Here's Your Yearly Reminder of That Time Usher Wished Merry Christmas to Xbox

Do you remember how Usher wished Xbox a Merry Christmas in 2012 on behalf of Dance Central 3? We sure do, and here is the Holiday story behind it.

The Christmas season is a time to reflect on some of our favorite memories over the years. As Andy Williams’ iconic holiday song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year reminds us, we should be reminiscing of the “tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.” So, as a yearly treat, let’s bring up that one time Usher and developer Harmonix teamed up to wish Xbox a Merry Christmas on behalf of Dance Central 3.

In the immortal words of Will Smith, “it’s rewind time.” The year is 2012 — we were all dancing along to Gangnam Style, diving into Borderlands 2 for the first time, and already forgetting about Kony 2012.

Meanwhile, Harmonix — recently free and clear from their corporate Viacom overlords — was in heavy promotion mode. As a newly independent studio, they were looking to make a big splash with their recently released Dance Central 3 exclusively for Xbox 360. Utilizing the Xbox 360 Kinect, the series had become a surprise hit, especially for fans of annual rhythm-based titles.

However, not all was well — while the original Dance Central managed to rack up over 3M in sales worldwide, Dance Central 3 was falling well short of a million units sold. Harmonix and Microsoft Studios needed to get creative. And yes, that included star talent.

So from the launch of the game until Easter 2013, R&B and pop star Usher ran a series of holiday promotions in some excellent absurd small snippets. And relevant to today, this included a quick Christmas greeting.

Short, sweet, and to the point, Usher (with a Christmas backdrop) only had nice things to say:

Merry Christmas, Xbox. It’s Usher and I hope that Santa got you everything you asked for… including, Dance Central 3. I’ll see you guys in the New Year.

In effect, this was like Usher leaving a quick Christmas voicemail for everyone in the Xbox family. Crazy enough, this wasn’t even the most absurd holiday video that we would see from Usher.

Harmonix has been doing some great work since this point — while Rock Band 4 didn’t catch fire the way they were hoping, both Amplitude and physical board game DropMix are a ton of fun (and something that should be on your post-Holiday wish lists). Anyway, check out the quick Christmas greeting from Usher below:

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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