It’s been a full week since GamesCom 2011 and the Sony announcement that they would be cutting $50 from the PlayStation 3 price – down to $249. From the very moment the announcement was mentioned, eager eyes have been looking towards Microsoft to see how they would respond.
Initially, Microsoft was adamant that they would stay right where they are – arguing that they “offer a great value.” However, that may be changing with an alleged 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle price cut.
Sticking to their guns, Microsoft’s European director Chris Lewis had said last week that the Xbox 360 didn’t feel any pressure from the Sony price drop. Even with the price breakdowns (4GB Xbox 360 for $200 or the 250GB Xbox 360 for $300 against the now 160GB PS3 for $250), the additional hardware and software functions may be the tide-changer (Kinect or Blu-ray player) for future purchasers.
Yet again, Microsoft isn’t known to sit idly by and watch as potential profits slip out of their fingers. Joystiq has snagged a picture from an upcoming Wal-Mart ad, slated to come out next week. The ad in question mentions a 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle at $249: the same price reduction that the PS3 received. Just recently, Microsoft released this statement about the ad:
“Walmart made an independent decision to implement this temporary price cut. We’ve made no announcements about price drops, and do not discuss our pricing plans in advance. Xbox is the number-one selling console in the U.S. for 13 of the past 14 months, and is showing record growth. With an incredible line-up of games and entertainment, we’re expecting the biggest year in Xbox history as the best-selling console worldwide.”
While it clears up the matter slightly, it still means that Microsoft probably has no real intention to cut the Xbox cost for the time being. However, with Wal-Mart independently selling 360’s at a reduced price, Microsoft will still get every penny they were already afforded. At first glance, consumers will question why it’s the Kinect bundle that would get the price drop rather than the bigger-bodied 250GB. Ultimately, it all comes down to numbers and releases.
With Microsoft’s big emphasis on Kinect-ready titles in the future (such as Mass Effect 3, Fable: The Journey, and even the adorable Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster), building on the already expanding Kinect market is the best way to dig the goldmine. With over 10 million units sold, it’s about the quality and the quantity.
We’ll know for sure whether the supposed ad is real, a prepared publication for “just in case,” or if it’s just a temporary Wal-Mart bargain, in the coming week. In the meantime, you can be sure that Microsoft isn’t sitting on their heels.