The Xbox One UK price drop: What does it mean for the US?

Microsoft's Xbox One just dropped in price in the UK, but will that mean anything in the US? GameSpot's editors explore the possibilities.

The Xbox One is getting a price drop effective this Friday in the UK, going from £430 to £400. But the rest of the world is getting a freebie as well--while supplies last, you'll be able to pick up an Xbox One bundle with a free Titanfall download code when the game launches on March 11. That deal encompasses the UK price drop as well, offering an even deeper discount on the Xbox One's price for lucky Brits who've held off on buying a console.

While Microsoft has said that the price cut doesn't mean their system is struggling, what does all this really mean for the Xbox's biggest potential market: the US? GameSpot's editors discuss.

Edward Makuch (GameSpot News Editor): Let's not read too far into today's announcement. If you believe Microsoft (and I do), the battle they face against Sony in the console space is a long-haul effort. We're only months into a cycle that stands to potentially span a decade. Microsoft knew it had the more expensive console going into last holiday. The $100 premium over the PlayStation 4 is nothing new and it's not something Microsoft is wary of because, in Microsoft's words, they have the "better system."

And so, the fact that the UK price cut is not coming to North America tells me Microsoft remains confident in its ability to sell the Xbox One at $500. The UK price cut appears to be a one-off promotion aimed at capitalizing on the launch of Titanfall next month rather than a desperate move to gain ground against Sony. The PS4 is off to a hot start, for sure, but Sony's initial success does not necessarily mean Microsoft's demise.

It's up to Microsoft to prove to consumers that the Xbox One is worth $100 more than the PS4. I don't think they've done it sufficiently yet, but with a string of highly anticipated exclusives and ambitious digital initiatives in the pipeline, I'm optimistic about Microsoft's long-term plans.

Thomas Mc Shea (GameSpot Editor): Microsoft isn't stupid. Despite how much I and many others prefer solo adventuring, a large part of a console's success is determined by how well it can foster a community of competitive players. Grab hold of those who enjoy firing guns at their friends and enemies, and you've secured system loyalty for years down the line. That's why Microsoft shelled out money to keep Titanfall from appearing on any console bearing the Sony brand, and that's why you're seeing them make such a bold pricing move just three months after the console debuted. Do not overlook just how important Titanfall is for Microsoft.

If they can lure those who have pushed Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield toward the top of the retail charts for the past decade, then Microsoft has established the Xbox One as the definitive console for multiplayer conquests. Once you get a taste of that mech-on-mech action, you're going to tell your friends, and soon one purchase becomes too many to count. And, yes, this doesn't preclude people from buying a PlayStation 4 as well, but if Microsoft can convince people that Xbox One is the place for competition, then people will flock toward every upcoming shooter on the Xbox One because that's where all of their friends let out their day's stresses.

Microsoft is betting a lot on Titanfall. We'll soon see if their gamble was worth the cost.

Randolph Ramsay (GameSpot Managing Editor): There are really only two things we can safely glean from today's price drop announcement. One, the Xbox One hasn't shipped enough units in the UK. And two, the console is selling well enough in the US to not warrant a similar drop (just a free copy of Titanfall). So despite all the sound and fury about next-gen console sales numbers in recent weeks, it seems Microsoft isn't feeling that freaked out about the gap between PS4 and Xbox One sales, at least in the US. That means a price drop isn't likely for US gamers any time soon. Sorry everyone--you'll have to stick with that $500 price tag for now.

The UK price drop isn't necessarily a harbinger of doom for Microsoft's new console, either. Sure, it's not a great look to cut the price of your much-hyped system barely three months after release, but Microsoft is looking at this console generation as a marathon, and not a sprint (as was the previous generation). The PS3 was famously behind the Xbox 360 in sales for much of the last console cycle, only to make up ground and eventually overtake the 360 in global units shipped. Microsoft is playing the long game, and the UK news from overnight is just one move in a very, very long and complicated game of chess.

