Just three months after it hit the market, Microsoft’s new Xbox One console is due to receive a significant price cut. The gaming console currently costs £429, including a bundled game. From Friday onwards, the gaming console will be priced at £399 and include a free copy of Titanfall for customers.
The price drop is only scheduled for the UK market, with Europe and North America unaffected. Microsoft hopes that the drop in pricing will make the console more of a competitor to Sony’s less expensive PlayStation 4, which has outsold the latest Xbox since it was released in the UK last year.
Despite the reduced price, the Xbox One is still more expensive than Sony’s gaming console. A PlayStation 4 costs just £349 on its own, with bundled games likely the reason for the Xbox One’s higher retail price. Microsoft’s marketing team believes that the inclusion of Titanfall will drive sales, despite it increasing the price point.
Harvey Eagle, Microsoft’s UK Xbox managing director, said that the reason for the price cut is to give UK gamers “the best value that we can”. Gaming industry experts believe that Sony’s PlayStation 4 gaming console is outselling the Xbox One by two to one. Sony has sold over 5.3 million consoles worldwide since the PS4’s launch.
Several factors influenced the Xbox One’s high price point. One of them was Kinect – the motion tracking hardware that lets players control in-game activity using their bodies. Gaming industry analysts believe that the inclusion of Kinect, which is not yet used in many Xbox One titles – further increased the console’s retail price.
Responding to the large gulf in sales between Sony’s PlayStation 4 and the new Xbox One, Microsoft noted that it views the current generation of gaming console sales as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Nicholas Lovell of Gamesbrief.com believes that as smartphones and tablets develop, Microsoft could face additional competition.