Microsoft Stock at 14-Year High

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It didn’t take very long for Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) to erase the $100 price premium it charged for the new Xbox One compared with Sony Corp.’s (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 4. All it took was a good excuse and that showed up with the release of Titanfall, the new shooter game published by Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA).

When Titanfall was first released it cost $60 as a standalone purchase or it came free with the purchase of a new Xbox One, effectively reducing the price of Microsoft’s new console from $499 to $439. On Friday, big-box retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) began selling the same bundle for $449, effectively lowering the price of the new console to $389. The PlayStation 4 costs $399.

Microsoft claims that it has not lowered its suggested retail price and that the Walmart and Best Buy price cuts are special promotions offered by the two retailers. A Microsoft spokesman also said the company did not lower its wholesale price to either Walmart or Best Buy. According to, the $449 bundle is out-of-stock at Walmart, but according to the discounted price is applied at checkout time. The price also applies to the bundle purchased at the physical store.

Availability of the PlayStation 4 is much spottier, with stores like Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) and GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) shown as out of stock. Only Best Buy among the big-box stores appears to have the PS4 in stock, although two bundles priced at $576 and $635 are available from Walmart.

Since both new game consoles were launched in November the PlayStation 4 had sold more than 6 million units by early March while the Xbox One is estimated to have sold somewhere around 4 million units. Neither company has updated those figures yet, but the gap is expected to have closed since the introduction of Titanfall.

Sony introduced a new game for PS4 on Friday as well: inFamous: Second Son. Like Titanfall, which is exclusive to Microsoft, the new game will be an exclusive on PS4.

Microsoft’s stock posted a new 52-week high of $40.94 on Friday before sinking with the rest of the markets to close at $40.16. Microsoft stock has not closed above $40 since July 2000.