Xbox One price cut and free Titanfall: A shining example of why not to buy a new console at launch
The Xbox One launched on November 22, 2013. Just over three months later, it's getting its first price cut. Let me repeat that, three months after the Xbox One's grand debut, it's already getting a price cut; albeit in the UK only.
At £399.99, the price cut represents a price drop of only £30 from the original £429.99, but, more importantly, it serves as just another example of why consumers should hold out on buying a new console at launch. You just get screwed.
Truth be told, buying a console at launch has no real benefit. Okay, you get to play the "next-gen" games first, but those games will still be around weeks, or months, later -- and at a cheaper price too. And with a launch lineup as weak as the Xbox One (and PS4 for that matter), there weren't really any "must-play" games to pick from anyway. Don't get me wrong, there were good games; but, I think many of us can agree that launch titles are just a mere representation -- a simple tease of potential -- for what we can expect further on in the consoles' lifecycle.
The one Xbox One game I think is worthy of an Xbox One purchase is Titanfall -- and guess what? Microsoft is giving it away! Coinciding with today's announcement of a discount, Microsoft revealed a special "limited" Titanfall Xbox One Bundle. For $499 in the United States -- the same price as the console by itself at launch -- you can get everything someone who bought one at launch received (minus the achievement and fancy engraving) along with a free copy of Titanfall, what looks to be the system's best game so far. Oh, and in the UK, Titanfall is included with the new discounted price.
So by waiting just three months -- a span in which zero "must-have" games were released -- you can save money AND get one of the most anticipated games for the system for free.
Microsoft maintains that the price cut isn't about struggling sales compared to the PS4, but rather "about giving UK gamers the best value we can." Well if that's the case, then why not start it off at that price to begin with?
Since the announcement of the price cut, many early adopters have voiced their anger towards Microsoft. Some are even demanding Microsoft give them a free game as compensation for... what? Because you were too hasty in your decision to jump to the next-gen system? If you bought an Xbox One at launch and are angered by this price cut you have no one to blame but yourself. Every cycle this things happen -- a new system releases, a few months go by, and a new bundle or price cut is introduced. And every time it's a reminder as to why you shouldn't buy into the hype of a new product.
But what about those who did wait? My brother, Lance, bought an Xbox One on Friday. What's more, his reasoning behind the purchase was so that he could play Titanfall. Imagine how he must feel knowing that if he had just waited two days he could get the game he coveted for free. To his credit, he didn't seem upset with the news. And here's why I think that is: to him, the purchase was warranted. He's not upset with losing out on a free game because he feels the $499 he spent was a good value.
And that's the whole point I'm trying to make -- do not buy a console at launch if you are going to be upset with the inevitable price cuts or promotions that will follow. These days, price cuts are coming faster than ever. Heck, I bought Battlefield 4 for $20 just a month after its release. If you are going to spend full price on a product, make sure you fully believe it's worth that price.
I bought a PlayStation 4 on launch day for $399, and I'm perfectly content. I'd remain content, even if Sony gave a free game away with new purchases. I'd be jealous, but I wouldn't be angry. Because in my eyes, the PS4 was worth the price I paid at launch -- and I also got some games for free thanks to the sweet PS Plus benefits.
So the point of this rant? If you are going to be upset with a price cut on a newer product -- one that we know is coming -- you shouldn't have bought the product at launch to begin with. It's as simple as that. But having said this, Microsoft is teaching its customers to be wary of new products. Why buy something new at launch when you know in just a few months you can get it for cheaper?