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COMMENT | The Xbox One price cut is slightly insulting, desperate & utterly brilliant

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Microsoft, Xbox One

COMMENT | The Xbox One price cut is slightly insulting, desperate & utterly brilliant

Microsoft Are Finally Ready To Compete

We love price cuts here at Dealspwn.com, and Microsoft dropped the hammer on an absolute doozy yesterday. From February 28th, the Xbox One will cost £399.99 in British stores, with Titanfall thrown in as a free sweetener while stocks last.

As you'd expect, the reaction has been wildly mixed. Pundits and fence-sitters are unsurprisingly overjoyed by the news, but many early adopters are outraged after paying £429.99 a matter of months ago, while some international gamers object to the fact that the price cut is a UK-only affair. Perhaps more importantly, early price cuts are historically seen an admission of outright failure, typically throwing the spotlight on a console that's struggling to perform. A move born of desperation, perhaps, not goodwill.

We, however, believe that this was nothing less than a stroke of genius, regardless of Microsoft's motives and where you stand.

COMMENT | The Xbox One price cut is slightly insulting, desperate & utterly brilliant

In raw financial terms, the Xbox One's new price point makes more sense than the original RRP ever did. £429.99 was just too expensive, pushing the console over the £300/£400 price bracket that deterred many gamers from taking the plunge on the new platform. More to the point, compared to buying the demonstrably more technically proficient PS4 at £349, it felt a bit like a mug's game, despite the stronger and more diverse launch lineup. Something had to give. And it has.

The Titanfall bundle throws a delightful extra spanner into the works. Consider this: a stock PS4 and a major title  will set you back around £360-£399... but an Xbox One and its most anticipated game costs much the same, AND includes Kinect into the bargain (whereas the PlayStation Camera requires an extra £50 outlay). In terms of reducing the price gap, Microsoft are onto an absolute winner.

COMMENT | The Xbox One price cut is slightly insulting, desperate & utterly brilliant

For early adopters, though, the price cut is a bit of a slap to the face. How could it not be? After shelling out £430 a matter of months ago, loyal customers get to watch Johnny-Come-Lately waltz in and save £30, then receive an extra reward for their tardiness in the form of a free copy of Titanfall. A game that many pre-Christmas buyers already pre-ordered at a premium.

"Entitlement" be damned: this is going to sting. We saw much the same with the 3DS, which admittedly lowered its price by significantly more than £30 a few months after launch, but at least attempted to placate its early adopters with a slew of free games. Microsoft don't plan to retroactively hand out free copies of Titanfall, but we reckon that some sort of token gesture is probably in order. Even if it's only a digital game, an Xbox Live Gold extension or £10 store credit to get people onto the Xbox Live marketplace.

Ultimately, though, this is how consumer electronics works, and we all knew the risks. Whether a brand new disc format, television or smartphone, you have the choice of paying more to be first -- enjoying your new gadget for several months before anyone else -- or holding out for a discount.

COMMENT | The Xbox One price cut is slightly insulting, desperate & utterly brilliant

Oh, and if you're a disgruntled US reader, remember that us Brits don't have access to OneGuide and still end up paying more due to the exchange rate. £100 more to be exact, compared to the $499 American RRP. Stop moaning.

As a general rule, console manufacturers don't slash prices if their wares are flying off the shelves, which brings us neatly onto the somewhat more controversial motives behind the price cut itself. Put simply, though the Xbox One is selling faster than the Xbox 360 during its honeymoon period, it's massively underperforming relative to the PS4.

The latest figures suggest that Sony's machine is outselling the Xbox One by a factor of 2:1 (due mainly to an exceptional marketing campaign and the attractive price point), a fact that they're sure to crow about in their full-year financial report come April/May. With the same deadline fast looming, Microsoft will be desperate to ensure a massive sales boost to show to their shareholders and the media - so it's no coincidence that the price cut comes a clear month before the end of the financial year. Every little helps, and the stockholders will be looking at the new platform with a critical eye.

COMMENT | The Xbox One price cut is slightly insulting, desperate & utterly brilliant

Is it an admission of failure? Of desperation, perhaps? Well... yes, I suppose it is, but it's also much more than that.

