The price of Xbox One has been a raging debate since E3. Is it that much of an issue?
As Microsoft treaded on the E3 stage praising its new console, the crowd whistled and awed in disbelief. A new Xbox was around the corner, and for the most part early enthusiasm was in the company’s favour. Then Sony decimated on stage and all was forgotten. The pricing — Xbox One at $499 whilst PS3 ships at $399 — still is an uncomfortably debated topic and a large detractor for Microsoft’s case in the persistent competition between the two.
If online polls are any evidence, IGN readers rated Xbox One’s price the highest obstacle in buying it, leading exclusive games and graphics. That may be a sign that Titanfall didn’t make the resounding impact on the viewing public as it did critically, but the poll is as solid a case we’ll have of why Xbox One continues to trail in the popularity contest. The reason why price is so important, even just a $100 difference even though it’s a big purchase, is for the fact that Kinect, the bane of many players, is built into the console. Sony omitted the PlayStation Eye and instead chose to offer it as a separate product — a smart move in hindsight.
Saying the pricing is solely responsible is mislabelling the situation. Motion control has never been a spectacle with “core” console loyalists. And Microsoft’s joyously signing up first for the U.S. government’s PRISM program likely perturbed some avid fans. The price could be the major differential fans turn to in defending the console, because right now, it’s the only major separation. Except for exclusive games and Sony allowing self-publishing, which Microsoft has said it will match some time in the near future.
The extra $100, though, does make Kinect compatibility a mainstay on Xbox One. Everybody will have one. Therefore, where Sony loses in this regard is in the motion control department, a facet of the industry Nintendo never capitalized on with Wii U. If the market exists, Microsoft is barrelling toward obscene profitability should it provide great games to play. That didn’t materialize on Xbox 360, the Kinect 1.0 now a dusty collector’s item. Hopefully Microsoft learned its lesson from that disaster. (Sony hasn’t provided many details of its plans for Move yet, except Media Molecule’s sculpting game.)
I wonder if pricing is purely a monetary argument, or else a collectively vicarious stab at Microsoft. Does the gaming audience feel wronged or that Microsoft impeded on holy ground by taking away used games? It presents a problem for the “core”, but not for the more receptive general public. They probably won’t notice unless someone points it out.
Price, over the long run, will fluctuate and Xbox One will recover, but immediately Microsoft has to be worrisome.
Share, would you kindly?
Holygrenade on Twitter
- © 2013 Holygrenade. All images are copyrighted by their respective owners.