IMG_7990 copyIf you’re a gamer, it’s hard not to be really freakin’ excited for this November when two new consoles — the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — finally hit store shelves.

But which one will you snag? Trying to save a few bucks with the $399 PS4? Love Halo so much that you’re dedicated to the Xbox? Or will you pass and keep on playing the Wii U while staying true to your Nintendo roots?

Of course, Microsoft thinks its product takes the upper hand, and Xbox chief marketing officer Yusef Mehdi spent a few minutes explaining why today at the Citi Global Technology Conference.

[Related: Xbox One now in full production with improved CPU performance]

Someone asked Mehdi if he thought consumers will start buying just one console, rather than multiple like some gamers have in years past. He first noted that Sony and Microsoft going head-to-head with a console launch at the same time “will bring a lot of energy to the gaming market,” and “further grow the market,” and then touched on the Xbox One.

Yusuf Mehdi, Xbox chief marketing officer.

“Competitively speaking, I feel like we have a much better and more complete value proposition,” he said. “We do things that aren’t found on other platforms. The Kinect is a huge piece of differentiation, and the fact that we do entertainment and gaming.”

Mehdi also said that the Xbox has a “better lineup of games,” which sounded very similar to the recent Xbox One promo trailer. He also cited the fact that the Xbox One won more awards at this year’s E3 video game conference than Sony and Nintendo combined.

The upgraded Kinect found in every Xbox One box is definitely something that sets the console apart, although customers will have to fork over some extra dough for it. An analyst asked Mehdi about the $499 price tag for the console — $100 more than the PS4 — calling it a “sticker shock” and wondered if Microsoft picked too high of a price point.

Mehdi said that his team always has priced its products “super competitive” in terms of being close to break even or low margin in order to have broader distribution. For the Xbox One, he said, Microsoft made a couple “big bets.”

xbox“We wanted something to really differentiate that lets you play games as if you’re playing movies and we wanted to break the barrier of being able to voice control your television,” Mehdi explained. “So to do that, we added a lot of capability. For $499, we think the value we provide for that is a very good deal. We feel that we’ve done the right balance. And if you look either the pre-orders that we’ve been sold out for weeks, or do price-adjusted inflation on the 360, it’s actually pretty comparable.”

In addition, Mehdi touched on how Microsoft wants its console to not just be a top-tier gaming device, but also the centerpiece of your living room as the all-in-one entertainment hub.

“We’re trying to provide a central device in the living room that for the first time can unify all forms of entertainment in one simple effort,” he said. “We don’t just want to unify it, but then allow literally with your voice to control your television. We think TV’s will truly become smart TV’s where you can browse and do Skype communication and interactive television. Xbox One is key to opening up that world of next-generation entertainment.”

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Jessenia Lopez

    hahaha lol

    • JerkDaNERD7

      I know, they have more games then the competitor yet who hell are buying consoles for games, right?!

      They should refigure themselves out and pull out the Kinect just to cheapen the product. Sony dropped the eye which is SSOOO smart, therefore selling more consoles. Even though their main games need eye, we’ll buy it anyways!

      • Mason Rieber

        you contradicted yourself…. if it was “SSOOO smart” to take it out what makes you think consumers are going to gladly go buy it as an add on? it is nothing compared to the kinect which is only a $100 add on and the eye is hardly integrated (even sony admits its flawed capabilities) into the system and is still $60.

        • Dvrrell

          I think the sarcasm went over your head.

          • pixelsword

            I don’t think it was his sarcasm. I think it was his 3rd grade writing skills…

          • JerkDaNERD7

            Sarcasm and the third grade grammar skills…

  • guest

    In terms of “entertainment”, which I guess means TV, I think that the latest TiVo is a way more complete solution. TiVo has cablecard, DVR, multiroom viewing, streaming to iOS, remote programming, …. None of which Xbox or PS have.

    • Nathan O

      but it doesn’t have Titanfall

    • GoonieGooGoo4

      Actually you are incorrect…..the XBOX 360 has excellent network extender capabilities which when coupled with an appropriate Windows 7 Media Center and gigabit ethernet literally destroys TIVO or any other DVR out there in capabilities.

      I know because i use multiple XBOX 360s as my cable boxes in 3 different locations.

      Not sure if they kept this functionality for XBOX ONE….but it would be very sad if they did not.

      • anon

        TiVo still works better. Who wants the hassle of setting up a media center PC, and who wants a big, loud, gaming engine next to every TV in the house. TiVo just works out of the box, and their “extenders” are small, fanless “Tivo mini” boxes.

