yeah, they did seem a bit scattered with this release. to actually be more expensive than the new playstation didn't help at all either. I'm really curious to see how things change as these consoles come into peoples homes. We had previously already established a kind of higherarchy based on price and games where the wii was purchased by fans of nintendo, then people generally chose between xbox and ps3. That decision was often driven based on price. Who knows how it will break down now.
Gamers already know what it is. They almost don't have to market to them anymore, they can let the game companies do that. Now they have to win over mom and dad, and maybe grandma too. If they can do that, they'll OWN the living room.
There were rumors about XB1 production yield issues, which I think is directly related to the die size of the SoC. With the huge amount of area consumed by eDRAM, Microsoft traded off GPU compute unit count to keep die size in check.
Not being interested in games the XBox One seems to be massive overkill, but I'm likely wrong about that.
What is interesting is the Kinet and the processing that makes it work. Will the Xbox One operate without a Kinet attached? Concerned about security? Just disconnect the sensor.
The potential of the system as a spying device is about on par with a laptop with an integrated webcam. Hacking into a Xbox1 probably is a little tougher than doing the same on a laptop since it's likely that Microsoft has probably "hardened" the security of XNA to prevent intrusion into their cash-flow. There aren't as many programmers/hackers familiar with XNA as with other dotNet languages/systems.
I think the XB1 is lacking a clear focus from a management standpoint. It tries to do too many things, but arguably none is particulalry attractive compared to the competition.
It plays games, yes. But comments from 3rd party developers suggest that there's a 40% deficit compared to the Sony's PS4 in terms of GPU power. It streams videos, runs Skype, records gaming sessions, and integrates cable TV in its interface. All of these features are behind a $60 per year subscription paywall, on top of the $500 upfront asking price. Speaking of which, PS4's lower price of $400 sure makes Microsoft's offering look a lot less attractive.
It was suggested that the inclusion of the Kinect sensor contributed to XB1's higher price. Microsoft needs to offer a compelling reason (ideally in the form of a killer app, something similar to the wildly successful Wii Sports) for people to be willing to shell out that extra $100 over the competition.
I think the Xbox One is a great piece of engineering. Unforturnately, it was mismanaged from pricing all the way to PR (which MS later admits). Hopefully things will be better after the management shakeup.