Microsoft’s strategy to win Black Friday seems to be a bundle that doesn’t really make sense. In the UK, you can now buy the Xbox One S FIFA 17 with select Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book models. This is the 500GB bundle that includes a copy of the game, and one month of EA Access, worth £249. Only the mid-to-high range models apply. For instance, for the Surface Book anything above the basic 128GB / i5 – 8GB ram model includes a free Xbox One S. For the Surface Pro 4, you get the bundle with all models also above 128GB, so basically starting with the 256GB / i5 – 8GB ram model, all the way to most expensive one. This offer is valid from now until November 9.
I don’t know about your thoughts, but the Surface Pro 4 and the Xbox One S don’t have a lot in common. If the Surface Pro 4 was a more powerful computer that you could play more than basic games on, this might make more sense. But it really isn’t, it is not a computer recommended for gamers at all. This is probably only a great deal if you’re a wealthy parent looking to buy their child a new computer for university. I mean, as a new student to have both the means to do all my school work and game when I’m done sounds awesome. In addition to getting it all for free from the parents? Hell yes, count me in.
As someone who is quite done with school, however, and already has a pretty decent computer to work on, the bundle makes less sense. If I was looking for a computer though, neither the Surface Pro 4 or the Surface Book are at all tempting. Both are more or less the same price as a Macbook Air and do almost exactly the same things. I’m also not sure how durable a Surface Pro 4 is in comparison, but that’s besides the point. A Chrome Notebook could achieve the same usage and it comes with a keyboard. You’d have plenty of money left over to buy yourself an Xbox One S for under the cost of the bundle Microsoft is offering.
It is my opinion that this bundle reeks of desperation to sell both the Xbox One S and Surface Pro 4. The Xbox One S has been doing fairly well, but after the 200 million goal announcement, it is clearly not up to Microsoft’s standards. The Surface Pro 4 has had a plethora of decidedly average reviews and even less of a success in sales. This is likely due to the strong similarities between it and the Macbook Air for nearly the same price.
That said, the bundle might help Microsoft sell more of both simply because the soccer season just ended last month and the holidays are coming. Soccer fans, to say the least, are quite attached to their sport and what better way to continue the fun than to play FIFA 17 on the Xbox One S? Then play on-the-go with the Surface Pro 4 with Microsoft’s new Play Anywhere feature! Except that the Surface Pro 4 is reportedly not great at handling games. It runs hot and slows down frame rate about half an hour in.
This bundle is yet another desperate marketing gimmick from Microsoft and has absolutely no chance against Sony’s upcoming games and PS4 Pro. I can tell you right now, Sony is going to bundle Horizon Zero Dawn with the PS4 Pro and that game looks phenomoinal no matter what screen you have it on. Mechanical dinosaurs are going to sell that console, not some average computer with a fancy touchscreen. Or soccer for that matter, no matter what season it is. The Xbox One S and Surface Pro 4 bundle might be a one-off deal, but again, judging by that 200 million goal I think Microsoft is going to be taking every chance it can to sell just a few more Xboxs. Even bundling them with vastly unrelated electronics.