The price cut is nothing less than a statement of intent, in that Microsoft are finally willing to compete. As opposed to rolling out an incredibly expensive console, sitting back and telling gamers what they want, they've realised that the only way to go up against a cheaper and more powerful machine is to drop the price, throw in incentives and then let the games do the talking. As the audience swells, they've got a fascinating palette of exclusives to look forward to, from Titanfall to Project Spark, D4, Quantum Break, Super Time Force, Kinect Sports Rivals and all the multiplatform titles to boot.

Following some experiments into cheaper games pricing and first-party bundles, hopefully we're seeing the birth of a new, hungry Microsoft who are willing to do everything it takes to make the Xbox One a success. This price cut, as it stands, is a stroke of utter genius.

So, dear reader, it's time to tell us where you stand. Are you more likely to buy an Xbox One now? Have you pre-ordered a Titanfall bundle? Are you worried about the state of the console, annoyed that you paid over the odds or more than happy with the state of affairs? Let us know in the comments!

Add a comment20 comments
stevenjameshyde  Feb. 25, 2014 at 10:38

More likely, yes, but still not exactly what I'd call likely. I already own a PS4 and there's no compelling reason to own both at the present time

If I do think about a second console, a £69 2DS is making a stronger case at the moment

kristianity77  Feb. 25, 2014 at 11:21

The thing about this price cut though is will it really make that much difference? Short of a bit of a spike in sales because of people who might finally bite, surely figures would then settle down again to what they have been over the past month, which is horribly outnumbered by the PS4.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that the Xbox has had a price cut, and its great that it brings it in line almost with the PS4. But that doesn't stop it still being technically inferior, it doesn't stop the obvious advantages to the average consumer of PS Plus over Xbox Live and it doesn't stop the outright annoyance that is Kinect which nobody seems to want.

There are now titanfall bundles on HDUK that are avaialable as a preorder for £369. There must still be profit made from this or else it wouldn't happen so early in its lifespan. So how about MS actually do a proper job and shave another £50-£60 off that price and release a console without the kinect. Then it would be on a real equal footing with the PS4. Inferior hardware but at LESS of a price which seems much more reasonable!

JonLester  Feb. 25, 2014 at 11:41

@stevenjameshyde: I'd recommend a 3DS/2DS over either new-gen console right now. Fantastic games collection.

@kristianity77: "The thing about this price cut though is will it really make that much difference?"

Maybe, maybe not. But it's a start.

alistairmclean520  Feb. 25, 2014 at 11:46

Price drop was to be expected, early adopters always pay a premium for having the "next big thing".
Price drop is a strong move, but for someone like me I am not picking up one till it hits that magic £299 price point. By then there should be a decent library of games and the OS should be far more competent.
360 and WiiU filling my time up till then.

Anarchist  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:00

As Jon points out, this doesn't just pull the xbone in line with the PS4 price - it significantly beats it. There are already deals for this package at £369 - cheaper than you can get a PS4 with brand new AAA titles. And it includes Kinect.

Yes, hopefully this does mean they've actually looked at things properly, and chose a price/package that means they are now looking to directly compete. You can get the slightly better performing PS4, or the slightly better value package of the Xbox one. Consumers have a much more interesting choice now.

This move was done at a perfect time to capitalise on the Titanfall press riot that's still happening. We all know about it, we've all seen those videos on youtube of somebody catapulting a hundred feet in the air, only to land on a Titan and destroy its brains. This will shift plenty of consoles to those who wanted to join in.

Toxatron  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:24

This is a clever move by Microsoft due to the fact you really need to be online to play Titanfall. Which requires you to own a gold subscription which equals more pennies for Microsoft regardless of the price cut.

Toxatron  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:31

To add to my previous comment.

Yes I bought my Xbox One at launch and yes I am slightly annoyed by this. However, I have been playing Forza 5 and BF4 since then, so I consider to have had my money's worth.

It would be nice for a console-ation (wheeey) prize for those who bought at launch

Jerec  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:32

I still don't see what all the Titanfall fuss is all about?

It doesn't look any better then Killzone 2 on the PS3 and does just look like another run-of-the-mill fps.

Does it have a singleplayer mode? A story line?

If not I'd buy a decent PC and get Hawken.

