The Microsoft Store wants you to trade-in your old PS3. In exchange, they'll give you $100 toward the purchase of a shiny new Xbox One.
The promotion was emailed this morning to select gamers. It's available in select Microsoft stores throughout the United States and Canada. The PS3 you trade in must be fully functional and come with all of its original accessories. The fine print also says that you have to buy an Xbox One to receive "maximum trade-in value," which suggests that you'll still get some store credit if you give in your PS3 without purchasing an XB1.
A hundred bucks, coincidentally, is the difference in price between the Xbox One and PS4. I don't think, as some do, that this is some attempt to level the playing field between the two, though. No one is going to equate losing an old console and getting a $499 console with buying a $399 console. PS3's, as old as they are, still have a value to the player these days because of the PS4's current lack of backwards-compatibility.
The simpler, and more likely, explanation for the offer is that Microsoft wants to increase sales at their store. Gamers are looking to spend big money on upgrading to a next-gen console so why not give them a reason to the Microsoft Store instead of a rival retailer?
GameStop also offers $100 for used PS3's but only for the 500GB "K" Model. The Microsoft Store promo doesn't mention a specific PS3 model. However, it does say that the "appraised value will be determined at trade-in." If you bring in a fat-ass PS3 from 2008 with the ugly Spider-Man font, don't be surprised if you get less than $100.
I'm wondering what actually happens to the PS3's that gamers trade in at the Microsoft Store. Microsoft Stores don't actually sell PS3's, right? Are they just going to the recycling plant? Is someone in Redmond building an awesome fort out of PS3's in their backyard? A PS3 fort might not be worth much money but it's sure worth a lot of Reddit karma.
The $100 offer also applies to the Xbox 360 E and S, the two newest models of the console. The Xbox 360 trade-ins are actually a better deal, because you're getting $15 more than what GameStop will give you for the 320GB S.
The Microsoft Store website says that the deal will expire on March 2nd. Some NeoGAF users received email notifications that said February 28th, though. The exact date might vary by location. If you're interested in the offer, you should call your Microsoft Store to be sure what the deal is.
While the Xbox One had a strong launch, there are still tens of millions of gamers who haven't upgraded to a next-gen console. Expect to see more deals like this as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo try to woo these undecideds into their camp. While buying on day one had its perks, sitting on the fence will come with its own rewards.
Update: A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Gaming Blend that the consoles are being recycled.