Microsoft holiday promo slashes prices on Xbox games

The sale prices offer hefty holiday discounts on popular games, but you have to be an Xbox Live Gold member to take advantage of them.

Microsoft/Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft is trimming prices on a variety of games for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 for Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

In a promotion known as Countdown to 2015, the daily and weekly sales deals cut prices on certain titles by as much as 75 percent, Microsoft's Major Nelson, aka Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb, revealed in a blog post Monday.

Microsoft has been trying to drum up excitement for the Xbox One, which has been in second place behind Sony's PlayStation 4 in sales for most of the year. In June, the company introduced a cheaper version of the Xbox One that jettisoned the Kinect sensor . In October, Microsoft slashed the price of the Xbox One by $50 in the US until the end of the year. And the company has been throwing in free games with certain Xbox One bundles to further drive sales.

In one respect, Microsoft's efforts have paid off. In November, sales of the Xbox One bested those of the PS4 for the first time in a year. However, the video game industry remains in the dumps as overall spending on hardware, software and accessories dropped by 11 percent to $2.41 billion for the entire industry, according to NPD Group.

To kick off the Countdown to 2015 promotion on Tuesday, Microsoft is offering Xbox Live Gold members a 50 percent discount on such Xbox One games as Call of Duty Ghosts, Battlefield 4 Premium Edition, Wolfenstein the New Order and Kinect Sports Rivals. Other games on the list include NBA Live 15 with a 35 percent discount, Assassins Creed Unity with a 17 percent discount and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes with a 67 percent discount. Those discounts are good until December 22.

Xbox 360 gamers are also in on the sale through a variety of games on demand, which you can purchase online and download to your console. Here you'll discover several titles in the Resident Evil series, Titanfall Game of the Year Edition, Tomb Raider, Halo Spartan Assault and Bioshock Infinite. The games here are also on sale until December 22.

Daily deals are good until the end of each day. For Tuesday only, Xbox One users will find Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor for 33 percent off, an add-on called Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Season Pass for 33 percent off and Lego The Hobbit for 50 percent off. Also for Tuesday only, Xbox 360 can get the following games on demand: Lego The Hobbit at a 67 discount and Lego Lord of the Rings at a 75 percent discount.