Until now Microsoft’s 4K console has been the most expensive current-gen console. The benefits of upgrading from the regular Xbox One S have been relatively slight, largely because the S manages to play 4K Blu-rays and displays HDR. Sure, the increased power of the Xbox One X is a big deal, as is the added HDD size and the fact it can render proper 4K (ahem, unlike some other consoles) without resorting to ‘checkerboarding’. But is it really worth spending that $400 / £370 for a console that offers the same games in 4K? Perhaps not, but that’s all about to change.
During the E3 period in June, we saw Microsoft officially chop the price of the Xbox One X to $399, down from what was about $470. Since then, the price has stayed firm at around $399, with most retailers even throwing in a game or two. During Cyber Monday you can expect another meaty discount, as Microsoft clears the shelves for Xbox Project Scarlett next year. How big will that cut be? Given previous Xbox One X Cyber Monday deals, we can still get a good idea of how much lower it’ll go.
Here's our guide to all the Cyber Monday game deals coming your way in late November.
To get an idea about the X, we first need to look at the S. The Xbox One S has been dipping steadily in price throughout 2019, and you can now pick one up for about $199 with a handful of games. That's about a $50 drop throughout the year. If you want the All-Digital Edition, which comes without the disc drive (and therefore one of the main selling points) you can even pick a console up for about the $170 mark. That's ridiculously cheap. What these cuts tell us is that Microsoft is keen to court the late adopters, and create a big audience for its digital games and subscription services. How does that translate to the X?
While we are likely to see cuts on the Xbox One X, they're not going to be on the same scale as the S. Whereas the non-4K console exists as a cheap gateway into Xbox gaming, the X is firmly focused on the hardcore - that means there's less requirement for Microsoft to lower the price too drastically: you either know you're serious about Xbox or not, and it isn't a cheap entry for anyone curious about stuff like Xbox Game Pass or Gold.
What’s more likely is that you’ll see Cyber Monday gaming specials; console bundles including 2-3 games, for around $400. A typical bundle will probably be Xbox One X + Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, and maybe Sea of Thieves for about $400. That’s well worth a look, especially if you’re buying the console new, having never owned an Xbox One previously, because it automatically gives you three of the best games on the ‘box. Other bundles will be variations on that theme, but we’ve seen a hell of a lot of Xbox One X packs with both the newest Gears and Forza games and something else.
What about the UK? Normally, we’d expect to see prices fall in-line with the US, and that’s certainly the case for the S. The current price of the X is hovering around the £400 mark, with the Gears 5 Special Edition retaining full price at £450. During E3 we didn't see the same price cuts in the UK as the US, so there's no reason to believe it'll be different on Black Friday. While we wouldn't be surprised to see the Xbox One X get as low as £370 with a couple of games, there won't be massive cuts from any retailers. Microsoft has seen the success PlayStation had in 2018, via the release of a Red Dead 2 bundle (which held its price throughout the sales period), and seems to be leaning heavier on its own bundles in the UK to tempt buyers.
Given the economic uncertainty currently gripping the UK, courtesy of wanton political self-harm, there is likely to be pessimism around anyone looking to shift premium gaming consoles. By going down the bundle route, rather than price-cuts, Microsoft is doubling-down on the people who likely have intent to buy the X anyway. It's certainly a gamble.
So, what games should you expect to get cheap this Black Friday for Xbox One X? Forza Horizon 4 will be cut to $35 / £30 in most places, and you should expect to see Sekiro, Control, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in most bundles. Basically anything hot from the start of this year or the tail-end of 2018.
Overall, it’s brilliant news for US buyers. The Xbox One X will not only be the most powerful console in the world, but it’ll be a great price too AND will likely come bundled with some top games. The S will be an incredible price too, if you’re not worried about 4K gaming and just want a console to maybe buy Xbox Game Pass for. The deals will be better than the ones we’ll see on Sony’s rival PS4 Pro. All this is in the US. The rest of the world, especially the UK, will be waiting to see whether or not they get similar deals from Microsoft itself. If the House of Xbox is feeling generous, the X will be the hottest console this Black Friday, so if you’re thinking of picking one up now really is the time.