lead to a price war, benefitting consumers.
  • I think they can't, 'cause of PS4 fabrication cost.
  • Sony can't afford to if they wanted to... And ddr5 ram usage will make this hard to do. Also Microsoft are pushing the cpu/gpu to smaller production sizes, which will reduce costs significantly, as well as heat output, and energy use too... Could be an xbox slim soon!
  • The PS4 is still selling almost twice as many units as the XBone, Sony is in no hurry to drop prices, especially since it's one of the few products that makes money for them. Might see PS4 bundles this year though. It'll be interesting to see what MS has planned for PC.
  • Xbox games running on a Windows 10 PC or tablet??
  • Could it even run on a tablet besides a high end Surface Pro 3? I mean, unless it was streaming or something...
  • There's no way a SP3 can handle an average Xbox one game; hardly makes the job done with Minecraft
  • That's not exactly a fair comparison. For one, Minecraft on the Xbox is behind and has fewer features compared to the PC version. Plus, the PC version is written in Java and we all know how inefficient that is (;
  • Exactly. Java runs slowly even on my dedicated gaming machine. I can run Bioshock Infinite (for example) on my SP3 without an issue. Obviously it's not Xbox One quality -- SP3 only has Intel HD 5000 -- but it's still possible.
  • Titanfall is not really that demanding. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Wrong comment.
  • My SP3 runs Titanfall.
  • You sounds silly as I play Minecraft without issues on i5, 128GB, 4GB s SP3
  • Hint Azure cloud gaming.
  • This is what I was referring too by saying tablet.
  • Unlikely. the last thing Microsoft wants is to provide less incentive for people to buy the XB1.
  • They make money on software sales, not hardware sales. They should bring Xbox One to PC and reclaim the revenue they gifted to Valve.
  • Microsoft is a software company. Not a hardware company. They make money on services. The more services on devices the more moey they get. But they can still make the Xbox One popular since the Surface Pro 3 is the same thing. While there are a lot of other PCs. The Surface Pro 3 stands out the most out all of them and is also most well known and popular around poeple
  • They lose money on each xbox sold. So, does Sony. The money is game publishing and accessory sales. The incentive to buy an xbox is the same. It's for people who want a clean looking pc that requires no maintenance in their entertainment system. People don't want to stick a desktop PC next to their TV. For the more high tech crowd that is willing to build a PC to place next to their TV, Microsoft would save money by just letting them use that PC. However, the advantage of a gaming console is that game developers can target specific hardware. How are they going to make the games work when they are running on hundreds of different hardware configurations?
  • I'm not so sure this is true for this generation. I believe the profit is minimal, but I believe I remember seeing that both companies do actually make a profit on the consoles this generation.
  • Pause game on xbone, resume in PC. That's what I want.
  • I don't believe this is too far off. I have a feeling you'll be required to be in the same network, and running windows 10 on both devices and the xbox will do the processing. Kind of like Steam Streaming. I honestly have nothing to prove this, so it's pure speculation, but I feel like this would be the right direction to go with it
  • That would be pretty slick.
  • Personally I think its going to be more about Xbox Live as a service on Win 10. I think they want to decouple Live from the actual console and put it everywhere, including Windows 10
  • I'm hoping for a comeback on phone.
  • Could be. They talked about doing this over at least a year ago when said they wanted to be a service on phones and tablets
  • Super excited to see what happens with PC Gaming! I already have a few ideas.
  • What ideas? Share them with us.
  • I really hope Microsoft pull off some magic with PC, phone and Xbox.
  • It is good too see they are leveraging their Xbox team in this way. All the rumors that were spreading about them selling Xbox can hopefully be dismissed.
  • People who suggest that Microsoft sell Xbox are short term thinkers. Their opinion is unhelpful.
  • Noice, I hope the prove stays that way out even goes lower.
  • Not feeling burned at all.
  • Even with that std you have ?
  • Can't wait to see what's in store on the 21st.
  • I would love Xbox games running on my Surface Pro 2. Paid for Titanfall twice so I could play when travelling.
  • If they make online saves mandatory and sync across all devices (PC & mobile), they'll at least be moving in the right direction. They also need to figure out how to implement a family account that lets me buy a universal app on a master account and then install it on all my family's devices. Right now I just sign on to those devices with my main Live ID, but I'd really rather not have to do that.
  • On Windows 8 & 8.1 you can sign into the Windows Store seperatly from account's login.  For example I have Microsoft Accounts for my kids and they sign into the device using that but I signed into the Store with my Microsoft Account and installed the purchased games.  To change the account simply go into the Store app and click the Account link up top and then My Account then at the top of that page it will ask you if you want to sign in with a different account. It works great and lets us all install the apps that I have purchased but keep profiles seperated.  I really like this about Windows and really hope to see this feature come to Windows Phone so my wife and I can share purchased applications. 
  • I do the same thing with my kids. Sharing a Windows tablet or PC and the apps I've purchased is excellent, and frankly makes the iPad look like a joke.
