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Xbox One sells 2 million consoles worldwide, celebrates by raising Xbox Live game prices

Jonathan Lester
Microsoft, Xbox One

Xbox One sells 2 million consoles worldwide, celebrates by raising Xbox Live game prices

Microsoft are finally ready to talk firm numbers when it comes to worldwide Xbox One sales, confirming that their entertainment system has sold over 2 million units in the 18 days since launch. This is a similar to the PS4's 2.1 million figure, which was also announced 18 days after the US release, so it's clear that demand for both consoles is impressively high.

High being an understatement, because apparently Amazon were selling 1000 Xbox Ones per minute at peak demand.

So how are Microsoft celebrating their milestone? Beyond thanking the fans in a statement on Xbox Wire, the Redmond heavyweights have decided to mark the occasion by raising several first-party Xbox Live game prices by a fiver.

Hooray! Wait, what?

Good news first: Yusuf Medhi quickly weighed in to thank those who bought an Xbox One at launch. “We continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the positive response from our fans," he said. "We are thrilled to see sales of Xbox One on a record-setting pace, with over 2 million Xbox One consoles in homes around the world. Demand is exceeding supply in our 13 launch markets and Xbox One is sold out at most retailers.

"We’re also particularly excited to see consumers engaging in a wide range of games and entertainment experiences on the platform, with more than 1 million paid transactions on Xbox Live to date."

Paid transactions, eh? Okay, leaving the whole microtransaction thing aside for now, this is a seriously impressive achievement considering the nervy few months following Xbox One's horrific reveal event. I'm thoroughly enjoying the Xbox One user experience alongside its strong lineup of exclusive launch titles, and am clearly in good company.

Speaking of those exclusive launch titles, though, Microsoft have also raised the Xbox Live prices of Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome and Forza Motorsport 5 from £44.99 to £49.99. Microsoft has yet to explain the reasoning behind the price hike (beyond, erm, money), save suggesting that "digital content pricing is subject to change and we may occasionally offer various deals or promotions" in a mealy-mouthed non-statement to Eurogamer.

At the very least, Microsoft should be looking to position Zoo Tycoon as a perfect cut-price impulse purchase. We'll wait and see if these steep prices normalise, though we may be waiting some time...

Add a comment8 comments
Late  Dec. 11, 2013 at 15:37

Their pricing is a constant source of amazement and despair.

If Zoo Tycoon were £30 digital I'd be interested, but it's £50. Why it's more expensive than the physical copy (which can be had for a shade under £45 - which is still too expensive) is a mystery.

It's digital, Microsoft. It has no production or shipping costs. What are you playing at?!

And then there's your Rovio/Popcap type-games.
Games that can be played for free in web-browsers or on your phone or tablet. If you want to play the newest or remove adverts you might pay a couple of quid. They thrive by shifting humongous quantities at a low price (or free but with adverts).
Asking £9.99 for Peggle on the xbox One is arguably a bit steep given you'll probably be able to play it for much less on your ios/android device soon - though I'd say it's fantastic value for money.
But asking for over thirty five quid for Angry Birds is absolutely ridiculous! (Add to that, it seems to have been rated 1.5 out of 5.0 stars by consumers on their store. Outstanding.)

MattGardner  Dec. 11, 2013 at 15:38

Great news about the sales and long may this generation remain fiercely competitive (as long as competition fuels MS and Sony bettering the other at each turn).

Hilariously awful timing for the price hike, mind. Had to laugh, typical MS.

Quietus  Dec. 11, 2013 at 16:05

But this way they can reduce them in a brillimega sale, and people will be wowed by their reduction to the same price they were before.;)

stevenjameshyde  Dec. 11, 2013 at 16:15

Idiots. Would it have been so difficult to have the prices set at £49.99 all along, but offer a 10% 'early adopter discount' for two weeks? Exactly the same prices, but with an actual proper marketing message

sca1972  Dec. 11, 2013 at 17:50

I often find myself pondering the "why isn't digital cheaper than physical?" question (I know I should get out more). Not just in relation to games but also to comics, and music. Why is a comic on Comixology the same price as a print version or an iTunes album download the same price as a CD.

I think most people still buy physical copies of these things (less so with music perhaps) through retailers and if digital was to undercut the retailers they would stop stocking the goods. So until digital becomes the dominant sales channel, publishers can't afford to upset the retailers.

Even digital copies have distribution costs. The servers and infrastructure that allow us to download digital copies also cost money to run. I'm not suggesting the costs are equal, they will be much lower, but how much lower? How much is MS or Sony's cut and how much do they share with the publishers?

Perhaps I'm over thinking it and they are just milking fan boys who want to play a game as soon as possible on release day and don't want to wait for the postman, or venture outside to a shop.

Late  Dec. 11, 2013 at 18:26

I get the distinct impression Microsoft are keen to move away from physical media, but they're doing their best to trip themselves up.
Tbh I'd be happy if all of my games were digital. It'd mean giving up reselling them, but I'd be willing to sacrifice that for the convenience of not having to switch disks when I want to play something else. (First world problems)

r3tract  Dec. 11, 2013 at 22:03

I've gone completely digital this generation so this sort of thing just irritates me.

I get that they want to keep high street retailers on board by allowing them room to discount games.

But why are MS and Sony not pushing a digital only future? Why are they not creating online only shops whereby GAME HMV and whoever else could open their own digital store on the console and sell new licenses and buy back existing licenses to games.

Would that not have made more sense rather than having only one digital outlet for games and keeping the prices high?

sca1972  Dec. 11, 2013 at 23:53

Amazon have started selling download codes for PSN games. Only 6 games so far, but they only started it on Amazon UK today. That is a step in the right direction, allowing retailers to sell and possibly discount these codes, although currently the Amazon prices are the same as Sony's.

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