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Game over for Xbox One's $50 discount

No more holiday pricing on Microsoft's game console, which now retails for $499 with a Kinect sensor and $399 without a sensor. Will sales take a nosedive?

YouTube/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Those of you looking to buy an Xbox One missed your chance to save $50 on Microsoft's gaming console.

On November 2, Microsoft slashed the price of the Xbox One by $50 until the close of 2014 in an attempt to drum up consumer interest during the holidays. The model with the Kinect sensor was reduced from $499 to $449, while the edition sans the Kinect was discounted from $399 to $349.

Both versions are now back to their regular retail prices. Microsoft is offering the Xbox One with Kinect and the Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle for $499. The Xbox One without Kinect -- and with or without the Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle -- is $399.

The Xbox One spent most of 2014 playing second fiddle in sales to Sony's PlayStation 4. The PS4 consistently outsold Microsoft's console each month, according to data from NPD Group. In an attempt to rev up sales, Microsoft made several moves, notably offering the Kinect-less version of the Xbox One for $100 less, bundling free games with the console and finally trimming the cost of the Xbox One by $50.

The $50 discount strategy seems to have paid off. Xbox One sales finally beat those of the PS4 in November.

"November set a new record for sales of Xbox One, and Xbox One was the best-selling console in the US and UK," Mike Nichols, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Xbox marketing, said in a statement.

But will Xbox One sales take a dip now that the $50 discount is history?

First-quarter sales traditionally go down for many products as consumer spending dips after the holidays. That would likely be true for the Xbox One even if the discount had stayed in place. But Microsoft could keep sales from sinking too far by continuing to bundle free games, a move that also undoubtedly lured more buyers to its console.

Will Microsoft offer further price discounts or incentives on the Xbox One for the new year? A spokesperson for the company declined CNET's request to comment on any future promotions and deals.

(Via GameSpot)