At least in some stores, Microsoft’s decision to offer a cheaper version of the Xbox One is producing strong demand.
Last week, Microsoft announced that starting June 9 it will sell a standalone Xbox One, without the Kinect, at $100 cheaper than the current Xbox One price ($499). As GameSpot notes here, that cut has resulted in more interest in Microsoft’s console at GameStop stores.
GameStop president Tony Bartel told GameSpot that this is good news for his company, as more people will buy Xbox One software (GameStop makes more money off games vs. hardware).
On that note, Xbox exec Phil Harrison told OXM that lowering console prices and increasing demand will help the Xbox One ecosystem overall. His thinking is that the more gamers there are on Xbox One, the more developers will be enticed to make Xbox One games.
Still, Harrison added that Microsoft remains committed to Kinect “as the premium way to experience the Xbox One vision.” In fact, Xbox head Phil Spencer told CNET that the decision to offer an Xbox One without the Kinect will actually result in more Kinect unit sales in the end.
Microsoft also made a big Xbox-related change last week when it announced that anyone with an Xbox One or Xbox 360 — regardless of a Xbox Live Gold membership status — will be able to access more than 170 gaming and entertainment apps, including Netflix, Hulu and ESPN.
The Xbox One still trails the $399 PS4 in worldwide sales, while Sony’s console has held a sales lead in the U.S. for the past four months.