What does Microsoft's decision to lower the Xbox One's price in the UK say about the console's fortunes, and what kind of impact will it ultimately have? On the morning of the announcement, OXM's Jon Hicks spoke to Xbox UK marketing director Harvey Eagle about the thinking behind the move, E3 2014 announcements, and what you should look forward to after Titanfall.
Is the price cut a long-scheduled thing, or is it a reaction to the current state of the market?
It's about giving gamers in the UK the best possible value that we can. And that starts with this new price point of £399, and carries on with the inclusion of Titanfall, which as you know is the most hotly-anticipated game of any new console.
Is the bundle global?
The Titanfall inclusion is part of a global promotion for Xbox. The new price going forward is UK-only.
Can you maintain this price point, given the cost of manufacturing the hardware?
As I said earlier, It's really about delivering best value. We're not going to disclose cost of goods and the various things that go into the business model, obviously. This is just purely about offering the best value that we can - we feel the time is right now to do this because Titanfall is coming out. It's the game that most gamers are looking forward to playing, and we think that this is a great time to offer this new price point moving forwards, and include the game while stocks last.
Titanfall is clearly the game to beat this year, but what happens next? Are you confident about the Xbox One lineup after this?
Firstly I'd say that Titanfall is a game that has won more than 80 awards so far, it's incredibly hotly anticipated, and I believe it's a game that people will buy an Xbox One in order to play. But moving forwards if you think about what I think are the three hottest games of the year to come, Titanfall, Watch Dogs and Destiny, the only place you're going to be able to play all three of those games is on Xbox One.
Are Watch Dogs and Destiny the key titles this year?
They're the titles that I hear people talk about a lot, that gamers are excited about, that the press are writing great articles about - I would put those in a special category. There are other great titles coming as well, but in particular those three are standouts for me.
Can we expect announcements aimed at core gamers at E3?
Yeah, we obviously make a load of announcements at E3 which we're really excited about. You'll get a far greater sense of the games line-up for the Christmas period at E3.
Did you plan to announce your price cut after Titanfall's public beta, once everybody's had a taste of the game?
We know that millions of people round the world have been playing the beta, it's been incredibly successful which we're thrilled about. It's actually a great example of - we talked at launch time about dedicated servers and the importance of having that in the gameplay experience, making sure the games were fast and smooth and playing without interruption. The Titanfall beta has been a great example of how that makes the Xbox One experience special.
What would you say to early adopters who are angry about paying more?
We're hugely appreciative of people that have supported us since launch. What I would say is that mainly the consoles that were bought in the run-up to launch did come with a game included, and this offer is timed to celebrate the launch of Titanfall. Unfortunately we can't offer a retroactive refund to people, but we thank them very much and we're hugely appreciative of them being on board since the beginning.