blog From the department of completely expected price hikes comes the news that Microsoft has opted to charge Australians substantially more to buy its upcoming Xbox One gaming console when it launches in November this year. In the US, Microsoft announced overnight, the console’s first introductory package (which contains the console itself — including the Kinect sensor — a wireless controller and a two week trial of Xbox Live Gold for new members) will go for US$499.99. However, Australians will pay AU$599 for the same unit, Kotaku reports this morning:
“We Have An Australian Price For The Xbox One. And that price is … $599 Australian. That’s the RRP according to a representative from Microsoft Australia.”
I can’t say that I’m at all surprised by this annoying move by Microsoft, just as I wasn’t surprised by the news that Microsoft has not yet been able to get the full TV functionality of the Xbox across the line for Australia. So, in short, if you take those two announcements together, what you get is the fact that Australians will be paying substantially more than US residents for an Xbox One console that will offer substantially less features than US residents will be able to offer. Quelle surprise. Seriously, Microsoft. How much more attractive can you make this console?
Oh, wait. That’s right: Microsoft has also set very stringent limits on the use of second-hand games with the Xbox One, requires that the console check-in online every 24 hours (even if you’re playing completely offline), and also requires that its Kinect sensor be on all the time, dovetailing nicely with the NSA’s back-door into its US-based servers. Nice one. Frankly, I don’t think the company has created much incentive for Australians to purchase this console yet. It’s almost as though Microsoft believes we’ll buy pretty much anything it labels an “Xbox”, even if it breaks decades of gaming convention. The sad thing is, many people will. But I get the distinct feeling there’s a lot of us thinking PlayStation at this point. I know I certainly am.
Image credit: Microsoft