JonLester  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:39

@Anarchist: pretty much agree with all of that, as things stand.

@Toxatron (and other fellow early adopters): what would you consider as an acceptable "console"-ation prize? That was a great pun, by the way. Personally, I reckon a little store credit would be a nice gesture.

@Jerec: It's a really fun multiplayer shooter with mechs, parkour and ridiculous robot rodeo. That's basically all the hype it needs!

Horses for courses, but we found it to be refreshing, accessible and effortlessly enjoyable during the beta. It's nothing we haven't seen before from various games, but packaged in an incredibly intuitive and satisfying way. Fingers crossed that the full version lives up to expectations!

Last edited by JonLester, Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:50
Toxatron  Feb. 25, 2014 at 12:53

@JonLester I am hyped for the game as well. Funny thing is that I hate COD, went off it after Modern Warfare 2 and became a Battlefield man. However now, I find BF4 tedious and found Titanfall refreshing. Sure the graphics aren't the best but its nice to have a game that's a little different from all the rest.

To answer your question though - I would consider a digital download as a nice gesture. Something lightweight though e.g. Max : The curse of Brotherhood, Power Star Golf, Rayman Legends etc.

Late  Feb. 25, 2014 at 13:26

"...Kinect which nobody seems to want...
...shave another £50-£60 off that price and release a console without the kinect..."
kristianity77 - you're under the distinct impression that Kinect isn't good and isn't wanted, aren't you.
I wasn't keen (especially after the mess that was Kinect 1.0), but went for it, and it's fantastic.
They definitely shouldn't release a version of the console without Kinect. It would make no sense. Without that USP it becomes more of a slightly underpowered console (in comparison with the ps4). Knowing everyone with an xbox One has Kinect means the already impressive device will get better, as will it's applications.
It'd be akin to Nintendo selling a Wii U without the gamepad. Nonsensical.
__________________________________

A free game or a bit of store credit for early adopters would be fantastic, naturally - but to be honest it's not needed. We bought early knowing full well that it'd be cheaper if we waited, and we've had three extra months playing with our shiny new toy. Compensation isn't necessary.

Kudos to Toxatron for "console-ation"! Fantastic =))

As for Titanfall, I know it's most commonly compared to COD (and of course has it's Infinity Ward roots) but I thought Halo a closer comparison.
Either way, it's looking awesome.
How about early adopters get a digital copy of Titanfall for half price? That'd go down a storm.

Toxatron  Feb. 25, 2014 at 14:14

@late @jonlester Thanks for your kind hearted comments about my pun.

It took me all of 10 minutes to think of. Proves I don't have much to do at work today.

Agreed in regards to the Kinect - it is needed.

ThePopeXIII  Feb. 25, 2014 at 15:40

The thing about this price cut though is will it really make that much difference? Short of a bit of a spike in sales because of people who might finally bite, surely figures would then settle down again to what they have been over the past month, which is horribly outnumbered by the PS4.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that the Xbox has had a price cut, and its great that it brings it in line almost with the PS4. But that doesn't stop it still being technically inferior, it doesn't stop the obvious advantages to the average consumer of PS Plus over Xbox Live and it doesn't stop the outright annoyance that is Kinect which nobody seems to want.

There are now titanfall bundles on HDUK that are avaialable as a preorder for £369. There must still be profit made from this or else it wouldn't happen so early in its lifespan. So how about MS actually do a proper job and shave another £50-£60 off that price and release a console without the kinect. Then it would be on a real equal footing with the PS4. Inferior hardware but at LESS of a price which seems much more reasonable!


The average consumer could care less about 900p vs 1080 MOST don't have a tv large enough to see the difference (DF found 50" or larger). It will boil down to what controller you like the most, games you want to play, and what your friends have.

Clearly,you are a PS4 owner. Because if you owned an X1 you, would know kinect is very cool, and only adds to the experience doesn't detract.

Redscope99  Feb. 25, 2014 at 16:38

The price drop is bound to make a difference to sales but it is unlikely to stem the flow of the PS4 sales. The PS4 still costs less to buy and in raw power terms it is the better device. While visually I might not be able to tell 900p from 1080 I know my TV does support 1080. So why buy the more expensive device giving me a worst picture.

