Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) is tried of being the gaming company with the most expensive console on the market. Next month it plans to introduce a $399 Xbox One, but shaving $100 off its current price to match the PS4 doesn't come cheap.
The software giant will eliminate its camera-based Kinect controller from the basic $399 Xbox One system. That's a surprise, since developers have been working on games under the assumption that every Xbox One owner has a Kinect controller. Some have made it an integral part of their games, and the push to get cheaper by skimping on the motion-based controller -- making it available as a stand-alone offering in a few months -- is not going to go over well with the software developers that any console needs to succeed.
Microsoft will also be relaxing the requirement that owners must be premium Xbox Gold Live subscribers to run entertainment apps. That was an initial policy that never made a lot of sense, so it's good to see it going away.
Mr. Softy doesn't have much of a choice. The PS4 continues to pad its lead over the Xbox One and Wii U. Microsoft needs to make a move, and cheaper Xbox One systems is a step in the right direction.
Briefly in the news
And now let's look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG ) posted a larger-than-expected quarterly deficit on declining revenue. It's sticking to its target of $70 million in revenue for the current quarter, indicating that it has yet to record 92% of this year's top-line production. Bookings have roughly doubled so far this year. It was a mixed report, but Cowen still upgraded Plug Power on the news.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) investors voted overwhelmingly against the burrito roller's generous executive compensation in a say-on-pay measure during its annual shareholder meeting. The vote itself is non-binding, but when just 23% of your shareholder base is on board with what you're paying your co-CEOs it would be unwise to ignore them.
- SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY ) is best known for its residential solar energy installations, but it also caters to companies. This week it announced a deal for a 1 megawatt system at Hewlett-Packard's corporate headquarters that will help the PC and printing giant offset more than 20% of its current power usage onsite.
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