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The Party's Over, Sony: Kinect-less Xbox One Is a Winning Move

Now that the Xbox One will be available for $399, Sony had better formulate some sort of response...or they'll lose the US territory for good.

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I said it last week:

While the PlayStation 4 will almost undoubtedly own the worldwide sales lead this generation, the Xbox One will ultimately own the North American territory.

I will always maintain, as most industry analysts do, that price is the primary determining factor. Ever since the Xbox One launched with a price point $100 higher than the PS4, I knew there was no chance Microsoft's system would outsell Sony's in any market. It just wasn't going to happen. I also said the instant Microsoft removes Kinect and makes the Xbox One available for the same price as the PS4, Sony will start to lose its grip on the US.

Now, with the Kinect-less Xbox One hitting store shelves on June 9, it seems my predictions are about to come true.

Sony had better respond, and fast

The PS4's lead in the North American region is already slim. Even despite the $100 price difference, Microsoft still nearly pulled even with Sony over the last few months (according to NPD numbers). That alone proves how much more popular the Xbox brand is in this country; had the two manufacturers been relatively close in terms of popularity, the PS4 would've been trouncing the Xbox One in the US (as it has been doing in most other countries).

As that didn't happen, it must've been obvious to Microsoft that all they had to do was remove Kinect, sell their new console at $399, and retake the NA territory. Now, Sony must react. I'm not saying they have to drop the price of the system, as obviously, that isn't going to happen any time soon. But maybe they should prepare to show off as many PS4 exclusives as possible at E3 next month. PlayStation is known for one thing above all else: The exclusive software. That's what fans of the brand want; it's what they expect.

And it's the only thing that will keep the PS4 competitive with Xbox One from here on out.

Pairing this announcement with a lot of Sunset Overdrive info was another good move

The instant you see the news of a $399 Xbox One, you see a lot of positive headlines for a new exclusive. Not only a new exclusive, but a new IP as well. This is like a slap in the face for Sony, especially considering that developer Insomniac Games used to be in Sony's camp. This entire day has been well-choreographed by Microsoft and it's a given that gamers - specifically in the US - will respond.

Sunset Overdrive does look excellent and even though I'm a die-hard inFamous fan at heart, I sorta wish I had an Xbox One for Insomniac's new game. And you know what? With this price drop, I'm already more inclined to consider a purchase...see how this works? Yes, it's a guarantee that Xbox One sales will enjoy a spike in the next few weeks, and that should be enough to pass the PS4 in North America, although I won't say it's enough to supplant the PS4 in other territories. After all, the PS3 was more popular than the Xbox 360 in those territories to begin with.

But in the US? Yeah, I'll say it again: I knew it from the start.

Originally Published May. 13th 2014

Featured Columnist

A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.



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Comments
  • 1
    dae_7886 6 months ago
    Yeah, Sony should probably, I don't know, make their console more powerful and capable than the Xbone. OH WAIT. This isn't a brilliant tactic, it's a desperate maneuver to regain market share and legitimacy. Another step backwards in a long history of backwards movement for a console that was engineered with forward thinking and packaged with corporate interests.
  • 1
    ApplesauceNinja 6 months ago
    Sony's exclusives were awesome last gen and will no doubt continue to be so this gen as well. But to say that exclusives are the ONLY thing that will keep the PS4 competitive in the NA market is far from accurate. You must have forgotten that in terms of sheer horsepower, Sony has the better machine. Third party cross platform games perform, almost to a one, better on PS4. They run at higher resolutions and with better frame rates. Until Xbone can match that, PS4 has little to worry about.
  • 12
    Cortalia 6 months ago
    Contributor
    I don't really see this as enough to make me interested in xbox.

    Maybe I'm still jaded over needing to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold in order to use the TELUS app (to which I already pay TELUS $5/month to be able to link my XBOX 360 to my PVR and use it to watch TV).

    Maybe I'm just confident that the next game I want to play, (most likely being a Tales of "insert title here" game) will be on Ps4 and not on Xbox.

    For now I bide my time and wait to see what games hit which console before choosing which one to buy.

    Personally I don't see the hype in being "kinectless"... The kinect has alot of useful features, mainly voice commands. As more developers get on board the same way Bioware did with Mass Effect 3 (It was pretty epic issuing voice commands to your teammates) then I think the kinect will become a bigger deal. However with a few exceptions, right now most kinect game usage is limited to dance games and cheesy xbox avatar games. If anything it would be the thing that would tempt me into a xbox one over a ps4
  • 9
    Kageneko622 6 months ago
    Contributor
    Though I do agree that microsoft will begin to pull massive numbers eith this price drop i feel like its many factors that have led to a potential over take of sony not just the price point.


    Consider that hands down ps2 had world wide dominance no qustion it was top dog, and they got cocky and over confident. figured consumers would by whatever they wanted them to buy. So ps3 was released with such a high price point that people were like...hmm that new xbox does look snazzy. so they bought it instead. However, sony then dropped the price of thr ps3 removing all sorts of doodads and such but even with that new much lower price point xbox stayed strong. even though i believe the price drop was accompanied by many cool games, nope xbox. So price alone isnt was does it.


