A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced what some thought they would reveal at E3, a Kinect-less Xbox One bundle costing $100 less than the normal bundle, letting it closer compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The announcement will let Microsoft focus more on games and entertainment venues at E3 to promote the positives of the system, but does the cut help the system compete closer with the PlayStation 4?
The biggest thing the price cut sacrifices for the Xbox One is the Kinect, something that really has proven pointless for the system so far. With the Xbox 360, Microsoft tried to support with games that normally were mediocre, but there really hasn’t been much use for the peripheral so far on the One outside of Skype or the voice commands.
By making it an option, Microsoft has done what Sony has been doing since November, making it a $100 add-on that some will get for small enjoyment but many will ignore in lieu of getting another game with a new console purchase. Sure, the Kinect and PS4 camera can be picked up later down the road if needed, but I can’t imagine many doing that.
On paper, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are relatively similar. Depending on the developer, graphics will look better on whatever system they’re more used to developing on. While the PS4 has a slight edge, the Xbox One will still impress gamers making the jump up.
The two biggest things that will let the price cut compete and overtake the PlayStation 4 will be exclusives and gamer trust. Let’s start off with exclusives.
With games on both consoles looking relatively the same, a lot of the determining factor will be what each console offers to play. So far, Sony’s specialty seems to be courting some PC indie titles to come to their system. Microsoft has a few indie’s as well, but nowhere near the monthly offering that Sony has so far.
The key point that Microsoft needs to capitalize on with gamers on the price cut are exclusive deals they have with major companies. Sure, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare will be hitting PS3 and PS4, but they need to tout the Titanfall deal while they can and the continuing Call of Duty deal they have with Activision for DLC.
They also need to really play up some other exclusives, such as Sunset Overdrive, which could be a good fall system seller in a year without a new Halo title for Microsoft. I’m sure a few new exclusives will be announced in a few weeks at E3 also, and Microsoft needs to keep pushing those after the announcement, not let them just sit and simmer while the console needs sales.
Another thing for Microsoft to focus on are their apps. Entertainment has been a big thing Microsoft has been pushing on the One, and they need to keep pushing it as stuff they offer general gamers and families over the PS4. The HBO Go app needs to hit the One soon to hold over the PS4, and Microsoft’s sports app that is supposedly coming this fall needs to be shown off to get the sports crowd on Microsoft’s side.
The other thing that continues to haunt Microsoft are their failed promises from last year. From the always-on connection to family sharing and a few other things, Microsoft has done a good job back-pedaling on both good and bad ideas to basically make the Xbox One identical to PS4.
While some of the back-pedaling may have currently been good for the system, it helped make the company a bit of a punchline among the gaming community. Microsoft’s reputation did take a bit of a hit, and they’ll need to rebuild that to help the price cut really take a hold and start moving systems.
As far as the general public goes, the price cut will probably let the system get a slight advantage right now in sales. The PS4 is still hard to find, and Xbox One’s are in abundance, so if families are looking for a new console, the Xbox One in stock at the same price is a lot better deal than the PS4 that has a waiting list.
In the long run, the price cut will help Microsoft retain or get back some of their fan base from the Xbox 360 that jumped ship or were hesitant because of the higher price. Many didn’t like the Kinect being required, so getting rid of the Kinect and lowering the price are two positives for many gamers out there.
So, what do you think? Does the Xbox One price cut entice you to get the system, or are you still holding out for a bigger cut or just getting a PS4?