Justin Haywald (GameSpot Senior News Editor): Microsoft still doesn't know what they're doing. While the price drop is great for the UK, it seems like the company is ignorant of the fact that every other country that's not the UK can read the same news and now knows they're not getting the same deal. Add in the fact that current purchasers get a free copy of Titanfall, and it just feels like Microsoft is insulting everyone who ordered an Xbox One early.

At least when Nintendo dropped the price on their 3DS, they had the foresight to give their audience a selection of free exclusive games.

In the end, I think this will do more harm than good for the Xbox One. If you're in the market for a system and you don't get a console with Titanfall, why wouldn't you wait for the next price drop/reduced price bundle? And there's no chance that the rest of us will get Titanfall for free, since Microsoft would be giving up on their sizable pre-order crowd. It seems they haven't really learned anything from last year's E3 missteps.

Those are our opinions, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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Discussion

323 comments
Iemander
Iemander

Imo it's a very easy choice, the PS4 is 300$ and the Xbox One is 400$. If the Xbox One wants to be competitive it'll have to lower it's price to 300$. 


They can try to hype the world for awhile, but after an initial boost they will see themselves drift farther and farther away, which in turn means less and less exclusives.


Microsoft needs to make a little more structural decisions, instead of trying all of these 'quick fixes'.

santinegrete
santinegrete

It means: waiting for your next gen console is SMART. There's a bigger picture here, I'm sure of it, but this fact is and will be true in the industry, customer-wise.

steelmouth
steelmouth

Oh Justin you sound like a fanboy, who compares deals that other countries are getting before buying in their own country. Some of us have long accepted that prices differ from country to country and thats that

steelmouth
steelmouth

well IMO the UK is 2nd best market for Xbox in terms or sales (the last i heard the X360 was about to surpass ps2 as the highest selling console there ever) so it makes sense that if the UK is struggling then MS will help a bit so it can at least be competitive in two markets

skipper847
skipper847

Got the X1 but I hate it.  rubbish dash board and rubbish watching vids. That menu for fast forward etc i just cant be doing with it and its not straight forward.

g1ngerkid
g1ngerkid

Is anyone going to make mention of how much stronger GBP has gotten against USD in the last several months? I realize I'm in the extreme minority here by actually paying attention to this (I'm making USD while currently working in the UK), but I feel like this has at least a little something to do with it. 399 GBP right now is pretty close to where 429 GBP was against the dollar last summer when they initially announced the prices.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Justin has got a good point there.

gaijingamer7
gaijingamer7

In the US you have those 'Media Hub' services that the UK doesn't, so microsoft cant justify the value.

theprismhead
theprismhead

They sell it for about 390 GBP in my country so 400GBP isn't such a good deal.

OT: You know what the difference between GS Editor and GS News Editor is? It's that GS News Editor's job is trollbaiting and Kickstarter update articles.

BradBurns
BradBurns

What does it mean for the US? Simple, The Xbox One is probably selling a bit slower in the UK when compared to the 360 so they adjusted the price accordingly. 

Sales are probably still comparable to the 360's early days here in the States so they will try to keep it that way for as long as they can get away with it here.

SchNerdy
SchNerdy

Only GameSpot can spin a free Titanfall bundle negative.

Robboninja
Robboninja

To be fair. Microsoft is getting obliterated in every region, with the exception of the US. They are try to stem the flow before it gets out of hand. It might just work.

jayjay444
jayjay444

It's still cheaper in the US so in my personal opinion this price drop shouldn't have happened in the first place the console should have been shipped at £350 in the UK, but it's good MS are dropping the price however I think theres more to this than MS is letting on I think it's because the PS4 is currently out performing the Xbox One in the UK. I'm not saying the console isn't doing well in the UK because it is just not as good as the PS4 and before anyone jumps down my throat I own a Xbox One and live in the UK I only wish I had this price drop before I bought the console lol but 30 quid really isn't that much of a big deal I hope the people who get the X1 have as much fun as I've had with it so far happy days I guess:D

PenguinJim
PenguinJim

"While the price drop is great for the UK, it seems like the company is ignorant of the fact that every other country that's not the UK can read the same news and now knows they're not getting the same deal."


