2013-06-10

E3: Xbox One – The Price of the Next-Gen

by Yo Snyder

So, the cat’s out of the bag. Microsoft’s “one ring to rule
them all” digital entertainment hub of the future, the Xbox One, finally has a
price. Now, the big question is; will gamers, and more importantly consumers at
large, be willing to pay that price to make the new Xbox the center of their
living room?

In truth, there wasn’t all that much about Microsoft’s E3
press conference that was all that surprising. The new games for the system
look great. Pretty much expected that. There will be a new Halo to launch a new
Xbox console. Gee, that’s never happened before. Xbox One will be the “one
device” needed to connect to all your digital media and entertainment sources.
Well, sort of knew that was the direction things were moving anyway. So for the
most part, the press conference was the usual bluster and boasts and pomp and
circumstance that we’ve come to expect, and in truth, enjoy from E3 press
conferences. However, there was one piece of information that really stood out;
the price. $500 dollars for this new console. Not including games. Not including
any peripherals such as new compatible Turtle Beach headsets or extra
controllers. $500 just for the box and what’s in it. Is that too steep?

A few years ago there was another cutting-edge console that
had all kinds of cool technological bells and whistles; it had built-in
Blu-Ray. It was a monster of a machine in capability and technology, and
therefore worth every penny of the $400 dollar premium price to be a proud
owner of a PS3. Except the masses didn’t quite buy that…or the console. In fact,
the non HD, underpowered Nintendo Wii ended up dominating things for quite some
time, and not only did it not have Blu-Ray, it couldn’t even play DVDs! Once the
price came down a bit, people started buying in to the neat technology the PS3
offered, but it was rough going there for a while. Is Microsoft sailing into
those same stormy waters?

Personally, $500 is too much. I think the tech is cool, I
think the games will do some innovative things with the new technology (loved
some the things mentioned about Forza 5
and Battlefield 4), but $500? And
then I have to go buy those games? That’s asking quite a lot, especially
considering my WiiU makes for a pretty good digital hub for my media. No voice
control, true, but touch screen. No window-in-window, but with a little extra
patience, I can get what I want. No it’s not a slick, not as high-tech, but it’s
a whole lot cheaper. Then there’s the rumors that Sony might debut the PS4 at
around a $100 less than that. Ouch. That could be a problem; it’s almost like
the reverse script from back when the Xbox 360 and the PS3 went head-to-head in
their debuts.

So, is $500 too much? We’ll get an idea this holiday season when
the new consoles release, but we probably won’t really know until late next
year for sure. In the meantime, it’s really your opinion that counts, so what
of it? Would you spring for a shiny new Xbox One for $500? Share your thoughts
on why or why not in the comments below.