While I agree the Kinect is a great device that works well it is not really used by games other than those that have you dancing around the house. Aside from being fun for the first week it becomes under used I still prefer the controller. I can live without it that is for certain. An Xbox One for 350 without the camera would be of more interest.

When you factor in the free games across the PS3, PS4 and vita with PS plus service and very little of value with the xbox live service I am still edging towards the PS4 as a purchase.

One last thing making a price cut because your device is not selling as well is not Utter Genius. It is just the most logical step to boost your flagging sales.

Late  Feb. 25, 2014 at 18:59

But the Xbox One supports 1080p.




Proof, if it's needed:


http://s1.postimg.org/udtpui9rj/1080p.png

JonLester  Feb. 25, 2014 at 19:36

@Late: ... http://i.imgur.com/8WwsOyS.gif


That is, quite honestly, the best thing I've seen today. Sure, I need to get out more (and have been testing the new DR3 DLC, so the bar is incredibly low), but we've only just recovered from a major case of office giggles.

Assuming you took the picture, can we use it as a daily bite?

Last edited by JonLester, Feb. 25, 2014 at 19:58
Late  Feb. 25, 2014 at 19:54

Sorry - I can't take the credit. I saw it somewhere in misc on HUKD. (Can't see it now, but whoever posted it there credited the original uploader.)
The image was too big for the comments pane on here so my only contribution was to download, crop, and re-upload it.

JonLester  Feb. 25, 2014 at 20:01

Fair play! Well, at least we'll always have comment #70202.

Rubisco  Feb. 26, 2014 at 00:57

I don't get why anybody is whinging about this. Surely if you've bought an expensive new console it's in your interests for as many other people to buy one as possible?

If I'd have bought day one then ideally I would like them to be as stupid as to knock it down to £100, make it sell more than the PS2 did and as a result get a software library as extensive as the PS2's was. Userbase=investment=games.

kristianity77  Mar. 3, 2014 at 15:16

The thing about this price cut though is will it really make that much difference? Short of a bit of a spike in sales because of people who might finally bite, surely figures would then settle down again to what they have been over the past month, which is horribly outnumbered by the PS4.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that the Xbox has had a price cut, and its great that it brings it in line almost with the PS4. But that doesn't stop it still being technically inferior, it doesn't stop the obvious advantages to the average consumer of PS Plus over Xbox Live and it doesn't stop the outright annoyance that is Kinect which nobody seems to want.

There are now titanfall bundles on HDUK that are avaialable as a preorder for £369. There must still be profit made from this or else it wouldn't happen so early in its lifespan. So how about MS actually do a proper job and shave another £50-£60 off that price and release a console without the kinect. Then it would be on a real equal footing with the PS4. Inferior hardware but at LESS of a price which seems much more reasonable!


The average consumer could care less about 900p vs 1080 MOST don't have a tv large enough to see the difference (DF found 50" or larger). It will boil down to what controller you like the most, games you want to play, and what your friends have.

Clearly,you are a PS4 owner. Because if you owned an X1 you, would know kinect is very cool, and only adds to the experience doesn't detract.



Actually for what its worth you are correct I do own a PS4, and I also own an Xbox one. But as weird as it sounds at the moment I'm perfectly content with the 360 and the games that have come out since Xmas (Like Castlevania, EDF2025, Lightening Returns) and am happily waiting for games like South Park, Dark Souls 2 because it painfully obvious that there is a dearth of decent software on the new consoles for the next few months.

And with regards to the "average consumer" comment, I think in this day and age thats doing the "average consumer" a bit of a disservice. Everyone nowadays has instant access to the net, or knows someone who has read up on these things etc and people are a fair bit more clued up now on where they are going to get their moneys worth than they would have been years ago.

I was merely pointing out in my first comment where I feel changes need to be made for the sales to pick up. It was way overpriced when it came out (something which a lot of people defended as "you pay for what you get") and now the same people are annoyed that they paid over the odds for it now its had a price cut.

With regards to the Kinect, mine now permanently faces the wall as its more a hindrance than anything. Watching a film and doing something as simple as picking up my brew to take a sip and that being registered as a command happened once to many times. But perhaps thats just me :)

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