Why the Xbox One costs more than the PS4

2 min read


The Xbox One costs $100 more than the PlayStation 4. Many have guessed that the reason that it costs so much more is that it comes bundled with the motion-sensing spycam, Kinect. That’s just speculation. Speaking in an AMA on Reddit, a confirmed Xbox 1 developer at Microsoft has revealed the real reason why Microsoft’s console will be more expensive.

Yes, It’s because of Kinect. The sensor, says the anonymous internet person, cost nearly as much as the rest of the whole console to make.

"The majority of the masses care only about the console," the poster said. "Except that the success of the Kinect carries much more weight to us. The sensor costs almost as much as the console to make.”

It’s apparently an integral part of the Xbox One experience.

"The goal with having a Kinect ship with every Xbox is to guarantee to game developers if they implement Kinect features into their games, everyone who has an Xbox will be able to experience it. I often see people dismiss the Kinect instantly because they haven’t seen it work like I have. It is an integral part of the Xbox One experience."

Kinect is still, as far as I’m concerned, largely unproven. there’s been nothing yet to convince me that it fundamentally makes games any better – but I’m hoping to be shown other wise.

Read  This year’s Xbox E3 briefing will be "a nice change"

Last Updated: July 17, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

    So if it costs almost as much as the console, that means that the console is either being sold dirt cheap or that they are using cheaper/inferior tech in it?


    And no, not trolling, just curious

    • John Ambitious

      I don’t know if MS would take the chance with inferior tech, besides being a console 🙂
      But I still think they’re shooting themselves in the foot. A few hundred Rand more, sure, it makes no difference, but a whole grand. That’ll make people rather buy a PS4

      • Argentil

        The RAM alone is cheap, in comparison. Also, considering the hardware quality history, it’s quite possible that they have put more bandaids in their console.

        The build quality of the console and controller itself will probably be on par with the launch 360. I’m talking externals here. Cheaper plastics, godawful clips and tin/aluminium bits. I think the 360 controller is a cheap looking brick, but that’s just like, my opinion man. Have you ever tried taking one apart? It’s horrible. But these things aren’t noticeable, as long as the internals are RELIABLE (which I’m sure is their current focus) they will be fine.

        • John Ambitious

          Quite so. The new console looks to be quite a bit less plasticky though. But appearances can be deceiving.

          • Argentil

            That “grand” will probably translate to almost R2 000 here by the time the console releases. The Rand is dipping, and our retailers are full of s***.

          • John Ambitious

            Quite. Besides the Rand value, it’s usually a bit more expensive here.

            Speaking of which…I work for one of the big retailers at head office. We have an Xbox station (those dumb towers with the Xbox screen and controllers in it) standing in the storage room gathering dust for a year now.

          • Argentil

            I’ve always wondered about those, what are the conditions for using them? How do you stop random people from just sitting on them playing Fifa all day (that’s all I ever see them used for).

          • John Ambitious

            I have no idea, but I’ve been plotting a heist… I just want it for FORZA. And maybe I’d like to have the TV too. I’ll take a pic for you folks when I can. It’s sad, it’s like a place where consoles and appliances go to die. Only they still friggin work!!!

          • Marc O Polo

            liberate it… bet they wont even notice!

      • Wynand Bezuidenhout

        “I don’t know if MS would take the chance with inferior tech” let’s give you a moment to think about that one. They took a chance with inferior tech through 3 different motherboard releases for the original PHAT xbox 360 so I support Argentil. I think they would and that there is some substance to groot wors argument after all. All things considered if they halve the price (removing the kinect) they would be suspiciously far below sony’s price.

    • Hammersteyn

      How big is the price difference between 8GB DDR3 and DDR5 RAM?

      • e1ace

        Missing a G on that last RAM.

        I believe the price difference is very large (maybe 2-4 times the cost). I think Sony are the only people using 4-Gbit GDDR5 modules.

    • HvR

      Selling at a fat loss like the original PS3.

      Actually find it funny that MS is repeating Sony’s mistake from the previous generation.

      All I can think of is that they are banking on getting a lot of money of services bundled with the Xbox One. Another rumor is add banners on the home screen.

    • console hardware is subsidised loss leader; they take a loss on selling it, to make up for on software sales.

      • Admiral Chief Groot Wors

        So they give you kinect for a loss

        • Ultimo_Cleric N7

          No, I am pretty sure the NSA will sponser MS the rest of the money…..

          • John Ambitious


          • Argentil


      • HvR

        Well the idea is that they sell it at a full cost (hardware + assembly + manufacturing setup + development cost + PR cost) loss but not hardware + assembly loss.

        That was why the PS3 was labelled a financial failure, they couldn;t recoup the development costs within three years since they needed to sell the actual hardware and assembly at a loss due to the price war with with MS.

      • Argentil

        This has not been Microsoft’s policy ever, in their entire history – ever.

        Sony have taken the risk before and it didn’t work as well as planned. The launch price of the Xbox One could be breaking even, but I have never known MS to operate this way.

        Considering the components, and the realisation that Sony are actually making profitable consoles for a change, with superior hardware (I said it), I think this MS employee is exaggerating, or lying. Reddit is MS’ marketing playground after all.

        The console is probably selling at minor (in their eyes) profitability. Considering their cockiness and bravado pre-E3, I sincerely doubt their launch price was at a loss. Also, it would leave them with no room to adjust the price for competition.

