• Xbox One Console

Xbox One Console (Photo : Twitter)

Microsoft is dropping the cost of its Xbox One console to $249, which is half of the original price when the game system was released in 2013. This is the third price cut during the past few months, and before the launch of the Xbox One S/Slim in August. All of the software giant's 500GB versions are now just $249, which includes bundled games such as "Forza Motorsport 6". "Gears of War: Ultimate Edition", "Quantum Break", "Rare Replay", and "Rise of the Tomb Raider".

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The Xbox One sale was announced by Larry Hryb on Twitter. "Major Nelson" is Director of Programming for Microsoft's gaming network Xbox Live.

Best Buy, Amazon, and other retail stores will sell Xbox One consoles at the discounted $249 price while they stay in stock.

Xbox One was released in November 2013. The Microsoft console was bundled with Kinect motion-sensing devices.  

Microsoft's third Xbox console continues to trail Sony's PlayStation 4. Sony has sold 40 million PS4 units, while EA reported in January 2016 that Microsoft had sold 19 million Xbox One units, according to The Verge.

A new un-bundled 500GB PS4 has a $399 price tag on Amazon. Most of the other versions are bundled with one game and cost $349.

Microsoft's latest price discount seems to be a harbinger of the Xbox One S console that will launch on August 2. The super-slim Xbox One is 40 percent smaller than the original version and includes redesigned hardware.

Meanwhile, the more powerful Xbox "Scorpio" console is set to launch in fall 2017.

It is very likely that Microsoft will stop producing original Xbox One units after supplies have sold out. The current eighth generation of game consoles started back in November 2012 when Nintendo released Wii U.

Microsoft's 2TB version of Xbox One S will have a price tag of $399. It will later release 1TB ($349) and 500GB ($299) versions.      

In related news, Microsoft has expanded its list of titles for Xbox One backward compatibility (BC). The company has released old-school Xbox 360 games to bring the grand total to 221 titles, according to Express.  

Last week several classic games became Xbox One BC titles. They include "Bionic Commando Rearmed 2", "Capcom Arcade Cabinet", "Pac-Man Museum", and "Sonic 4: Episodes 1&2".

The Xbox One BC library was launched in 2015.  

Here's the Xbox One Slim: