x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE Xbox One launch date and price announced by Microsoft

Gamers in the UAE have only been able to buy Xbox One consoles on the 'grey market' so far.

Microsoft’s early focus on the Xbox One’s capabilities as a home entertainment centre, rather than as a games console, was criticised. Frederic Brown / AFP
Microsoft’s early focus on the Xbox One’s capabilities as a home entertainment centre, rather than as a games console, was criticised. Frederic Brown / AFP

Electronics retailers in the UAE can expect an early boost to their fourth-quarter sales when the highly anticipated Xbox One gaming console goes on sale in September.

The Xbox One will be available from September 5 for Dh1,749, Microsoft announced yesterday.

Fans looking to pick up an Xbox with Kinect can expect to pay Dh2,199.

This lags behind Sony’s PS4, which was launched last December.

Thanks to consoles like Sony’s PS4 last month the US benefited from some of the best retail growth since 2008, with software up 57 per cent and hardware 95 per cent year on year.

Gamers have been able to buy imported Xbox One consoles from online retailers in the UAE since the console was launched last November in the US and UK.

Microsoft recently announced that it would sell the Xbox One and Kinect devices separately. Early purchasers were forced to buy both as part of a single bundle – and one which retailed at a premium over the PS4.

Sony’s PS4 has outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One for five months in a row, according to the games research company NPD Group.

Sony announced sales in excess of 7 million PS4s, while Microsoft has sold 5 million Xbox Ones.

Fans and analysts blasted Microsoft’s strategy after it priced the Xbox One at a US$100 premium over the PS4, while announcing a number of features – requiring a permanent internet connection, a ban on second-hand games, and a mandatory Kinect – that proved widely unpopular.

The company’s early focus on the Xbox One’s capabilities as a home entertainment centre, rather than as a games console, was also pilloried.

Each of these missteps was reversed, with Microsoft’s presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles last week emphasising that it had listened to its consumers and changed course.

“You are shaping the future of Xbox, and we are better for it,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox One, in a keynote speech at the trade fair.

The company announced a number of exclusive games at the trade fair, including remakes of the existing Halo series, bundled together as The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, and Forza Horizon 2.

abouyamourn@thenational.ae

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