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Microsoft drops Xbox Series S price to $249.99 for the holidays

Microsoft is dropping the price of its Xbox Series S console to $249.99 for the holidays. The new promotional price starts today and includes special holiday-themed packaging. It’s part of a series of Black Friday deals from Microsoft that includes up to $300 off the new Surface Laptop 5, $200 off select Surface Pro 9 models, and up to 67 percent off Xbox digital games.

While we saw the Xbox Series S drop as low as $249 in a limited offer that lasted just hours at Woot earlier this year, Microsoft’s official promotion means Best Buy, the Microsoft Store, and other retailers will all be offering the console at this promotional price. Target is even bundling a $50 gift card with its own Xbox Series S deal.

Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer hinted at holiday deals for the Xbox Series S in a recent Decoder podcast. “During the holidays you might see some price promotions,” said Spencer. It’s not clear exactly how long the Xbox Series S will remain at the $249.99 promotional pricing, though.

The Xbox Series S is Microsoft’s smallest Xbox console yet.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

While the Xbox Series S will see a temporary price cut, the larger, more powerful Xbox Series X will remain at its regular retail price of $499. Microsoft’s discount on the Xbox Series S for the holidays is the opposite of what its main rival, Sony, is doing. Sony hiked the price of the PS5 in Europe, Japan, and other markets just a few months ago.

The PS5 price has jumped 10 percent in Europe, 12.5 percent in Japan, and around 6 percent in the UK in a move that Sony blames on high inflation and adverse currency trends. The price of the PS5 in the US has not changed, though.

While Spencer initially said Microsoft wouldn’t raise its Xbox prices in response to the global economy and Sony’s rises, he did hint that holding prices on subscriptions, games, and consoles might not last long after the holidays.

“We’ve held price on our console, we’ve held price on games and our subscription. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that forever,” admitted Spencer during a recent Wall Street Journal tech conference. “I do think at some point we’ll have to raise some prices on certain things, but going into this holiday we thought it was really important that we maintain the prices that we have.”

Here are Microsoft’s full Black Friday deals:

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