Xbox One price reduction will help Microsoft play catch up with PS4

By Stephany Nunneley, Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:30 GMT

PlayStation 4 is selling more units because it is available in more markets, according to Microsoft, but now that Xbox One’s price point is being lowered to $399, this may level the playing field a bit.

Speaking with Forbes, chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi said while it is hard to “assess” the sales gap, Xbox 360’s popularity has given many consumers little reason to upgrade for the time being.

“It’s hard to really assess the gap in sales,” he said. “They’re in many more markets right now than we are. They’re in 40+ markets, we’re in 13.

“People have been more satisfied with the Xbox 360 than the PS3, so in that respect people have less of a need to upgrade in the short term due to regular updates for the Xbox 360. We could point to any number of things.”

Mehdi said the firm has heard from a lot of fans who want an Xbox One, but at $499 will have to wait a little while before to afford one.

“I do think we’re going to get people now who move over, and then buy the Kinect later,” he said. “So I do think the [price point] broadens the appeal and hopefully brings more people to Xbox One sooner.”

Despite many fans waiting to buy the consoles due to the price point, Mehdi doesn’t feel it was a mistake to bundle the Xbox One with Kinect from the onset.

“I think it was the right call to bundle with Kinect,” he said.”In the beginning of a new console generation, you’re trying to set the bar for a new experience, and I think we did that with Xbox One. The proof is really in the usage. 80% of people are using Kinect which is remarkable compared to the last generation. We’re doing 120 voice commands on average a month with over a billion commands issued. People who wanted the experience came and bought it.

“Now is a good time to offer more choice for people who haven’t been able to get that experience. I think in five years, we will laugh at any computing device you can’t walk up to and talk to. Voice is going to be there for all devices.”

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