Since it launched the Xbox One last November, Microsoft has struggled to match its sales with those of the PlayStation 4, which Sony released around the same time as the Xbox One.
Though Microsoft reportedly sold 1 million Xbox One units within 24 hours of releasing it on Nov. 22, sales of the Xbox One have lagged behind the PlayStation 4, which Sony launched a week earlier and was priced $100 cheaper. To keep up with Sony’s console sales, Microsoft is now offering the Xbox One without the Kinect motion detecting feature, for $100 less than its original $500 price tag.
Microsoft will offer the Kinect-less Xbox One for $399 beginning on June 9. Buyers can pre-order the device now.
"Your feedback matters to us and it shapes the products and services we build," Xbox head Phil Spencer said when he announced the price cut, which may be a smart ploy for the Redmond, Washington multimedia company.
“On behalf of the entire global team at PlayStation, I want to thank you for your unprecedented support and for making PS4 your next-generation console of choice,” Sony social media director Sid Shuman said. “We couldn’t have done this without you! And please keep the feedback coming: we are listening.”
PS4 software sales have sold more than 20.5 million units via retailers and the PlayStation store as of April 13. The PlayStation 4, which Sony launched in North America on Nov. 15, reportedly also sold 1 million units within the first 24 hours of its launch, and it sold 2.1 million consoles internationally as of early December. One week later, the Microsoft launched the Xbox One in 13 countries on Nov. 22. Microsoft Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi made an announcement in January about the Xbox One's sales, saying the console sold 3 million units by the end of December 2013.
Gamers in China will get finally get a chance to buy one of the new consoles in September, when Microsoft’s Xbox One will make its Chinese debut, according to an announcement on the official Xbox blog in April.
“Today marks a monumental day for Xbox, as together with our partner BesTV New Media Co., we announced we will bring Xbox One to China in September of this year,” Mehdi said. “This is a historic moment in our partnership as we work toward the first official Xbox launch in China. Xbox One will also be the first system of its kind to launch in China.”
The Xbox One is the first console to launch in China in more than a decade, as game consoles had been included in the government's ban on various forms of entertainment, which had lasted until January. Will this version of the Xbox launch finally give Microsoft an edge over Sony? Only time will tell.