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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.

yusufmehdi
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.”

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