  • Agreed, MS needs to bring more and more of it's corporate management capabilities and bring it into the home. My kids have 'child accounts' which gives me a fair amount of control on devices that they sign into... but it is hardly an elegant solution, and it is much better at denying things rather than helping me enable or push things on their accounts and devices. 8 was better than 7 in this... but 10 has a long way to go before it is really useful, or simple enough where any parent can use it.
  • Can the 3screens vision painted for us a while ago finally be a reality. Cant wait for next Wednesday.
  • Lol yay now I can buy one missed out last year because I was having financial problems.
  • Bring back GFWL with achievements and challenges integration and decent online chat/match making/party system and I will go back to PC gaming.
  • No, absolutely do not bring back GFWL. Gamers everywhere hated that, and I have a broken games I cannot play now because Microsoft decided to kill it.
  • Wow that is a bold request, nobody can be happy about the damaged that the GFWL garbage has caused over the years. MS should stay the heck away from the PC gaming industry, they have no business there. Just deliver the next gen platform (Windows and DirectX) and leave the rest up to the actual game publishers. Microsoft, If you want to screw users with obtrusive DRM and yet another online store, just continue to bother the Xbox users with that and spare the PC the trouble, thank you very much.
  • That why I luv MS..... MS for life!
  • Can we get something similar to Wii/PS4 to where we can play Xbox 360 games or something of that nature?
  • This would be awesome. I hope they are still looking into it.
  • Seen Nintendo's recent idea repackage wii games(similar to this http://nintendoeverything.com/nintendo-provides-hard-drive-enabled-wii-t...) only problem with their idea no upscaling past 480p. Major failtacular. Knowing Microsoft they may cut corners aswell
  • Me before going to WalMart to buy an Xbox One yesterday: "Watch my luck, they'll lower the price tomorrow". Is there an award for being the unluckiest person on Windows Central?
  • Some retailers allowed you to take it back and get your 50$ back(like gamestop) idk about WalMart though, that blows
  • I agree. Take the receipt in and they might refund the $50.
  • Yeah I plan to take the receipt in today. What's interesting is if you go on Best Buy right now they have the price marked down. On Wal Mart.com they have pulled all the bundles and list the solo Xbox One as Out of Stock. 
  • There are plenty of leftover Unity bundles. I've seen a Gamestop near my University that has about 6 or so.
  • Go buy for $350 tomorrow, return with $400 receipt, if a refund doesn't work.
  • Lol, I like this thinking^
  • Return it. It's hardware, just say it's faulty and you want to return it. Re-buy after. Or, if they only exchange, demand the price difference.
  • Obviously the cashier didn't tell you, you have 14 days to take it back...
  • Here's what I want that's probably different from many XBox One users... I want the ability to extend my XBox One TV and media consumption experience to all the TVs in the house. I imagine a Kinect above every TV, but I don't necessarily want a megagaming console under every one of them. I love the experience of talking to control my TV experience in my living room. I personally use that feature much more than I use the XBox One for gaming. Voice control is also great for media consumption apps. It would be fantastic if they could make a slightly scaled back unit (smaller too?) that would be able to focus on TV viewing and apps on all my other sets in the house... but without having to drop $450 per TV just for the ability to pack away the remote control.
  • About 6 months before the X1 was announced there were rumors that there was going to be a device that could play casual games, would not have a Blu Ray drive, much smaller and less powerful with Kinect. There were many different rumored names, Xbox Mini, Xbox TV, Xbox set top box, etc. Search for xbox set top box and you will find a number of hits. I was looking forward to this, too, unfortunately it was supposed to ship along with the X1 but we know that did not happen. Who knows, they may announce somethign at E3.
  • Glad I'm not the only one. I just hope they can figure out a way to do this for $250 or less.
  • The unicorn here would be both Xbox exclusives on PC and cross-platform purchasing, like the PS Vita-PS3/4 deal with Sony.
  • It seems that ever year, MS states its commitment to PC gaming, but its been YEARS since MS Gaming has released a AAA title for PC.  Its all smoke and mirrors till they actually release a good game for PC.
  • Yep. They say it every time and nothing revolutionary happens.
  • Why do i have a feeling that this might have to do with the announced AMD custom (gaming) design win. What if microsoft opens the xbox one platform to other manufacturers as long as they use a similar AMD Jaguar APU. Maybe finally an xbox surface tablet?
  • Excited!  Before XB1 was announced I was reallying hoping that the console would be the 'Surface PC' and that we would see some form of unified store front that would (at least start) to bridge console and PC gaming.  I mean seriously, forget about consoles.  If MS managed to take even a small portion of Steam's market share on PC gaming then they would have the world's largest gaming community. But MS has tried and failed before... several times... very sadly and pathetically I am afraid.  But past failures does not mean that MS cannot learn from their mistakes and bring something awesome to the table.
  • This is stellar news. Smart move Microsoft!