        And finally, please look to their accessory history, inflated pricing for proprietary harddrives, Wifi adapters, chargers etc. Not to mention, Kinect cost R2 000, and while it was initially developed with processing components to boost it’s ability, at launch they removed them and had it utilising the Xbox 360’s power. R2 000 for a camera (granted, a nifty one with laz0rs) is steep. Maybe, in their eyes, if they were to package the camera separately it would retail for the equivalent price of the console, but I sincerely doubt it cost them $250 to manufacture and develop the peripheral, which is what is implied here.

    • Jakster

      Selling consoles at a loss is nothing new. The AMDEE SEE-PU is essentially a mobile CPU that would cost R500.

  • DBL_ZA

    “That’s just speculation. Speaking in an AMA on Reddit, a confirmed Xbox 1 developer at Microsoft has revealed the real reason why Microsoft’s console will be more expensive.”

    I opened the link expecting some reason that wasn’t the Kinect…. Well-played Sir, well-played…

  • Happy Hamster

    Everytime the Kinect gets mentioned this comes to mind

  • CypherGate

    I see Kinect as just an optional extra to add something to a game. Its not truly meant to re-invent how we play games. Like the option will be there for who wants to use it for gaming or for other media activities. At least its not forced on you to make use of in games other than special Kinect games.

    • OVG


  • Trevor Davies

    That’s not what Butt Stallion looks like :/

  • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    Until I see a SINGLE game that utilizes the Kinect well, this camera is nothing more than a really fancy add-on

    • Trevor Davies

      but… Skype 🙁

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        What game is that?MMO?

        • John Ambitious

          Oh dear. That’s epically boring then. MMO where you just talk to people. And they can see what you’re really doing. No thanks.

        • Melasco

          Hahaha, upvote right there!

        • RinceWind


    • Hammersteyn

      It doubles as a spycam apparently

    • Brady miaau

      GAME not feature. Preferably written by a 3rd party developer

      Dancing games? do they count?

    • OVG

      you mean ad in :p

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        To quote RinceWind…Pizzahut!

  • Troll Slayer

    There’s nothing that has cheap written all over it like a DS3 controller.

    • I’m inclined to agree. I’ve opened the thing up a few times to clean/fix..and they’re really quite…cheaply made.

      • Troll Slayer

        You must be some sort of Ninja to open up that thing!

    • You seem familiar

      • John Ambitious

        Haha. Duke Nuken Forever….Everyone’s role model

    • John Ambitious

      I agree. It FEELS cheap.
      I have way more respect for other hardware than I do for that thing of mine.

  • RinceWind

    Sponsored by pizzahut?

  • XBoned!

    Choice is a wonderful thing and something that MS isn’t offering enough of these days. Offer the console with the Kinect and one without. Sad that they’re forcing this onto consumers. When I go home, I don’t want to run around the living room. I wanna sit my fat ass on my couch and play me some video games with the least amount of physical activity possible! Wake up MS!

  • Zubayr Bhyat

    I still want a core version of Xbox One, kinect se gat.

  • DrKiller

    “there’s been nothing yet to convince me that it fundamentally makes games any better”

    Not even this game??

    Edit: How do you embed? BBCode or HTML code?

  • Craig Deubler

    The Xbox One kinect is supposed to be “Siri for your house”. Either it’s going to make the Jetsons reality, or be an epic faceplant.

  • Theo Steenekamp

    Well the NSA spare no expenses when making super spy equipment..

  • Innovation FTW

    Been gaming for 30 years now and am really looking forward to the next gen. Especially the Xbox one of course because that’s the only console showing any innovation from last gen. Sure, I don’t think Sony made a bad choice by playing it safe and only upgrading the specs of the PS3, especially in these uncertain financial times, but kudus to MS for sticking to their guns(mandatory
    Kinect 2) and putting their money where their mouths are(huge investment in Azure)! For the last 30 years the only true innovation was the Wii and the Kinect 1 in my opinion and frankly I’m looking
    for and are hungry for more than just another spec upgrade & pretty graphics! The younger gamers seems happy with just better graphics because maybe it’s all still relatively new
    to them, but I’m elated when I hear something like “tv integration”, “voice and facial recognition” and “motion control”! I feel that I deserve these new features for sticking with gaming for so long!???? Over the next couple of months we’re going to hear much more about how Kinect is going
    to be integrated and what it is really capable of and the world will take notice! Already info on how it’s being used in games like KI, Dead Rising 3 and BF4 have begun to surface and it
    sounds very very promising! Good times ahead for gamers in general, but especially for the Xbox One fans!

    • Johan Naudé

      I’ve been gaming just over 20 years now and I still enjoy my NES games lol. I don’t care too much for graphics, as long as the game is fun. As far as innovation goes…I don’t see too much of that on Xbox One. Only new thing is it can change the channel for you. The first Kinect disappointed me and I never use it anymore. I just use it to scare the maid and tell her it’s constantly watching xD. I’m going Sony this time round but I’ll see what happens with the Xbox One in a few years.

  • Sageville

    From my perspective the Kinect is a gimmick for kids.

    Other that dancing games and the odd gimmicky racer or sports game, I don’t see much application in other game genres. Maybe FPS games could use the device to maybe throw grenades or reload.

    But my main gripe with the current motion capture devices is they kinda force you to rearrange your game room to their specs, not adapting to my setup. Basically my game room isn’t spacious and I play close to the TV, so if I have to move furniture or play far away from the monitor I would never use the thing.

  • Johan Naudé

    I just hope for the sake of people buying the Xbox One there won’t be another Red Ring of Death epidemic like with the 360. I lost 2 consoles to RRoD and decided to go for a PS3. Had it for years now and haven’t had a single issue. I do use an older 360 my brother gave me. The old Arcade model, very reliable machine ^^

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