Microsoft’s trying to put a little bit more of Sony’s blood on the floor. That’s evident from its announcement today: Spend $799 or more on a Windows 7 PC, show your student ID or order with a .edu address, and get an Xbox. Free.
Specifically, you’ll get the Xbox 360 4GB. It’s interesting timing, not only because most colleges are into summer slow-down mode right now, but also because Sony’s PSN is still having problems. Last week, Amazon cut the price on its bundle of the 250 GB Xbox, Kinect Sensor and Kinect Adventures. And, Best Buy pushed Xbox in its weekly Sunday newspaper flyer. Maybe it’s all a coincidence. Ha. Striking someone when they’re down isn’t chivalrous but it sure is effective.
I should point out that analysts say Microsoft shouldn’t count on Sony’s problems giving the Xbox much of a boost.
“Once the network is back up and secure, and once people calm down and realize they didn’t lose anything, the damage will largely be repaired,” said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities. “There are a few people who undoubtedly threw their PS3s in the trash, and likely a few thousand who bought an Xbox 360 over a PS3 due to the PSN outage, but I can’t envision this number being more than a rounding error.”
The thing is Pachter made those comments last week, before Sony’s promised resurrection of PSN ran into more security and operational problems. Maybe he’s right, but what PlayStation users want is to get back to playing. So, this feels like a pretty smart move on Microsoft’s part.
By the way, the deal begins Sunday. Microsoft say it’s going to run for a limited time.