  • We need second screen type thing I mean something like a vita style thing on our windows devices
  • Like a smart glass or something.
  • Never done it through smartglass but to be able to stream a game and play it like that
  • Like I predicted; two weeks is enough time for the data to come in to see if it was working.
  • Good move. Saw it coming.
  • Woww!! Can't wait to play in the same lobby as my fellow PC players. More players in multiplayer matchmaking. 5 more days :)
  • Multiplataform multiplayer, anyone?
  • SCREENSHOTS!!! I have a Destiny screenshot I've been DYING to take. Hope it's in the Feb Preview program list of additions.
  • Is there any way to get on the preview program these days?
  • Ok there's too much hype in the air I'm scared ;-;
  • Yeah, while I'm personally interested to see what they'll do, I'm not holding any expectations. Some here seem to get excited by the tiniest of nods from MS. People are hyping themselves up before even knowing what it is they are supposed to be hyped up about.
  • I still have a few games that I haven't gotten around to playing on my Xbox 360...  But at this price, it's tempting.
  • This article clearly indicates PC gaming not Xbox console
  • The way that Xbox is evolving it is becoming more of a service now than it is just a console. Think about it, Xbox video, Xbox music, Xbox live, etc. They're all services, and they're tied together with Windows. Yes I understand your point that this is a PC gaming topic, but what I'm saying is that with Xbox becoming more of a service division now they could possibly be about to release some sort of service for PC gamers, like that of Steam, origin, uplay, etc. that will allow gamers to PC game if they choose to, all while still being hooked through an Xbox live account, allowing all of that info to be synced across consoles, PCs, phones, etc. that have a connection to an Xbox service. Now I could be absolutely wrong about this, but this would be something great to see. Yeah Microsoft could just be being over exaggerating about the event like they have in the past, but you can't underestimate them forever.
  • I still will get the Xbox one. Nothing against Sony. Just like the Xbox.
  • Halo 5 for PC. 
  • Yup, this. And Master Chief Collection as well.
  • Wanna help pc gaming and still get sales,bring xbox exclusives to pc also
  • Cool
  • Interesting
  • I can't wait to see what kind of secrets and surprises windows 10 has for Windows phone!
  • XBox MSN Games for Windows LIVE™, powered by Cortana®
  • I am a meat popsicle.
  • <RubyRhodVoice>Korben...Dallas!!</RubyRhodVoice>
  • ;-) You green?
  • Super green!
  • I love that movie! Thanks for the replies, Joe.
  • Drop another $50 and I may pick one up
  • The thing MS won't do but I would love is to allow 2 way streaming/remote play. I am a PC and Console player. I would to be able to play Sunset Overdrive on my PC via streaming from my Xbox and sometime i'd like to stream my PC games over to my Xbox.  Won't happen... I know but I would love it. 
  • So, what about Xbox One wireless controller support on PC, Microsoft? We haven't forgotten, you know.
  • I like xbox one but not available to my country
  • I guess Xbox might become like Surface. A way to show what their soft can do when paired with a proper device, but not a dedicated and "only-one" device anyway (think of it as a SteamBox). Damn, even if competition is good, I hope I'm wrong.
  • Awesome news, removal of the parity clause for indie devs will be the icing on cake.
  • Yes finally,they gonna introduce directx 12 in preview version of windows 10.
  • Sony don't need to discount their consoles, as they are outselling XBox One by two to one. Sony are making significant money on PS4, whilst Microsoft are barely making any profit to offset all their investment. So MS are moving back to Windows 10 PCs for gaming, to minimise the financial losses on Xbox One.
  • Xbox One is so sick, I use the snap mode all the time!
  • All I want to hear from this is Halo MCC and Halo 5 playable on PC. No multiplayer required in my particular case. C'mon Microsoft, Halo is my favourite saga (played CE and 2 in original XBOX as a kid) but nowadays I barely have any time for gaming, why should I buy an XBOX just for that one game which I would eagerly buy for its 60-70€ price tag if it were available for PC? I own a Lumia phone, Win8.1 laptop, Office365 subscription and could very well apply the aforementioned 350€ on a Surface Pro for professional purposes instead of a gaming console I will use less frequently. Am I not a fan/consumer/client loyal enough, worthy of enjoying Halo on my PC?  
  • This is a great price drop. Lower the price to gain market share--this has to be viewed long-term. Every Xbox sold equals multiples of revenue via games sold-in and of itself the Xbox One derives value from the content it hosts
  • Xbox PC gaming, needs to be a client app like steam, then they need to add multiplatform online play, and possible game steaming from the cloud via an app, or actual streaming to a surface tablet, and windows phones. (give some time for people who want those features to buy a surface and or WP)
  • Maybe they will release their own PC gaming store, within the unified Windows Store, similar to that of Steam, UPlay, Origin, etc. and it would tie in with Xbox somehow. Or maybe that's what that "Xbox app" in build 9901 of Windows 10 is eventually going to turn into. That would be interesting to see.