    Now lets be clear, I actually DO feel the xbox will catch up now unlike ps3 did. even tho xbone started similar to ps3(in high price extra peripherals etc) theres one thing thats happened differently. Ps4 has had almost NO killer games to cement its lead. Though the ps3 had mg4 uncharted heavenly sword god of war, xbox answered back with halo 3 (halo 2 thru bwc), PDZ, condemned and a slew of excitement of other games to come like project destiny(aka fable) gears of war. My point being even though ps4 had the lower price point it had the bettee visual graphics...it hasnt had the games to show then off. While xbox has had many an exclusive thats made me(and we all know how much i wanted a ps4) even look at an xbox one like hmmm, titanfall does look kinda tasty over there as my ps4 looks at me with looks of shock0_0...

    BUT my point being with the addition of free xbone games with subscripton(and hopefully better than ps4s selection cuz...i mean really), with streaming services no longer needing gold(and even offering refunds if you only had it for netflix) with more killer games being received with higher anticipation, even with lessor graphics this lower price point in conjunction with all that could indeed push xbox into a lead maybe even world wide.


    For real though i really do want halo 2 anniversary and halo 5 (Ps4 starts to pout) Oh i didnt ssy i eouldnt play you as well...just wanna see what those games are about

    ( 2 years 2000 halo 5 hours later)


    Friend/teammate over live: hey kage didnt you own a ps4?

    Me: oh yea......
    Last edited 6 months ago
  • 41
    zoLo567 6 months ago
    Senior Intern
    I am a PlayStation fanboy, yet I think the Xbox One will take over America. It happened with the Xbox 360, and I feel it will happen again
  • 1
    zarbor_6462 6 months ago
    I can only figure that the reason why MS was so stubborn in not giving us another SKU without Kinect is so that they can tell developers, that they have 5 million gamers with it. That's nothing to sneeze at since I doubt Sony has half of that with the PS camera. Could be wrong. Problem is the developers aren't going to use it. Its more work and they can't make more money from it.

    Nevertheless, I'm glad I sold of my unopened Day One system. Early adopters are getting hosed over and over. First they buy the system at launch at full price, only to have MS release a Titanfall and Forza Bundle for the same price or cheaper. Now they are releasing a system without Kinect.

    Betcha if they had release the Kinectless SKU, nobody was going to buy the original with Kinect...well very few would have. It pays to wait when it comes to MS and hardware. All of this is for naught if they don't get top notch exclusives.

    E3 is huge for the XB1....fail at this show and you can forget about being in it to win.
  • 11
    RobS_451 6 months ago
    Correspondent
    This seems to be Microsoft's strategy across the board lately: force everyone to buy something they don't really want, then fix it later when everyone complains and spin it to make it look like they're "listening." The sad thing is, they're not being punished for this model. The kinect-in console may not have broken sales records, but it did sell, and those numbers exist now. Windows 8 was pretty universally reviled before 8.1, but people still bought it, or bought pc's that ran it.

    I have little doubt that they'll bring heavy-hitters to E3, because they've had time to look at what ISN'T working. That's their magic power: to start off selling people the poorer version of something, and then fix it later so that it looks awesome in comparison.
  • 11
    RobS_451 6 months ago
    Correspondent
    I'm still reeling from the announcement video, and the tacked-on list of reasons they gave for why you should buy a Kinect anyway. I dunno, guys: we're missing out on that QR scanner, maybe an extra $100 bucks isn't so bad after all! They've got a few winners in that PR department of theirs...
  • 42
    Amazon Eliza Steel 6 months ago
    Contributor
    The Kinect is an odd beast. $100.00 for it but nearly all the games are bargain basement prices. Obviously, not a good sign.
  • 57
    Rothalack 6 months ago
    Staff Editor
    It's got nothing to do with the games. It's simply a new input method that gets me all excited. I have so much fun commanding my friends Xbox One. The best part? I walk into his apartment and sit down on the couch. Almost immediately the Xbox One shows on screen "Hi Rothalack!" I get all excited every time and say hi and wave back. I know it means nothing but one day, the Xbox will respond.
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 6 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    If Kinect doesn't have any games worth talking about (and I'm sorry, but it doesn't), why am I supposed to care?

    This is a GAME SYSTEM, right? I wouldn't feel all that happy about paying $500 for a gimmick, which is all Kinect feels like. Move and the PS Camera wasn't any better but then again, Sony didn't cram it down consumers' throats by forcing them to buy it with the PS4.
  • 3
    Juicy Jane 6 months ago
    cheers to you mate :D
  • 60
    Venisia Gonzalez 6 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    I do like talking to the Xbox or even messing with my son as I walk into his room to sabotage his game with the help of the kinect. It has come in handy while cooking in the kitchen, that I can use the voice control for Netflix without having to deal with a controller. It does have it's many benefits.
    Last edited 6 months ago
  • 57
    Rothalack 6 months ago
    Staff Editor
    I completely get where you are coming from. I just don't consider it a "gimmick". That makes it sound like they were being malicious or something in the making of the Kinect. I'm a huge fan of the Kinect 2.0 and its uses with the Xbone, it really doesn't do anything but take commands. It will be soooo much more than that by the end of this generation. I did some research and the drivers and SDK for the Kinect 2.0 are being released for PC. That's what I'm going to do. I'll have a PC that has some of the Xbone functionality, and I'll be completely happy with that.
  • 57
    Rothalack 6 months ago
    Staff Editor
    Whatever happened to the, no cd drive, idea. I actually quite liked that. I'm waiting for them to put out a package with a huge built in harddrive, kinect and no cd drive. That's the one I'll be buying.
  • 36
    Proto Foe 6 months ago
    Senior Intern
    It's a great move by Microsoft, this race could be won at E3 this year! Or it could continue if Sony manages to block the media attention with their own great line-up.

    Yet, there is always Halo 2 / Halo 5 :D