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Xbox One still has to win the “value argument” against PS4

by William Schwartz

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Microsoft and the Xbox One have been cheered for their recent policy reversal decisions, but that’s just the first step back from the brink for the console in the war between the Xbox One vs PS4. Their next hurdle is making consumers understand why the new platform comes with a higher price tag than their competitors. The Xbox One was revealed at $499 while Sony’s PS4, a reportedly more powerful machine, is a full $100 cheaper. While the topic of conversation shifts from restrictive features to price, Activision’s Eric Hirshberg thinks that Microsoft still has to win the “value argument” in the coming months.

“If you do a focus group of a gazillion people and you show them two prices for competitive products, 100 percent always prefer the lower price. I think from a first impression standpoint the win goes to Sony, at least as it relates to pricing. Microsoft is going to have to win the hearts and minds and convince people that the higher price point is worth it, and that it provides really meaningful capabilities that will be meaningful to consumers,” Hirshberg said in a recent interview.

A healthy chunk of what makes the Xbox One more expensive than the PlayStation 4 is Microsoft’s inclusion of a next generation Kinect camera in every box. We’ve heard from Microsoft why they think its a good idea, and a large portion of that answer was that it would give developers a bigger reason to develop for the camera, knowing that every single Xbox One would have the camera. But how do they relay that to consumers?

The problem they face with Kinect is that the core guys and gals that’ll be lining up day one for the console, aren’t their target audience for the device. This core audience that’s looking to play Call of Duty or Battlefield has likely been burned by the Kinect in this current generation, after most games that were developed using the camera were received poorly, especially the more traditional games that tried to replace the controller with shoddy motion-controlled gimmicks. The new Kinect is more powerful, but we’ve yet to see why it’s a mandatory inclusion in the new box.

What say you? Should Microsoft ditch the Kinect for the Xbox One? Is the Xbox One doomed against the PS4?

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