In the past few months the Xbox One’s sales have lagged behind the PS4’s. While many consumers are buying Sony’s new console because of graphics, the Xbox One’s initial price, policies such as the always online requirement (which Microsoft later reversed), and a lack of key features haven’t helped the Xbox One catch up.
Microsoft has tried to improve the Xbox One’s sales by offering a variety of discounts and bundles, though. During the holiday season consumers could get a free game when they bought any Xbox One console (including bundles) and they shaved $50 off of the Xbox One’s price, making it far cheaper than the PS4. But although this helped the Xbox One outsell the PS4 in November and December of 2014 (in the United States), the PS4 was the best seller in January 2015.
That’s why it’s good news for Microsoft that one of the year’s most highly anticipated games, Star Wars Battlefront, will be available first on Xbox One consoles. Xbox marketing lead Aaron Greenberg made the announcement on Twitter, telling an excited Battlefront fan that they would be able to “play it first on #XboxOne!” thanks to EA Access, the monthly subscription service from game publisher Electronic Arts.
EA Access, which is only available on Xbox One, provides players with early access to a range of games in the ‘EA Vault’ for $4.99 a month. Some games in the vault include Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, FIFA 14, Battlefield 4 and Madden NFL 25, with the publisher regularly adding games to this list.
On top of access to this vault, another big benefit is the ability to play EA games five days before their release date, which is how Star Wars Battlefront will be a temporary Xbox One exclusive. However, some pre-released games only include a limited variety of modes while others are trials of the full game experience and it’s not yet clear which category Battlefront will fall into.
In addition to being a huge win for Microsoft, this announcement will also give Sony’s executives a headache. Sony has said previously that EA Access doesn’t provide good value to PlayStation players and although their own PlayStation Plus service provides early access to some games, free game downloads, and digital discounts just like EA Access, it’s not offering an early chance to play one of the most talked about games of 2015.
Considering that Star Wars Battlefront launches alongside new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well, the hype could be enough for the Xbox One to top the sales charts once more. It may even be enough for Sony to change their minds on EA Access too.
Does this make you want to buy an Xbox One? Do you think Sony should reconsider letting EA Access launch on PS4? Leave a comment.
Star Wars: Battlefront is set to release holiday 2015 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Source: Aaron Greenberg