Amazon has recently made a slew of Xbox One Day One Edition units available. They can be purchased for the original $499 price, and boast the bundle of incentives provided to the earliest of adopters, including the exclusive Day One achievement that was selling on eBay a while back. While this is great news for those that don’t already own — and would like to own — an Xbox One, there are several problems with this specific version of the console being made available all of a sudden.
1) Retailers haven’t sold nearly as much stock as Microsoft would have you believe. I remember walking into Best Buy recently and seeing a pile of Xbox Ones tall enough to house Hagrid’s brother from that one Harry Potter movie. While we’ve known for quite some time that the PlayStation 4 is selling substantially better than the Xbox One, it’s still pretty shocking to see. With 5 million units shipped versus Sony’s 7 million units sold, it’s a margin that’s becoming difficult to ignore — especially considering the lack of genuine statistics.
2) There’s no demand for the Xbox One. This directly coincides with the first point, but has its own set of concerns. Firstly, Microsoft has already slowed production on the console, and continues to do so as supply far exceeds demand. Secondly, they’ve been concealing numbers with other, much less important but certainly flashier numbers since the very beginning. This doesn’t spell a good company/consumer relationship. Microsoft doesn’t seem to be as interested in ensuring the happiness of current possessors — something of a convincing form of advertisement that far outweighs any commercial or panel discussion.
3) Microsoft has less of a reason to deliver on expectations if the console is selling poorly. While the Xbox One is no chump in the console race, Microsoft has been focusing much of their energy in defending the console against Sony’s flagship, rather than providing a strong case for newcomers. The services promised by Microsoft are expensive, too, and their shareholders are already quite unhappy with the existence of the Xbox brand. It’s easy to imagine Microsoft holding their fire until their console sees a significant bump in the retailer-to-household ratio — something of a tricky climb given the lack of titles across both current consoles.
While there are certainly flags raised when a console’s supposedly exclusive edition goes on sale via a major retailer, there’s no reason to believe that Microsoft is out of the race. There is, however, reason to believe that the brand doesn’t hold the clout it once did. We knew redemption would be pricey following Microsoft’s sloppy announcement, but the current lack of incentive is strong. Sony, while behind in terms of triple A games, has an abundance of indies worth exploring. Meanwhile, Microsoft struggles to fulfill its ambitious cloud, and continues to overstate its position. It’s not entirely shocking that the Xbox One isn’t selling as well as the PlayStation 4, although the extent to which it’s tailing is quite surprising.
Those interested in jumping aboard the Xbox train, and it’s certainly a fun ride, should rush over to Amazon. If an Xbox One was in your plans, there’s no better time to snag one.