Xbox One price cut levels the playing field with PlayStation 4, says Microsoft.
The platform holder says the reduced price is designed to encourage a significant spike in sales to coincide with the launch of Titanfall – which Microsoft calls ‘a rare moment’ in a console’s life.
The firm believes EA’s blockbuster will be a major system seller for its new machine, and it comes at a crucial time. As revealed by MCV last week, PS4 has been outselling Xbox One 2:1 this year so far.
"I think it is a great deal. To buy an Xbox One for 399, and it comes with Kinect and Titanfall included. So yeah [it levels the playing field]," said Xbox UK marketing boss Harvey Eagle.
"Moments like Titanfall is pretty rare in the life of console. I think back to when Halo came out on the original Xbox, or when Call of Duty 2 came out on Xbox 360, these are special, special games that people buy a console in order to be able to play. I think Titanfall is one of those games. We’ve just seen 2m people on the multiplayer Beta, and the feedback we have had from that has been incredible. So we are confident we have something special on our hands, and we can’t wait for people to buy it and start playing."
However, Eagle denied the move is purely down to PS4, which continues to outsell Xbox One in the UK and globally.
"We are very happy with how launch has gone. Xbox One has been our most successful console launch ever. Both platforms have sold incredibly well and been commercially successful in a short space of time, and that’s great for the industry. And we are happy to be a part of that. And now seems to be the right time to make these announcements and these adjustments as we kick on forward from here on in.
"It is purely about building momentum at the right moment of time, and when these special games come out you have the opportunity to drive velocity very, very hard. That’s the reason why we are doing it around Titanfall. People buy a console to buy games, it sounds simple and obvious, but never truer. And Xbox One is the only console where you are going to be able to play the three hottest games of the year: Titanfall, Watch Dogs and Destiny. If you want to play all three of those, you have to buy an Xbox One."
Any price drop will not be taken lightly, particularly as it could impact the profitability of the console. But Eagle believes the machine will be able to recoup any losses from the additional number of gamers buying titles and Xbox Live subscriptions.
"It is in our interest to build the highest install base of Xbox One as we can," he added. "The more people that own an Xbox One the more people that buy games the more people that take out Live subscriptions and the more people that transact online, and it is all those together that makes us a profitable business."