Today at E3, Microsoft revealed that the new Xbox One console will launch with a price tag of $499 in November of this year. This price is higher than Microsoft’s previous consoles’ launch price, but is in line with expectations considering the addition of a Kinect 2.0 included in the package.
Microsoft’s primary focus at the event today was the games that will be available at launch or during the 2013 holiday season. Among the more notable titles mentioned is a yet unnamed Halo game, but rather disappointingly, no further details about this title were revealed.
Microsoft brought a MacLaren P1 concept car on stage with them to promote Forza Motorsports 5, which features a new and rather unusual concept they call a “Drivatar.” While playing Forza, the system observes and learns the style of a person’s driving, then uploads this profile to Xbox Live’s cloud system where it can be used to race against other players while you are away.
A number of other titles were revealed, including exclusive titles such as Ryse: Son of Rome, and a reprise of Rare’s Killer Instinct. Project Spark is an Xbox One exclusive that is community-driven and controlled with the Kinect. Players design and build their own gaming experience in a platform that PC Magazine is comparing to LittleBigPlanet.
The Xbox One will initially be available in 21 markets, and will go for €499 in Europe and £429 in the UK. The major missing factor in weighing this news from Microsoft isn’t going to come from the company itself, but from Sony. It remains to be seen how Sony will price the forthcoming Playstation 4, which could have an effect on the perception of this higher price point from Microsoft.