We’re in the first few months since launch of the Xbox One and PS4, and with sales figures out in the open it’s clear both consoles are performing very well. Naturally, some consumers are going to opt to buy the cheaper option if it seemingly offers the same experience as its rivals, but there’s something else to consider which can make the Xbox One more alluring to casual consumers where price isn’t necessarily an issue.
We caught up with one such consumer who might not be representative of the mass sentiment towards the Xbox One and PS4 but painted a picture that suggested Microsoft’s console has the potential to win over consumers despite its lesser power and more expensive pricing.
We’re not going to name our source as it’s irrelevant, and so for now we’ll simply call him Alan. Looking at Alan’s situation and he’s someone who hasn’t played a video game for about 20 years, he has a full time job, supports a wife and younger child and has some disposable income. Alan opted to purchase an Xbox One over a PS4, and we had to ask why.
In short, the answer we were given wasn’t a total surprise as Microsoft has done a grand job of turning the tables when it comes to its slick advertising ventures. Whilst Sony continues to bark up the PS4 is more powerful, and popular tree, Microsoft are relying on its distinct features to win over consumers, and in this case it is seemingly working.
Alan wasn’t wholly taken in by the adverts but what really snared him were the Xbox One features. The voice commands, instant signing in, easy to navigate user interface and TV integration were enticing features even though these aren’t properly functioning in the European region just yet. Alan seemed to be impressed with Kinect though and the fact that there’s a huge potential right there with it being bundled with every console, so much so, it seems to have been a deciding factor for him. Perhaps Alan has been ignorant to how Kinect panned out on the Xbox 360, or hasn’t tried games like Fighters Within which seems to have be universally slammed for not working properly with the new more precise Kinect and certainly not a good advert for Kinect only gaming. But still, he’s hanging on the potential and obviously whilst waiting to see how developers use the technology, is enjoying its basic functions that do work out of the box.
Some might suggest these are all gimmicky features well purported in the Xbox One adverts, but it’s this novel approach to the basics of gaming – something we [core gamers] take for granted – that has peaked the interest of Alan and most likely similar consumers at least. For people that are into technology and gadgets, the Xbox One certainly fits the bill, and whilst the PS4 is likely to match what the Xbox One can do with its own camera and multi-media functions, it’s the fact that Microsoft are touting these as primary selling points that is really hammering the point home that the Xbox One is a step up from last gen consoles even though more in tune eyes would suggest otherwise beyond the obvious graphics upgrades in the software.
To conclude, if Microsoft are able to encapsulate casual consumers based on its current and future technology vision – and in light of being the more expensive choice – then obviously they are doing something right, and highlighting the fact that being more powerful isn’t the be all and end all of a games console. The functionality is every bit as important, if not more, and for casual consumers this is perhaps more enticing than the initial exclusive launch games which draw in the core audience.