Edward Makuch (GameSpot News Editor): Let’s not read too far into today’s announcement. If you believe Microsoft (and I do), the battle they face against Sony in the console space is a long-haul effort. We’re only months into a cycle that stands to potentially span a decade. Microsoft knew it had the more expensive console going into last holiday. The $100 premium over the PlayStation 4 is nothing new and it’s not something Microsoft is wary of because, in Microsoft’s words, they have the “better system.”
And so, the fact that the UK price cut is not coming to North America tells me Microsoft remains confident in its ability to sell the Xbox One at $500. The UK price cut appears to be a one-off promotion aimed at capitalizing on the launch of Titanfall next month rather than a desperate move to gain ground against Sony. The PS4 is off to a hot start, for sure, but Sony’s initial success does not necessarily mean Microsoft’s demise.
It’s up to Microsoft to prove to consumers that the Xbox One is worth $100 more than the PS4. I don’t think they’ve done it sufficiently yet, but with a string of highly anticipated exclusives and ambitious digital initiatives in the pipeline, I’m optimistic about Microsoft’s long-term plans.
Thomas Mc Shea (GameSpot Editor): Microsoft isn’t stupid. Despite how much I and many others prefer solo adventuring, a large part of a console’s success is determined by how well it can foster a community of competitive players. Grab hold of those who enjoy firing guns at their friends and enemies, and you’ve secured system loyalty for years down the line. That’s why Microsoft shelled out money to keep Titanfall from appearing on any console bearing the Sony brand, and that’s why you’re seeing them make such a bold pricing move just three months after the console debuted. Do not overlook just how important Titanfall is for Microsoft.
If they can lure those who have pushed Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield toward the top of the retail charts for the past decade, then Microsoft has established the Xbox One as the definitive console for multiplayer conquests. Once you get a taste of that mech-on-mech action, you’re going to tell your friends, and soon one purchase becomes too many to count. And, yes, this doesn’t preclude people from buying a PlayStation 4 as well, but if Microsoft can convince people that Xbox One is the place for competition, then people will flock toward every upcoming shooter on the Xbox One because that’s where all of their friends let out their day’s stresses.
Microsoft is betting a lot on Titanfall. We’ll soon see if their gamble was worth the cost.
Randolph Ramsay (GameSpot Managing Editor): There are really only two things we can safely glean from today’s price drop announcement. One, the Xbox One hasn’t shipped enough units in the UK. And two, the console is selling well enough in the US to not warrant a similar drop (just a free copy of Titanfall). So despite all the sound and fury about next-gen console sales numbers in recent weeks, it seems Microsoft isn’t feeling that freaked out about the gap between PS4 and Xbox One sales, at least in the US. That means a price drop isn’t likely for US gamers any time soon. Sorry everyone–you’ll have to stick with that $500 price tag for now.
The UK price drop isn’t necessarily a harbinger of doom for Microsoft’s new console, either. Sure, it’s not a great look to cut the price of your much-hyped system barely three months after release, but Microsoft is looking at this console generation as a marathon, and not a sprint (as was the previous generation). The PS3 was famously behind the Xbox 360 in sales for much of the last console cycle, only to make up ground and eventually overtake the 360 in global units shipped. Microsoft is playing the long game, and the UK news from overnight is just one move in a very, very long and complicated game of chess.
Justin Haywald (GameSpot Senior News Editor): Microsoft still doesn’t know what they’re doing. While the price drop is great for the UK, it seems like the company is ignorant of the fact that every other country that’s not the UK can read the same news and now knows they’re not getting the same deal. Add in the fact that current purchasers get a free copy of Titanfall, and it just feels like Microsoft is insulting everyone who ordered an Xbox One early.
At least when Nintendo dropped the price on their 3DS, they had the foresight to give their audience a selection of free exclusive games.
In the end, I think this will do more harm than good for the Xbox One. If you’re in the market for a system and you don’t get a console with Titanfall, why wouldn’t you wait for the next price drop/reduced price bundle? And there’s no chance that the rest of us will get Titanfall for free, since Microsoft would be giving up on their sizable pre-order crowd. It seems they haven’t really learned anything from last year’s E3 missteps.