True. It's still CHEAPER in every other country. And this "price cut" is almost exactly in line with how the GBP has strengthened since the Xbone's launch - it's less than a US$5 difference to Microsoft (who are based in the US, did you know?).


Looks like Microsoft isn't the "ignorant" one here, "senior" editor. ^^

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

They still paying too much 400 UK pounds is 667 dollars lol

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

 X1 should've been the exact same price as PS4 to begin with.  That way, we can say the console itself is $300 which is $100 less than the PS4.  Sounds right since it is a bit more underpowered.


I hope that price drops soon in NA.  I want one, just don't want to pay $500 for it

voreo
voreo

Still want an Xbox One over a PS4 , first at least lol.
Dont care. My history is on XBL

duffman_adam
duffman_adam

My faith in the UK has been restored, at least we aren't dumb enough to spend money on this heep of crap

Shinobi120
Shinobi120

Simple: No one outside of the U.S. wants this POS console.

Setzera
Setzera

At least Microsoft has tons of money, so they can continue to entertain everyone with their tom foolery, long after the consumer has had enough of this.

vackillers
vackillers

To be honest, I think the early numbers speak for themselves and yes MS is definitely trying to capitalize on the Titan Fall launch which we all know plays like crap compared to its PC counter part, and thats even with a below average 750 TI card as well. Numbers will get closer over the years like it did with last gen, but the UK price cut its nothing to really look into. The original price in the UK was simply far too much to begin with anyway but due to it being a new console, a price buff at launch for first few months is obvious and now its going back down to its probably originally projected price and just simply calling it a price cut is a marketing ploy in my book.

Caleb1dunn
Caleb1dunn

What I don't get about the whole kinect argument is that when sony releases something like the umd or cell processor, and charges 100+ dollars for it. The sony drones line up and purchase that product with no complaint. Kinect will shine if VR ever takes off, but its already worth $100 if your just a tech. enthusiast. I think the better question is not why spend $100 more for and xbox, but why spend $400 for an update ps3 with no big game releases in sight and only big gaming push is that is has a few good indie games. I am not saying xbox one is in much better shape, but at least titan fall is on the horizon.

poopoohed
poopoohed

@steelmouth

Microshaft will fail as they always have with anything other than Office.

poopoohed
poopoohed

@BradBurns

What this all means is that microshaft is getting desperate. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that.

gaijingamer7
gaijingamer7

@PenguinJim  Editor looks like a moron, he should do his research before posting that kind of filth again.

joke_man
joke_man

@PenguinJim  


"True. It's still CHEAPER in every other country. "


True, but some of that has to do with taxes in the UK.  

bailj018
bailj018

@HuSSaR83  Finally someone outside the UK who says that instead of whinging about them not getting the deal. 


Don't know if I'm right but doesn't New Zealand or some other country get completely *ucked by the exchange rate too?

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Yeah.. so you are 99% fat free.. might as well just say ' With 1% fat.'

poopoohed
poopoohed

@voreo

Here we have what is known as "Blind Fanboyism". lol

northArrow
northArrow

@voreo Why do you care about your history? I'm perfectly willing to step away from the Xbox brand, they've certainly done nothing to keep my business

Robboninja
Robboninja

@vackillers You have to remember the 360 had a full year launch lead on the PS3 and the PS3 still eventually caught up. That's not the case this time. I don't see any reason why Sony won't continue to sell more consoles than Microsoft for the entire generation unless Microsoft starts doing a lot of this sort of stuff to stem the flow.

joke_man
joke_man

@vackillers  


"Titan Fall launch which we all know plays like crap compared to its PC counter part"


Said only fanboys...

poopoohed
poopoohed

@Caleb1dunn

Lol the whole "ps4 has no games" argument is wearing pretty thin. Sony has more exclusive studios that have released more AAA titles than microshaft has PR problems. As time goes on the gap between these two will only get bigger as more devs utilize the ps4's vastly superior hardware rather than spend money trying to work around the bottlenecking of the X1 tech. Titanfail will not be the second coming that MS are betting on lol.

