Microsoft offers $50 discount on Xbox 360 bundles for holidays

This holiday season it’ll be $50 cheaper to buy select models and bundles of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console.

The $50 discount will be available through Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon, Target, Toys 'R Us and Walmart. It brings the price of a 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect down to $250, and the price of a 250GB Xbox 360 with Kinect down to $350. Microsoft's cheapest console, the 4GB Xbox 360 without Kinect, will remain priced at $200.

Microsoft also announced new bundles of consoles and games. For hardcore gamers, there's a 250GB console with Skyrim and Forza 4 Essentials Edition for $300 and a limited-edition Halo 4-themed console with the game and 320GB of storage for $400. For Kinect bundles, there's a 250GB console with Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports and Kinect Adventures for $400, and a 4GB console with Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Adventures for $300. All four bundles have an extra $50 discount through the holidays, and all but the Halo 4 bundle include a month of Xbox Live Gold.

A quick look through retailers' listings shows lots of other bundles already available, some that are even cheaper than the new offers. Target, for instance, is selling a 250GB console with Halo: Reach and Fable III for $250.

Game console makers have faced pressure to slash prices this year as sales slump. Only Nintendo has done so, with a $20 price cut for the Wii, but for good reason: Nintendo's next console, the Wii U, launches Nov. 18. Sony has introduced a slimmer Playstation 3, starting at $270 for a 250GB model, but the older and thicker 160GB Playstation 3 is still cheaper at $250.

Although Microsoft and Sony haven't announced plans for new gaming consoles, neither is expected to launch new hardware until late 2013 at the earliest.

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