GAMING BLEND

Xbox One Price Cut Incoming?

By Pete Haas 2013-06-20 11:00:27 discussion comments
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The Xbox One will hit stores this fall with a price tag of $499, a hundred bucks higher than the PS4's price. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes, however, that Microsoft could slash the price by 2014.

Microsoft reversed Xbox One's controversial DRM policies yesterday. Pachter feels that this shifts the comparison between the Xbox One and PS4 to price.

"The [price difference] is due to the inclusion of Kinect (a high definition camera with a microphone array) with every Xbox One," Pachter said (via GI.biz). "Microsoft intends to offer a more robust hardware bundle than Sony will offer, and Microsoft is convinced that consumers will ultimately appreciate the value proposition presented by Kinect."

Selling core gamers - the folks most likely to pick up a new console this fall - on the Kinect could be challenging. It's not just because of all the privacy concerns about the Kinect's 24/7 monitoring. Even if Kinect 2.0 was less creepy, the fact remains that most core gamers don't care about Kinect. Most of the games designed for the technology are targeted toward kids or casual gamers. Ryse is one of very few attempts to really deliver a "hardcore" Kinect experience, but the role of Kinect in that game has been reduced by Crytek over the course of development.

If Microsoft's not going to deliver hardcore games for the Kinect, why should I pay the extra $100 for that technology? Because I can yell at it to make it turn on? I've been raised with a controller in my hand. I don't mind picking one up and pushing the "Start" button. What does the Kinect have that I need?

Pachter's confident that Microsoft can sell gamers on the more expensive console, though. He feels that "six months of focused messaging" will be enough time for them to woo gamers. In the end, he feels that the Xbox One and PS4 will sell roughly the same amount of units.

"If we are wrong, we think that Microsoft is prepared to lower price next year."

Personally, I'd prefer it if Microsoft sold the Kinect separately. It's what Sony's doing with the PS Eye camera for PlayStation 4. However, Microsoft claims that Kinect 2.0 is "a core part of the architecture" so they might not be willing/able to sell XB1 without the camera. If they're going to insist on bundling Kinect with each console, though, they really need to convince us that it's worth the extra money.
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