Back in June, the Xbox One X was revealed to the world at E3: the world’s biggest video game showcase. Xbox fans were excited to see that they will finally have a console capable going punch for punch with the PS4 Pro. There’s just one problem… The Xbox One X price. The price of Microsoft’s powerful new console could be its downfall as it embarks on a difficult journey to steal back some market share from Sony.
At $500, the Xbox One X price is out of impulse purchase territory for most people. That $500 price tag puts the Xbox One X about $100 above the PS4 Pro – its biggest competitor. Of course, if you have followed the Xbox One X story then you know that it can pump out beautiful 4K gaming much more easily than the PS4 Pro thanks to its superior components. The problem is; we’re talking to console gamers. PC gamers love to try and squeeze every additional bit of performance out of their rig. If something can give them an extra 5 to 10 frames per second at max settings then they want to know about it. Console gamers are a different breed. That’s not to say that there aren’t console gamers that don’t care about specs. I’m just saying that there might not be enough console gamers willing to pay the higher Xbox One X price for a marginal improvement over the PS4 Pro or even the basic Xbox One S.
At the end of the day, the Xbox One X isn’t going to have any exclusivity over the other Xbox models. They can play the same games – but the Xbox One X price is double that of the One S. If you don’t have a 4K TV at home, that increase in specs may not be fully realized anyway. Add on more money for a 4K TV setup and you can see why the Xbox One X may not have massive success. Dedicated Xbox fans with a 4K TV might be willing to pay the Xbox One X price but casual gamers who are still rocking their trusty 1080p television set may have trouble committing to the higher price tag. I’m willing to be there are more casual gamers than there are dedicated Xbox gamers. The real dedicated gamers who want the absolute best graphics are on PC and I’m not sure the Xbox One X has enough juice to win them over.
The Xbox One X price isn’t the only issue. There’s also the issue of timing. The PS4 Pro has already had ample opportunity to capture the 4K console market. A lot of people may not have been willing to wait for Microsoft to launch an Xbox One competitor and already invested in the PS4 Pro as well as a bunch of PS4 games. Some will be willing to switch, sure. However, I imagine that most people will stick with the PS4 Pro if they have already made that purchase. The only way I could see the Xbox One X winning over a large number of PS4 Pro owners is if there is an absolutely incredible trade in program that offers PS4 Pro owners a great deal on an Xbox One X if they trade in their console. Other than that, people who wanted to be the first to experience 4K gaming on console are likely sticking with the PS4 Pro.
The one thing that could help the Xbox One X sell well this year is the holiday shopping season. The Xbox One X will surely be on a lot of gamers’ wishlists this year. The question is whether gift buyers will be willing to shell out $500 for the console plus more money for games, extra controllers, and other accessories. When that Xbox One X price is listed next to the Xbox One S, a lot of parents may wonder why they are spending double on a console that plays the same games. Of course, that’s an incredibly oversimplification of the issue but parents don’t often care to learn about why one console costs twice as much money as the other. They just want to see their kid happy on Christmas morning and, realistically, most kids will be happy to receive any console whether it’s an Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, or Xbox One X.
While there are certainly arguments to be made for the Xbox One X over every other console on the market; the price could be a huge hurdle for some buyers this holiday season. Can Microsoft convince people that the extra cash is worth it? I guess only time will tell.