February 25, 2014, 6:00 AM —
If you want to be an early adopter of a game console you have to accept a few truths. You have to accept that the game library will be fairly thin for a while. You have to accept that you're getting the biggest, heaviest, least power efficient version of the console that there'll ever be. And you have to accept that no one will ever pay more for the console than you do. Price drops are inevitable.
I knew and accepted all this when I decided to buy an Xbox One at launch, but I still couldn't help but have my nose a little bent out of joint when I learned that Microsoft was rolling out an Xbox One/Titanfall bundle for $500. (You can pre-order the bundle at Amazon.) $500 is the same price that an Xbox One alone sells for, so essentially this represents a $60 price cut (at least temporarily; Microsoft says this is a limited time offer) assuming you enjoy multiplayer shooters.
If you're in the UK, the price cut is much more definite. Starting on February 28th the cost of the Xbox One will drop from £430 to £400.
Price cuts are part of the lifespan of a game console but having one come along when the system has been on shelves for less than 4 months is pretty unusual, which is why I'm a little (but only a little) annoyed. In fact I can't think of a similar situation. If you can, please leave a comment.
The closest I can come up with is the 3DS price cut. The Nintendo 3DS launched March 2011 at $249 and got a price cut to $169 in August of the same year, and that was seen as a very aggressive (or very desperate, depending on who you ask) move. To placate early adopters who paid full price, Nintendo launched an "Ambassador" program that offered 20 free games to those buyers.
Clearly Microsoft doesn't think the Xbox One is selling fast enough, and this is an attempt to goose sales and catch up with Sony's Playstation 4 sales numbers. I'm glad to see Microsoft isn't being complacent; as an owner I want to see the Xbox One do well (more sales equals more support and more games I can play).
At the same time, hey Microsoft how about throwing early adopters some kind of a bone? Give us a $20 discount coupon for TitanFall. Or if that's no viable, do something else to say "Hey, thanks for being one of the people who believed in us from Day One." I'm not asking for a free $60 game or anything that big, but some token of appreciation would be go a long way towards making early adopters feel better about the much better deal they could've had if they'd just waited a couple of months to buy.
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.