(For A Week)
On the back of a mighty Xbox 360 sale and promises to normalise their outrageous Xbox One digital prices, Microsoft is trialling a new initiative that will slash Ryse: Son Of Rome down to £34.99 - one of the cheapest prices you'll find anywhere. Is this the start of a new competitive push for digital dominance, or just a weekly sale by any other name?
Though the discount has yet to go live at the time of writing -- be sure to keep an eye on the marketplace listing -- Microsoft has pledged to knock one of the Xbox One's flagship exclusives down to a shade under £35 later today. This is much less than you'd expect to pay for a pre-owned copy online or on the high street, and though Ryse ain't the biggest or smartest of games, it's certainly pretty and cathartic enough to be worth a look.
It's a potentially exciting step for Microsoft, and one that we hope will lead to a newly revitalised perspective on their digital pricing. Without manufacturing costs and distribution to worry about save maintaining a pre-existing server network, many gamers can't see the logic in the exorbitant RRPs commanded by the biggest games. With luck, this could be the tip of an inclusive, overdue overhaul of digital pricing.
Maybe. Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
At this point, it's important to note that the discount will only last seven days. It's likely that we could start seeing cycling temporary deals as opposed to price cuts across the board, even if this "trial" is successful, since Microsoft will probably still be keen to keep retailers sweet.
We also have to point out that Ryse is arguably the wrong game to test the waters, since Zoo Tycoon would benefit far more from a price cut. It's perfectly placed as a family-friendly casual impulse buy, and is one of the few games that actually uses the Kinect sensor's facial recogniation and motion tracking to advantage, but has been priced completely out of the market at a frankly stupid £49.99. Sort this, Microsoft.
Regardless, though, it's great to see Microsoft offering some savings, temporary or not. How much do you pay, or would you ideally like to pay, for digital Xbox One games?