Xbox One Gets Its First Price Cut
Given that it’s lagging behind in the console war by an estimated 1.7 million units after three months of sales, it was only a matter of time before Microsoft tried something to close the gap. I don’t think, however, that anyone expected them to try a price cut so soon.
To gain competitive ground with the PlayStation Four, Microsoft UK announced a £30 price cut to £399 for the Xbox One and that Titanfall Xbox One console bundles would be available at no extra charge above the base price.
Currently, the Xbox One retails for £429 in the UK while the PlayStation 4 is available for only £349. When that price cut goes into effect on February 28th, that will reduce the pricing gap from £80 to £50. Whether a straight price cut will help Microsoft claw back some ground in the UK remains to be seen.
Microsoft hasn’t committed to a price cut in the North American market yet where the console costs consumers $100 more than the PS4. However, US gamers can take solace in the fact that the US dollar equivalent of £399 is over $660. It’s still cheaper to by an XB1 in American though I doubt that fact will make any current or potential future Xbox One owners any happier about not getting a price drop.
Also, as was mentioned in a leak about a month ago, the Xbox One is getting a new Titanfall bundle to celebrate the launch of the first proper system seller of the current generation (well, apart from Super Mario 3D World). The Titanfall console bundle will cost the base Xbox One price in a region ($499 in North America, £399 in the UK). The bundle comes with the standard console, controller and Kinect but also comes with a download card (rather than physical disc copy) for Titanfall and a headset.
While the Titanfall bundle is an absolute necessity for Microsoft seeing as they seem to be banking on this as a huge hit and system seller for the Xbox One, the price drop in the UK surprises me. We’re just three months from the console’s launch and they’ve reduced the price. Decreasing the XB1’s price so soon after launch could be unprecedented.
In a statement to IGN UK, Xbox UK’s marketing director, Harvey Eagle, said, “There’s never been more games in development than there is today across our studios and across the third-parties for the Xbox One platforms.” The price change says to me that Microsoft doesn’t believe that games lineup, even with Titanfall as a console exclusive, is enough to overcome the price gap. If that’s the case in the UK, what makes the other markets any different?
Microsoft talks about the system’s all-in-one entertainment package being the selling point but their actions, like this price drop, show that they aren’t sold on things like Kinect and the “all-in-one” package being enough to make the Xbox One worth more than the PlayStation 4. And, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.