Sony has thrown the first punch in the video game industry's annual holiday slugfest.
The company on Thursday cut the price of its PlayStation 4 console by $50 to $349.99, effective Friday. The move brings the system to the same price as Microsoft's Xbox One — but could further tip sales in Sony's favor.
Microsoft, in many ways, has the superior game lineup this holiday season. Along with multiplatform titles like "Call of Duty: Black Ops III" and "Star Wars: Battlefront," it has exclusives like "Halo 5: Guardians" and "Rise of the Tomb Raider." Analysts had said this created a big opportunity for the company to close the sales gap with Sony.
But Sony's price cut could be an effective counter move. The PS4 has held a commanding sales lead in this generation of consoles — and continues to have a better buzz with a large swath of players.
The PS4 sold more than 25 million units worldwide from November 2013 through the end of July, and Sony has said it expected to sell 16.5 million units this fiscal year. Microsoft, meanwhile, hasn't given an update on Xbox One sales since November, when it hit 10 million.
"Our goal at PlayStation has always been to offer the best place to play at a compelling value to gamers," said Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony computer Entertainment America. "We're continuing to deliver on that commitment with this new price for PS4, making the console even more accessible to a broader audience this holiday."