At first, the idea of Microsoft throwing out another console with a starting price of $500 seems a bit on the odd side. Borderline nuts, in fact. After all, one of the biggest reasons why the Xbox One well and truly lost the war with the PlayStation 4 was that the latter debuted with a $100 lower price. So once again, you find yourself wondering where the logic lies in charging $500 again.
Apparently though, there’s a method to Microsoft’s madness.
It might be expensive and of comparatively little value to those without 4K TVs, but Microsoft is more than confident in its latest outing. Speaking with Business Insider, head of Microsoft Xbox operations, Phil Spencer, spoke openly about the company’s optimism and strategy.
“The thing that we should all realize is that that customer buys a lot of games,” Spencer said.
“That customer plays a lot of games.”
So what they’re basically getting at is a strategy whereby selling a lower number of consoles initially really isn’t a big deal, just as long as these select gamers then go out and buy a ton of games. An interesting thought, but then again the PS4 did manage to sell literally TWICE the number of units the Xbox One chalked up.
This of course hasn’t slipped the minds of the powers that be at Microsoft – particularly given that the new Xbox One X will be sold alongside the Xbox One S at just $250.
“We’re gonna sell more Xbox One S consoles next year than we will Xbox One X,” Spencer said.
Still, they’re pretty sure that there are plenty of gamers out there with 4K TVs who are just dying to blow wads of cash on expensive 4K consoles and games.
“You’ve got a person who really wants a premium experience,” Spencer went on to explain.
“You ask who is that person today? I’m gonna bet a large percentage of those people have a current-generation console already. So in that world, I have to show them an experience that’s demonstrably better. And that’s where we started with Xbox One X,”
“We get some interest from PC people who have been playing 4K games on their PCs now for a while, and say, ‘OK here’s a console that can play a true 4K game with a controller sitting on my couch.’ And I think a lot of the other people have a current-generation console and are looking for a premium experience and something that really looks different.”
From a slightly less positive angle though, the fact that the One X won’t appeal to many of those without 4K TVs and sizeable bankrolls could have a negative impact on its performance. At least for the time being – chances are it won’t be long before its price is slashed pretty convincingly.