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Microsoft boss defends Xbox One price

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Microsoft's Don Mattrick (Credit: Getty Images)

Sony was E3’s big winner in large part because of the company's decision to price the PlayStation 4 at $399, a full $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One.

But the man in charge of Xbox maintains Microsoft is offering an incredible deal.

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, defended the Xbox One's price tag against the heavy criticism it has been receiving, telling Bloomberg TV the price is more than fair given all the system has to offer.

"It's a lower number than some of the analysts had forecasted," he said. "We're over-delivering value against other choices I think consumers can get. Any modern product these days, you look at it [and] $499 isn't a ridiculous price point. We're delivering thousands of dollars of value to people, so I think they're going to love it when they use it."

[Related: Images from E3 2013]

Arguing the value of a system versus its cost is old hat in the video game industry. It's the go-to tool for any console manufacturer facing criticism about pricing decisions, but given Microsoft's other recent PR stumbles – specifically, confusion about its policy on used games (which is still persistent, despite the company putting out a clear statement on the matter right before E3) and its required internet connection -- Mattrick's argument is falling flat.

"Isn't this pretty much what Sony was saying last gen about their outlandish pricing?," noted one forum user on GameSpot. "The sign of a wise man is the ability to learn from others’ mistakes."

Not helping things was Mattrick’s tone-deaf reply to a question last week about that required Internet connection.

"We have a product for people who aren't able to get some form of connectivity -- it's called Xbox 360," he said.

Microsoft's protests notwithstanding, no one seems happy about the Xbox One's price. Publishers were quick to note they would have preferred it to be $100 cheaper, and while Mattrick says the price is lower than some analysts had predicted, the ones we've spoken with say they were just as shocked as gamers were when it was announced.

"The launch price is above our expectations, and potentially pushing the envelope as Microsoft looks to expand the console beyond the core gaming demographic and to a broader consumer audience," said Edward Williams of BMO Capital Markets.

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