I used to consider myself a gamer. I guess I still do but not anywhere in the league of those of you who sit home all day long and spend countless hours playing games, whether for pleasure or competitively. I am the generation that started off with Atari 2600 or Colecovison; that marveled and bought the NES; that jumped at the the chance for the SNES; that dropped hundreds of quarters into Street Fighter II arcade machines.
I currently have a PS4 and previously wrote about my love affair with that glorious machine and how much I loved gaming now that I am an adult with kids. Prior to my PS4, I had an Xbox 360 and before that, the original Xbox. I loved those machines but chose the PS4 because it was, to me, the better system and had the better games. I still stand by that assertion.
This past weekend at E3, Microsoft unveiled their mid-cycle system which was formally nicknamed “Project Scorpio”. This new machine would be leaps about bounds better than the current Xbox One S and would have true 4K gaming and resolution at 60FPS and a bunch of other things that I don’t understand. But here’s what I do understand: The Price. The price is, to me, a very real factor when making a decision to purchase a new game system. Of course, there is the personal preference from one system over the other, what systems your friends and what system-exclusive games are out there. But price is pretty high and this is where, to me, Xbox dropped the ball.
Fuck that. They fumbled the damn thing. Because the new Xbox, a mid-generation upgrade, will go on sale (November 7) for $499USD/$599CAD. Since I am in Canada, I will speak to my complete shock at the $600 sticker price for a gaming system. That’s fucking nuts!
So, lets assume that the system comes with one controller and a game. In Canada, after taxes, you’re dropping a mind-numbing $677.99 on this system. Are you kidding me, Microsoft? That’s way too much for a gaming system, regardless if it makes all the games look better than real life and regardless if it is the fastest gaming experience I will ever have. I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind being ok with removing close to $700 from their pocket for a game system (I’m not even going to add in the amount for new games that you would want to get, but if we did, you’re likely looking at dishing out about $1,000 all-in).
I love gaming. And I know that this system is likely not targeted at me. I concede that without hesitation. A quick Google search told me that the average age of gamers in the US is 30-38. I’m 41 and while I don’t have many friends in the low-30’s age range, I know enough that no one in that age group would drop $1,000 for this system. Especially a mid-cycle system. And this is partly what boggles my mind.
How many people are really dying to play their games in 4K? I can only imagine that this caters to those with massive disposable income or those who game professionally. Other than that, I don’t get who this system is for. If you want to know more about the system and its internal workings, check out here and/or here.
I personally think it’s absurd that Microsoft is pricing the Xbox One X this high. Casual gamers (and, lets face it, most of us are just that) know that if you are to stack up games vs. movies vs. books vs. whatever else, games are the better investment in your time against the money you spend. Go to a movie, its gonna be $40-$50 for 2-3 hours times. Buy a game for $80, the campaign is going to be about 8-12 hours, and then countless hours with multiplayer (if that’s your thing).
I don’t care what special tricks the new Xbox One X can do. Its not a next-generation system therefore is not appealing to me at all. Microsoft, you made two big mistakes with this system – the ridiculous price. And you should have kept the ‘Project Scorpio’ name. That/s a fucking bad-ass name. But not for $600 CAD.