Microsoft explains Xbox One X’s £449 price

There has been much debate about Microsoft’s decision to price the Xbox One X at 449 ($499 in the US).

That’s the same price the original Xbox One launched at (and the PS3, for that matter) but $100 more than both the PS4 and PS4 Pro launch prices.

Speaking to Polygon, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Xbox and Windows Gaming Mike Ybarra said that it couldn’t have achieved the level of tech the company desired at a $339 price point.

We said ‘What’s the technology we need to deliver real 4K experiences in the living room? We could have come out with something last year similar to what a PlayStation 4 Pro is today, but that value proposition to us wasn’t clear at all. It isn’t true 4K in the sense of what we’re delivering and the power that developers told us they need,” he said.

When we talked to developers, they said, ‘We need the following.’ It was a long list. We had to figure out when can we could come out with that box at a price point that made sense. This was the best product.”

Ybarra also detailed how it might have gone about bringing down the price, and the reasons why it chose not to.

When we looked at the overall design, we could do less memory. We could do under-clocked components so we don’t have to have the cooling system that we have in here. There’s any number of things you could think of,” he added.

The box could be twice as big. That would make it cheaper. But when you’re talking about people putting it in the living room… they want the components and the look and feel … the acoustics of it to be a very high-end, premium product. This is designed for the premium gamer that wants the absolute best experience. And so compromising any of those then makes that message much harder to communicate to them.

We showed them the smallest Xbox we’ve ever created, the most power, the best price per performance you can get anywhere, in this box. That’s what we’re delivering.”

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