January buyers are left feeling a bit robbed after Microsoft reveals price rebound was just a one-and-a-half-week sort of deal

If you bought an Xbox One in the past week or so, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has an unpleasant surprise for you -- you paid too much.

The Xbox One was priced at $349 USD throughout the holiday season (or lower when you consider some of the wild Black Friday deals).  Microsoft insisted the promotion was a limited time sort of deal.

Indeed on Jan. 5th the price sprung back to $399 USD for the Kinect-free SKU.  So much for the deal, some thought.  Begrudgingly purchase the console at full price they did.

Well, not so fast my friends.  Microsoft has just announced that the one-and-a-half week price increase was just a psych-out and that it has a "new promotion to announce" to show Xbox fans its "gratitude" for strong holiday sales.  While the company didn't bother to give any numbers but says that holiday sales were "unprecedented."  You might guess what that promotion is -- a return to $349 USD for the Xbox One.

$349 Xbox One

That's great news for those who want an Xbox One, not so great news for those who just did a bit of post holiday shopping only to discover they paid $50 too much.  Of course some stores have policies about such things and allow you to return the item, but many incorporate return shipping or restocking fees to ensure you won't really get much of the difference.

Price cuts are a reality of life -- and most of the time they're welcome.  Just like smartphone releases, good news for some is bad news for others whose timing was poor.  

That said, one must wonder why Microsoft would insist on bumping the price back to $399 if it was only going to stick with that price for a week-and-a-half.  It's almost a cruel prank of sorts on those Xbox One buyers between Jan. 5-15.  If you're one of them, you have our sympathy.

Here's Microsoft's Xbox Chief Phil Spencer talking about Xbox One stuff with the usual smirk on his face:

Microsoft's press release also teases at upcoming games -- Halo 5: GuardiansRise of the Tomb RaiderEvolveScreamrideThe Witcher 3: Wild HuntOri and the Blind Forest, Battlefield Hardline -- and upcoming apps -- HBO GOShowtime AnytimePandoraReddXGoPro, and Twitch broadcasting

Sources: Microsoft [press release], via Neowin

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