Microsoft has announced the first Xbox One price cut.
From 28th February Xbox One will carry an estimated retail price of £399.99 in the UK. It currently costs £429.99.
Coinciding with the announcement, Microsoft has confirmed the Xbox One Titanfall bundle that leaked online earlier this morning. This Titanfall bundle includes an Xbox One console, the Kinect sensor, a standard Xbox One wireless controller, a standard Xbox One Chat Headset, one month of Xbox Live Gold membership and a digital copy of Titanfall for the same price of £399.99. You can pre-order the bundle from today.
The price cut comes just three months after the Xbox One launched in Europe on 22nd November 2013. While the console has sold over twice as fast as its predecessor the Xbox 360, it is being outsold by its cheaper rival the PlayStation 4.
Xbox UK managing director Harvey Eagle told Eurogamer the price cut was not in response to this sales situation. Rather, he insisted it was to do with capitalising on the launch of Titanfall, which he expects will be an Xbox One system seller.
"The reason for doing this is about giving gamers in the UK the best value we can with Xbox One," Eagle said.
"That starts with the announcement we're making about this new price point of £399 moving forward, and continues with the inclusion of the hottest game of the year in Titanfall.
"In terms of our sales, this has been our most successful UK launch ever. I think we can say at this point already that both platforms are commercially successful, and I think that's great news for the industry.
"But I will also say we're only a few months into a generation that's going to last for many many years. So we take a long-term view. This is very much a marathon for us, not a sprint, and we're in it for the long haul. We're very excited about the announcements we're making today."
Eagle said Xbox One sales were "on track with where we hoped we would be at this point in time".
"Xbox 360's been a phenomenal success in the UK. For this to be the most successful launch we've ever done has thrilled us to be honest. So we're happy with where we are. We're excited about the announcements we're making today. We're excited about what's coming further down the line.
"This is about us offering the best value we can. The release of Titanfall is a great moment to do this. It's a game that has won more than 80 awards so far. It's hugely anticipated. The multiplayer beta was played and enjoyed by millions of gamers around the world. And we feel now is the best time to adjust the price and to include Titanfall moving forward as a promotional offer."
"What I'm certain of is that people want to play Titanfall. It's going to be a system seller. People will buy an Xbox One in order to play this game."
When asked if Microsoft hoped the Titanfall Xbox One bundle and price cut combination would see Xbox One sales overtake sales of the PS4, Eagle replied: "What I'm certain of is that people want to play Titanfall. It's going to be a system seller. People will buy an Xbox One in order to play this game."
The inclusion of a month's subscription to Xbox Live Gold is, according to Eagle, also tied in with the inclusion of the multiplayer-only Titanfall.
"We want to get people onto Xbox Live," he said. "You need an Xbox Live subscription in order to play Titanfall, so we felt it would be wrong to include the game but not some form of subscription so they can have a chance to play the game. We think they're going to love it and want to subscribe moving forwards afterwards."
While Microsoft will no doubt enjoy a boost in Xbox One sales with the launch of Titanfall, the price cut and bundle is sure to upset early adopters who forked out £430 for the console at launch.
"We're hugely appreciative and I would like to thank all of the customers who have bought an Xbox One and have supported us since launch," Eagle said when asked about Xbox One owners who might feel betrayed by today's news.
"What I would also do is remind you that many of those consoles that were purchased at launch and in the run up to Christmas came with the inclusion of a game. You'll know we did a day one offer with FIFA and also Forza, and this latest offer has been timed to celebrate the launch of Titanfall."
When Nintendo announced a price cut for the 3DS soon after launch it pacified early adopters by launching the 3DS Ambassador Program, which allowed owners to download free games to their machine as a reward for paying more at release.
Eagle said Microsoft had no intention of offering a similar deal to Xbox One early adopters.
"No unfortunately we can't offer a retroactive refund," he said. "Again, we thank them very much. We think we've offered great value to those customers who've been playing on and enjoying their consoles since Christmas."
So, is that it for Xbox One price drops for 2014? "This is timed around the launch of Titanfall," Eagle replied when asked the question. "There's no other price drops in our thinking at this moment in time beyond what we're announcing today."
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