David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
Microsoft announced today that the Xbox One will cost $499 in the U.S., 499 Euros in Europe and will launch this fall in 21 markets around the world. The company made the announcement this morning after two hours of game demos at its pre-E3 extravaganza. The U.S. launch was tabbed only as “November, 2013″, in plenty of time for the crucial holiday sales season. After spending most of its May 21 unveiling event talking up the Xbox One’s entertainment capabilities, including a Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, this time Microsoft focused almost exclusively on games, including a new Halo title to arrive early next year. The machine’s price is a bit steep for many consumers, but the company is pitching the Xbox One as a replacement for cable-TV set-top boxes, Blu-Ray players, streaming-video devices and more, all wrapped up in a machine that also will can play the next Halo game and a dozen other exclusive, high-end titles, among much else. Because the Xbox One can replace the set-top box, Microsoft reportedly has been exploring subsidy models, common in the mobile phone business, with cable companies or other pay-TV providers as a way to reduce upfront costs and drive adoption.