Microsoft Begins Stripping Down The Xbox One

Senior Contributor
02.24.14 16 Comments


For a while, I’ve been maintaining that the Xbox One you can get in stores a year from launch will be a substantially different one; cheaper, probably engineered slightly differently, aimed more at gaming that being a Total Internet Television Experience. But that process started a lot sooner than anyone thought.

Look no further than the announcement from Microsoft that not only will Titanfall become a pack-in across the globe, but the UK version of the console is seeing a price cut, according to Computer and Video Games. It seems unlikely that price cut won’t be coming to other shores, and while I’ve confessed to substantial skepticism that Titanfall is a killer app, Microsoft thinks it’s a system seller. So, not unreasonably, it’s safe to interpret this as Microsoft trying to get its system sales numbers up, and willing to eat $60 or so a unit on top of the losses it already has to swallow to make that happen.

The odd thing about this, though, is that by any sane yardstick, the Xbox One is a smash hit. If you’d predicted back then Microsoft would move a million Xbox Ones on launch day, most people would have laughed at you. Hell, the idea of the PS4 moving a million units on launch day was something predicted only by rabid fanboys on NeoGAF, and that turned out to be right.

Yes, Sony is outselling Microsoft in this horse race… but so what? The Xbox One has already more than doubled what the Xbox 360 sold in a year, and it’s only been on the market for three months with no clear game that everybody absolutely has to have. It’s not out of the realm of possibility both Sony and Microsoft will end their first year with ten million systems in households apiece across the world as the games start arriving and each system finds its killer app.

Of course, nobody wants to be number two, and Microsoft obviously wants to sell systems. But I will say this seems a bit premature on Microsoft’s part. Have a little faith in your system, guys. It deserves it.

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