I think they didn't really plan to release the XB1 in 2013 and just weren't ready. The stuff that they have fixed with the first update were things that I was amazed weren't there at launch. I think they planned either a May 2014 or even November 2014 launch. It seems that they didn't want Sony to get a year head start and just plowed ahead. The systems tools for the developers weren't ready, even Killer Instinct only had a couple of characters. They still don't have one Kinect focused game released yet!!! The Sports Rivals game looks like a pack in game more than a stand alone. It should have been included from day one. They don't even have Direct TV/Charter (large satellite and cable providers in the US) support natively yet. How about 3D Bluray? Hell, a $50 bluray player can do that!
Just look at the number of countries they have launched in .They seemed to have a problem with the language/localization issue that is stopping further deployment. Part of it relates to content providers to do the advanced TV features that they are pushing. The real answer is the KINECT. The Kinect forced them into a number of system features they weren't really ready to support language wise or media content wise.
They probably could have come closer to the PS4's price 6 months or a year later also. Had they let Sony release a few more details of their system first, they might have been able to make some changes to better compete tech wise also. Or atleast, they could have changed their mind on the forced Kinect pack in.
One way to look at it is, they wouldn't have changed the number of sales that the PS4 has, as it sells every unit available even with the XB1 in the marketplace. Would it have changed things too much to let Sony have the 6 million sold before they launched? Maybe not, as they have a 2 million lead anyway already. Had the XB1 been improved somehow spec wise or price wise, they might have been able to keep pace at launch and kept the gap to 3-4 million on a consistant basis.
Either way, I enjoy my XB1, and don't regret buying it at all. I guess, I have more to look forward to as far as system updates and game optimizations. It would have been kind of cool to have Titanfall as a launch title though!
It is near the end of the end....