Microsoft’s Xbox One has faced some difficulty with Sony’s PlayStation 4 game console.
Prior to the Xbox One’s arrival, the issue for Microsoft at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (or E3) product announcement concerned the cloud game play that would require users to log into Microsoft via internet access once every 24 hours as part of its digital rights management (DRM) agreement. Most customers assume that they own the games when they purchase them, but Microsoft’s mandatory log-in requirement was the company’s way of saying “we own the games.” Customers protested the always-on feature of the Xbox One, and, after some deliberation, the company decided to drop the mandatory always-on requirement while reinstating its commitment to cloud gaming as the wave of the future for Microsoft’s Xbox game console.
Like customers are wont to do, the Xbox One fan base has now taken to another complaint or grievance: the price. The original Xbox One costs $499 (versus Sony’s PS4, which costs $399) and features the Kinect motion gadget that allows you to perform motion gestures in the air when interactive with Xbox One games. While it’s true that the Xbox One does seem a little on the expensive side, it is also the case that users are getting Microsoft’s dearest Kinect motion technology along with it. Having been in the tech business for some years, I can tell you that tech products are expensive for a reason. They often require research, surveys, statistics, charts, graphs, consumer opinion, and design deliberation. It’s no easy feat for a company to emerge with new technology that has never been thought of or integrated with game consoles before.
Now, Microsoft is listening to its customers once again: the company intends to bring a Kinectless Xbox One game console to market as of next month. The Xbox will cost $399 (£350 UK), the same price as Microsoft’s current competition, the PS4. A Kinectless Xbox One may not be ideal, but it’ll appeal to users who’d rather not pay the extra for a Kinect motion gadget they can live without.
In addition to the new, competitively-priced Xbox One, Microsoft is also dropping the $60 streaming fee for services such as Netflix, HBO Go, YouTube, and Hulu Plus. Skype, Internet Explorer, and OneGuide will no longer require a Live Gold subscription as they did in the past. There are some features that will remain exclusive to Gold subscription members, such as Game DVR, game saves in the cloud, and Microsoft’s “Games With Gold” program. Again, Microsoft’s new Xbox One price alongside of its decision to drop the log-in requirement doesn’t indicate that the company intends to put aside the Xbox’s future as a cloud gaming console. Microsoft sees itself going to the cloud more and more for the “Xbone’s” future transformation, so we can’t know if these are small concessions or permanent decisions.
Are you excited about the new Xbox One price? Have you purchased the original Xbox One, or held out hope that Microsoft would come to its senses? Do you intend to purchase the Kinectless Xbox One in June when it goes on sale, or wait until the holiday sales? Let us know what you think in the comments.