Feb 24 2014, 1:16pm CST | by Forbes
Xbox One is getting a little bit cheaper in the United Kingdom. Microsoft’s newest console will cost £399 come February 28th, down from £429 at launch. For right now, any such reduction is strictly limited to the UK.
“For us it’s about giving UK gamers the best value we can,” Xbox’s UK Marketing Director Harvey Eagle told IGN. “That really starts with the announcement we’re making today with this new £399 price-point.
This comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Microsoft plans to sell a Titanfall bundle at the same price as the regular Xbox One, which, as Paul Tassi notes, is something of a $60 price cut in itself. As usual, there’s no word about when we might see a similar price cut in the US or anywhere else, but it’s safe to assume that Microsoft is going to be paying very close attention to how this goes over in the UK. I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see a broader price reduction by next holiday season.
Xbox One is selling very well relative to console releases past, but it’s lagging behind its chief competitor, the PS4, which provides similar gaming functionality for $100 less. As PS4 continues to pull ahead in sales despite severely limited stock, I imagine there are some higher-ups at Microsoft starting to worry about what this early install base gap could do to the broader console war. Microsoft still wants to use this machine as a Trojan horse to capture the entirety of living room entertainment, but it can’t do that if Sony gets there first.
There’s really one reason that the Xbox One currently costs $100 more than the PS4, and that’s the Kinect 2.0. The sophisticated motion-sensing camera tacks on considerable manufacturing costs, but it has yet to really prove itself as a capable gesture-based controller. The one totally kinect-centric game at launch, Fighter Within, was a massive critical failure.
Microsoft isn’t likely to give up on the Kinect anytime soon, because the little device is so central to its original concept for the Xbox One. But it might swallow a slightly bigger loss to make the console and the Kinect together more competitive with the PS4. We’re entering into the part of the console war largely determined by software, and Microsoft will get a major boon when already-popular FPS Titanfall launches in March. But a price cut would probably be more beneficial to sales than any number of big-name exclusives.
Source: Develop Magazine
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