    • Vulcanproject

      The classic part is you spend all that more for Xbone, and then the media stuff and whatnot is stuck behind the Xbox live paywell as well. Which means you have to pay out more to do what PS4 actually does for free, where it isn’t basically crippled just because you didn’t renew your sub

  • phinn

    Aka “our console costs 25% more than PS4 and we are still trying to justify it.”

    • Counterproductive

      30% less powerful, and 25% more expensive. Irony.

      • Mason Rieber

        if you actually knew anything about the system you would realized your statement is inaccurate…. even if the ps4 showed a 50% increase in supposed power over the xbox one aka 1 vs 1.5 for instance, it doesnt actually mean a 50% more powerful device. there will be next to no difference in power of these two and the xbox one will quite likely surprise most who have been feeding into the dumb rumors and uneducated people who simply post bad stuff about MS and their system

        • Counterproductive

          I know a great deal about the system, and apparently moreso than you do. Spreading disinformation like “next to no difference in power” without knowing the facts is irresponsible, or if you know the facts its just plain malicious. Look at the actual architecture of the system and see for yourself. If you don’t have a technical background yourself, review the indepth series that SemiAccurate did about the system over the past week since Hot Chips 25 revealed the system specs that Microsoft has been carefully keeping under wraps until now.

          Or if you don’t want to review the technical breakdown, and just skip to the summary at the end, it puts the comparative analysis of the systems in no uncertain terms. And I quote: “Then there are the GPUs themselves, the Achilles heel of the XBox One. While there is nothing wrong with them per se, they are a slightly older revision than used in the PS4 but the differences are small enough to be ignorable. What does matter is that the PS4 has about 50% more units at roughly the same clocks, 1152 at ~800MHz vs 768 at 853MHz, a massive difference. Couple this with the vastly more user-friendly 8GB GDDR5 memory design and you have a clean kill for Sony on performance.

          Microsoft made a really impressive SoC that is a multimedia monster with a bit of gaming ability, technically speaking it is quite impressive that they pulled it off. Not to take anything away from the hardware designers but Microsoft management simply aimed wrong. Sony made a gaming machine, Microsoft did not. Sony made a clean design for coders, Microsoft did not. Microsoft made a complex technical masterpiece that is in a no-mans land between a far <$100 Android media center and the PS4. Sony just did right for gamers and won the battle"

          If you want to buy a Xbox One for the exclusive titles you like, that's fine. I love Dead Rising, and will miss it this gen cause I'm not buying another Xbox. Gears is awesome. I don't begrudge you your choices and no one should. Just go in with open eyes, and don't let Microsoft make you a schill because of your arbitrary devotion to a brand name.

      • GoonieGooGoo4

        If you are talking about expenses… have to consider that the deal that Microsoft has negotiated with GAMESTOP, AMAZON & BEST BUY that gamers will be able to save 50$/title when 360 titles like MADDEN 25, BF4, COD: GHOSTS, FIFA 14, and WATCH DOGS…….

        that does equal ~ $ 250 worth of savings just by itself and not having to wait to play those games or worry about their stats transferring.

        • Counterproductive

          Sony has that same deal for cross-gen titles, and it wasn’t limited to Best Buy.

  • MattS71

    Dear Microsoft fucktards – you are going down hard. Your box aint worth $500

    • Vera

      Dear paupers, you’re going to fucked hard by $0n¥ PauperStation with their lies, overhype and underdeliver. GFY!

      • Counterproductive

        I never did get the point of that insult. Are Playstation owners supposed to be poor? Are you rich and making fun of the lower class? Are you Charles Dickens? It doesn’t make sense.

      • Gman

        Sony is awesome….they support their system while xbox just become mobile heaters. Im enjoying Last of Us. :D

  • kreator

    XBO FTW!

  • Guest

    Gamers don’t buy value props. The buy games and hardware to play them on. What an asshole

  • MJA

    I personally love all the PS fanboys (and any other alike that their comments might sway) that can’t wait to hate on anything with “Xbox” in the headline. Just means one less immature kid to deal with in BF4. It’s like having CoD around to take out the <18 year old crowd.

  • klarax

    I love the first paragraph… “Trying to save a few bucks with the $399 PS4?” – Hardly, im getting it because its the more powerful console and is tailored more to my tastes

  • benbenkr

    While I understand where Microsoft is coming from in terms of going for living room entertainment box, completely removing the needs for a HTPC, streaming box or a media player; the problem is that they’re not letting people know how much they are focusing on what the Xbox One is first and foremost: a game console.