Those are our opinions, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
“No, I don’t think so,” Eagle told Metro. “For us, this is about giving UK gamers the best value that we can.” The new £399 bundle includes a system, copy of Titanfall, and Kinect. The same bundle will be offered in North America for $500, though the price cut is only good for the UK.
The Xbox One’s official UK price cut is one of the fastest in modern console history, coming just 94 days into the system’s lifecycle. Microsoft maintains that the Xbox One’s launch has been a success, with over 3 million consoles sold in 2013 alone.
But if the Xbox One is selling so well (as fast as they can be made, Microsoft says), why is Microsoft implementing a price cut so soon?
“We’re doing this because it will generate sales, absolutely,” Eagle told GameSpot. “I think it’s a great deal for people in the UK to get a next-gen machine for £399 including Kinect, including Titanfall, in the box. Yeah, it’s a great deal and hopefully lots of people will take up the offer.”
Microsoft will soon fix a major Xbox One fault that has affected the machine’s ability to accurately play UK and European PAL television signals, the company has confirmed to GameSpot.
The ‘juddering’ fault, which is caused by the Xbox One’s 60hz refresh rate clashing with the 50hz signal used by many major TV providers, such as Sky and Virgin, will be fixed this Spring.
“I can’t give you a precise date, but it is just a matter of weeks before that will get fixed,” Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle said to GameSpot, reiterating that the problem will be resolved long before the Football World Cup kicks off in June.
The update will rollout as part of an Xbox One system update, although Microsoft has not said how it will specifically solve the issue.
Microsoft will cut the price of the Xbox One in UK to £399.99 from February 28, the company has announced.
The price cut comes 94 days since the machine was launched, with its original UK price coming in at £429.99. It took almost two years for original Xbox 360 to see a price cut, with a $50/£30 cut to the 20GB model of Xbox 360 in August 2007. The PlayStation 3 saw its first US price cut, a $100 reduction on the 60GB model, roughly eight months after launch.
Xbox UK Marketing Director Harvey Eagle confirmed to GameSpot that the company currently has no plans to cut the price in other territories. The Xbox One retails for $499 in the US–which is roughly £300.
In the hunt for a PlayStation 4? Expect your search for the hot new console to be challenging until around April, a Sony executive has said. Speaking with MCV, PlayStation UK boss Fergal Gara said you shouldn’t expect “free supply”–that is, reliable availability–until later this spring.
“I can’t work it out precisely. But based on what I’ve seen so far, I think it is going to be tricky until around about April,” Gara said. “You might get a fortnight or a week here or there where it is more available, but we should be back to free supply by about April.”
“That’s our best guess. It might be a little earlier than that, or it might be a little later,” he added. “But we’ll get there.”
“I think the world has changed since we launched PS3,” Gara said.
“The price differential between PS3 and PS4 is not nearly as a big as it was between PS2 and PS3. But you are also talking about a public that has become used to regular technology upgrades on reasonably expensive devices, like tablets and smartphones,” he added. “So there is a comfort level with upgrading that meant consumers were ready earlier and there was a pent-up demand that we couldn’t anticipate. It’s been a pleasant surprise.”
PS4 sales stand to only grow in the coming days and weeks. The system launches in Sony’s home country of Japan tomorrow, February 22.
Lightning’s third outing had to settle for third place, with Call of Duty: Ghosts wedging itself into second.
Number counters Gfk Chart-Track said that The Lego Movie Videogame, which coincides with the release of the movie, outsold CoD: Ghosts by 15,000 units, but added that the gap between Call of Duty and Lightning Returns was much narrower.
FIFA 14 was fourth, GTA V fifth, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes was sixth. An eighth of the UK top 40 was made up of Lego titles, Chart-Track adds. Joining The Lego Movie Videogame and Lego Marvel Super Heroes is Lego Batman 2 at 19, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga at 22, and Lego The Lord of the Rings at 27.