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Microsoft bets on 'Halo' to rock Xbox One holiday sales

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Master Chief meets Queen

Halo: The Master Chief Collection debuts on Xbox One next week, and Microsoft’s first TV ad for the tile will start appearing today as part of a big holiday push for the games console. Microsoft is falling behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 sales, despite exclusivesprice drops and several console bundles over the past several months. The latest promotion is a "temporary" $50 price cut for the holiday, an attempt to kill off the nine consecutive months that the PlayStation 4 has beaten Xbox One sales in the US.

Halo 5 beta is the reward for backing Master Chief

Microsoft is turning to Master Chief and Queen’s "We Will Rock You" today to get shoppers into stores. In a new TV ad, the iconic rock song is recreated with guns, bombs, and explosions from the various Halo games that form The Master Chief Collection. Halo: Combat Evolved was the original title that really turned Microsoft’s original Xbox console into a seller. Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes the original, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4, with some impressive graphical improvements to the first two instalments. Microsoft is also tempting potential Xbox One owners with a Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta that starts on December 29th, a reward for those who buy The Master Chief Collection this holiday season.

Halo won't turn around Xbox One sales alone, and Microsoft is also heavily promoting its Forza and Sunset Overdrive exclusives, and its deals for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It won't be until the new year before we find out if the price cuts and games prevent Microsoft from falling behind Sony for an entire year.