Lionheart8472
Lionheart8472

@Caleb1dunn  lol what are you smoking? Comparing the UMD or Cell Processor to the Kinect is like comparing a hockey stick to a helmet with a full face mask. To play hockey you need a hockey stick, you do not need a full face mask on your helmet.


The UMD and Cell processor were integrated into each system and were needed to work. The Kinect is NOT needed to work and so therefore we are paying money for something we don't want.


$400 for just a PS3 update? Get real why don't you actually look at the games, that run at 1080p @ 60 FPS? While you are at it, why don't you look at the Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes video comparisons to see how much power the PS4 has.

And as for games, to most people it's pretty much even. Yes Titanfall will be dropping on Xbox One which is awesome, however it's also on PC, and a much better version of it as well.  So most likely people that don't own an Xbox One will still be able to play it on PC (like myself).


Both consoles are good, but don't spew garbage like you just did please.

steelmouth
steelmouth

@poopoohed @steelmouth  Oh boy, you have no idea what I or indeed a lot of people/companies/counties except you would give to be a failure like Microshaft 

joke_man
joke_man

@bailj018 @HuSSaR83  


The difference is that the UK has the VAT.  Sales tax in the U.S., however, isn't added into the purchase price.  


Thus, at 400 GBP, they are paying the equivalent of $667.  Of that, 20% is VAT.  So, MS takes roughly $533.  Obviously this doesn't consider the vendor's cut, but you get the point.


In the U.S., they pay $500, plus tax (which is on average around 10%).  So, the cost is is $550.   MS is taking approximately (again, not considering the retailer) $500.  


Because a huge portion of the difference in cost relates to taxes and how they are calculated/added, MS is barely to blame for the price difference.  The actual price difference when you don't consider taxes is roughly $30.  So, someone in the UK is paying $30 more before taxes.  Considering the cost of importing consoles (for which there are MORE TAXES), I wouldn't be surprised if MS loses more money for each sale made in the UK than they do here.  


Thus, they are probably losing more money per console over there than they are here, and you guys still complain.  It's not MS's fault they have to charge more.  Blame your tax system if you don't like it, but quit the belly aching...

poopoohed
poopoohed

@bigrob007

WHY ARE YOU YELLING?


(btw xbox has failed everywhere it's over give up)

vackillers
vackillers

@Robboninja @vackillers   and thats kind of what I meant in-directly... I think MS will start doing more of the things gamers actually want to see....

cainetao11
cainetao11

@joke_man @vackillersAgreed. PC always has an edge, but to act like not playing the game at all is better than on 360/X1 is fanboy BS.

northArrow
northArrow

@poopoohed @Caleb1dunn

Exactly this. If there's one thing we should have all learned from last gen and the early part of this one, it's that Microsoft either cannot or will not be able to deliver high quality exclusives year in and year out. Five years from now this console will again be dependent on recycling their stale old franchises of Forza, Fable, GOW and Halo, just like my 360 was. Even now the hype behind Titanfall is so hot because Microsoft has nothing else this year. They've put all their eggs into this one generic MP shooter basket.

We're already seeing the third party games look and play much better on the PS4 and without hardware changes, this fact won't change. 

vackillers
vackillers

@cainetao11 @joke_man@vackillers its got nothing to do with being a fanboy crap.. its about stating the fact that a PC will run Titan Fall at 1080p at 60 FPS... the X1 will not... and wont even come close, how is that not litterately, stating a fact? fan boy has absolutely nothing to do with it.... 

joke_man
joke_man

@northArrow @poopoohed @Caleb1dunn  


The more accurate and less biased statement should read: During the last generation, MS  started out with more exclusives, while Sony has ultimately finished with more exclusives.  It looks like this "trend" may be repeating itself.  Nothing wrong with that...It's why I got the X360 first and picked up the PS3 later, and why I'm doing the same thing now.  The PS4 has many exclusives on the horizon, just not right now...Same as last-gen for the most part.