It’s not exactly new news that the PS4 is really doing a number on the Xbox One in terms of sales – 7 million PS4 units sold vs. 5 million Xbox One units shipped (don’t know how many were actually sold). 2 million may not seem like a very large number right away, but consider all the things that Sony has over the Xbox One and you’ll realize that the 2 million difference is larger than you’d like. I’ve mentioned it earlier too when the Xbox One price drop happened in UK – the console wars are not fought over price alone in the long run, but over quality content. What’s Microsoft’s content strategy at this point?
It all starts off with price, however, the significant number of years left for the console to grow and stretch its legs with updates and patches and what not, is still a little green; early days. Having said that – we already know now, that the PS4 is a far more powerful console; will DX12 change that for Xbox? Not likely. But all things considered, what areas can the Xbox One control for now to close the gap in the number of consoles. We’ve covered this earlier too when the PS4 launched in Japan, and we took a look at how PS4’s Japan launch would impact the Xbox One.
I agree, the thought process then was probably a little more reactive; but you can’t help wonder, despite the sales beat down Microsoft is receiving, what’s their plan? We know that both the PS4 and the Xbox One are almost similar in terms of current state performance, yes, although the PS4 boasts superior hardware, it’s going to take a bit more time to come into it’s own. Until such time, the key area that Microsoft has to focus on is, you guessed it…price. Look, it’s a $100 more with the Kinect. Now, from a gamer’s standpoint, how much value is the Kinect going to add to your daily quota of gaming? Do you play a lot of family games, that requires kids and people to jump around? are you really going to use it for all the gesture controls that it comes with? What if you had a choice? for $100 less, you could get a Xbox One without the Kinect, and an additional controller? Mind. Blown.
It is said, that Indian’s are the most price conscious lot – which I think is crap, because, come on…everyone loves a good deal and everyone values money and wants to get their monies worth. So this almost seems like a no-brainer that Microsoft HAS to do. It’s only evident from here on, that the more consoles Sony sells, an Xbox One price drop IS imminent. Sure, argue that it’s only logical, and that we’re stating the obvious – but we still need to see it happen.
Then, there’s talk of DX12. We’re currently unsure of how it’s actually going to impact the Xbox One, and what significant boost it’s going to bring to the whole 1080p/60FPS wars. In my opinion, even if it does, it’s not going to slow down the PS4 juggernaut. Forbes has mentioned in an article that, one way the Xbox One can compete with the PS4 from a pricing standpoint is to ‘cut the disk drive‘. Now that’s just a VERY big gamble against the PS4. Sure, we’re all in a digital world et al, heck even 50% of my PS3 games are all via PSN, but does anyone remember the PSP GO? is that what it was even called? Diskless handheld where you could only download games onto it. Sure, the internet has evolved, and maybe this IS the future – everything can be downloaded, over the cloud. But let’s be realistic, not everyone or everything is played out over the cloud. I still like getting my games in a box. I just download most of them because, it’s there for the download. Either way, if you’ve looked at the Forbes article, they all point to price. It’s the same thing I called out a few months back, about how the Xbox One needs to add value.
Right now, it’s not about the price war alone, it’s just a question of the right value proposition that the Xbox One is offering. At the current price, it’s just not cutting it. Sony’s lead is growing, and the Xbox One needs do something to boost sales. While all signs point at a price drop – it may just not be enough to help take the lead. Sure, it will close the gap; but taking the lead is an entirely different ball game that’s going to get played out. Maybe it could be DX12?