    It’s all very bad PR on MS part. I know they have the games, but they’re not convincing enough to gamers. They’re not telling them in the way Sony is, where they are chucking games in everyone’s faces first and foremost. This is the issue here on the hate MS is getting.

  • Vera

    They do, yet $0ny PauperStation N4Gtard NeoFAGs can’t afford it as they all live off of mommy and daddy’s salaries in their basements.

    • Counterproductive

      So not only classist, but homophobic as well. You know, just because one product is better or worse than another product, doesn’t mean that you’re any less of a person. Statements like yours do, however.

    • Gman

      your comments are Vera stupid.

    • redaxis

      I work hard to earn cash supporting my family and I chose PS4 because I know how to spend wisely. I cannot afford to miss naughty dog’s games, I have PC to play Microsoft “exclusives” and I don’t need a TV box. That being said, I totally respect those who choose XB1 because everyone has different prefference and needs.

  • jettcity

    One of the home entertainment features that I really appreciated on my 360 was using it as a WMC extender and saving the cost of a cable box rental fee and DVR capability. So now I see the Xbox One focus group apparently requested:
    1. Enhanced live TV integration that requires a cable box for full benefit and doesn’t do anything for the way people are really starting to watch TV, i.e. DVR. Plus elimination of the useful extender capability.
    2. Improved Kinect capabilities, that most hardcore gamers will never use, that will also allow you to talk to your TV (people really want to do that?)
    3. Charge more than the competitor’s box to add those marginally useful features, and crippling something useful that was a true differentiator that enhanced another MS product.
    Sorry, this feels like another MS misfire when they had an established lead on the competition.

  • Gman

    try to save a few bucks? no.. i want a good system, and want to buy a game or 2 when i get the PS4.. BOOM!

  • Guest

    Too much $. I’m not splashing out more than $99 for a console, especially when games cost $60 or more. I predict that both Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 will follow Wii U into the toilet of history.

    Do what so many successful smartphone vendors have done before you, Micro and Sony: lower the sticker price to virtually nothing. Charge a few extra $ a month and keep the game prices very low — say, free-to-play or 99c. You’ll get loads more customers, including me!

    • CasualsLOL

      LMAO!! Casuals are soo funny. Srry the PS4 and Xbox One are selling at record levels before release never before seen with consoles. The wii u isn’t selling because it sucks, just like your lame smartphone games.

    • DeAno Jackson

      Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen. The XBOne and the PS4 are selling like hotcakes covered in crack and they’re not even out yet. You can have your free-to-play and 99 cent games; I’ll take my high budget and high profile games over yours any day of the week.

      You’re a casual gamer, and that’s cool. Stick to Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga, meanwhile I’ll be playing Watch_Dogs, GTAV, and Beyond: Two Souls.

      • Guest

        I’m not saying that GTAV is a bad game. I just would prefer for it to be 99 cents and for an accompanying console to be $99. Less $ is better for me, and I say that as a professional.

        • DeAno Jackson

          And if you think for even a second that a game with a budget that rivals most Hollywood movies would be sold for 99 cents, you’re either insane, on drugs, have no idea how the business works, or some combination of the three.

          • Guest

            What’s the big deal? Facebook is worth $100 billion, more than 2,000 times the budget of GTAV, and I use it for free.

            99 cents is a more than fair price to start with GTAV. Just like my ‘phone, $99 is a fair price to pay for a console. Charge me more later — I don’t care. Get those sticker prices down!

          • DeAno Jackson

            You use Facebook for free because you ARE the product that FB sells to advertisers. Besides, you’re comparing two totally unrelated things.

            Look, I don’t have forever to discuss this. It won’t happen – beginning, middle, end. Just stick to your little mobile games and enjoy yourself.

            Conversation over.

  • Obambush

    So true! which is why i have 2 dayone editions pre-ordered.

  • rudero

    I’ll let microsofts history speak for its value. Two consoles, dropped support for both. An overpriced voice control with sixaxis that couldn’t come in handy and now they want us to go… “Oh, ok, third time is a charm”? F U Microsoft.
    Do I think things can change? Yes. But, that is where I go ps4 first and let Microsoft earn my purchase.

  • Guest

    Isn’t Yusuf Mehdi the same guy who told us how great Xbox Music was going to be?

Job Listings on GeekWork