When I bought my PS4, I was actually in the market for an Xbox One; I walked into my local game retailer, Xbox 360 and all my games in hand ready to trade in, and proceeded to the checkout to discuss the discount I could accumulate with my trade-ins. Having amounted an adequate £180, I proceeded to ask for an Xbox One, only to be asked “Why?”.
Now that question ultimately led to discussions around what I wanted from the console – whether I wanted a media-oriented offering from Microsoft or purely for gaming and relatively more powerful PS4 from Sony.
And unfortunately, that’s the stark relatively of how Microsoft have marketed their Xbox One – it does all this cool stuff with media, HDMI pass-through, Kinect Integration… Oh, and it does gaming too. PS4 is for gamers. Hardcore gamers who want a no frills consistent and genuine experience they are used to with their previous generation consoles.
It is unsurprising then that the latest data from the NPD Group suggest that Microsofts marketing strategy for the Xbox One has resulted in Sony managing to shift almost double that of the Xbox One – and the PS4 hasn’t even launched in Sony’s home country of Japan yet!
Granted, much comes down to price, and with the PS4 undercutting the Xbox One by around $100 many are swayed to Sony purely for price. But would Microsoft cutting $100 off the RRP really put their console in contention? Would everyone all of a sudden begin to choose them?
Well the Xbox One has the Kinect
Perhaps it comes down to the Kinect?
“The Kinect for the Xbox One is a sophisticated, expensive piece of equipment that adds very little to the act of playing games. I’m able to get voice commands to work around 80 percent of the time, but my wife and children have much worse luck…The system is still new, but every Xbox One owner now has a peripheral that has little reason to exist, aids their gaming in very few real ways and costs them a significant amount of money.”
That’s from popular gaming site Polygon who have extensively reviewed both consoles, and pretty much come to the same conclusion most people have about the Kinect – it does little *currently* to offer benefit to justify the increased price.
So gamers chose the gaming console. Who’d have thought it? Who knows what the future will hold for both consoles, but at the moment Microsoft’s marketed unique selling point of the Xbox One is also ironically the very thing that’s stopping it from selling.