I really really appreciate Microsoft efforts but sometimes I am afraid they may be in vain

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Anono

Member
Dec 1, 2017
2,353
Let me start by saying that I consider myself a games fan in general, without bearing any affiliation or total preference. I have played on Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony consoles and PC.

With the next generation around the corner (if the damned virus allows it to happen in the time planned), things start to get moving and the first steps in this long period that is a generation start to take place. PS5 seem to have the advantage of a previous and very succesful PS4, that had and has amazing games, and the support from many gamers around the world. On the other hand, Microsoft seem to be the challenging contender, as they started the generation with some misteps and the system couldn´t shine in the end, with some great games, but not so many. I´d like to comment on certain point or factors that I feel like drawbacks or obstacles that Microsoft seem to have from some time now, and that are not easy to overcome for them.

- Japan: this may sound silly but we all know this problem exists. There may be some rejection of the Microsoft brand there, and I don´t understand very well why. It just seems unfair to me. And yes I think it matters, because many many great videogames come from there, so the opinion of japanese developers and gamers is important. They seem to see Microsoft as a foreign brand that doesn´t mean a lot to them. This is a problem that hasn´t been solved yet. Phil seems commited to bring japanese games on board with the next gen, but we´ll see.

- A giant "rival". Sony has very valuable brand with "Playstation". And it is totally deserved, because they have offered us many great games along these years. Now, with the reveal of the PS5 specs, every developer seem to be pretty excited with the system and I am pretty sure PS5 is going to be amazing but their response when Xbox Series X specs were revealed wasn´t the same. It was folks in forums and certain media that praised the beast that XSX is going to be, but there weren´t many supportive words from devs, especially third parties. And this buzz, obviously, is not in the favour of MS.

- The games. I think this is the main problem. I think Microsoft efforts with backwards compatibility are amazing, and I feel like they aren´t recognised enough. Also, in my opinion, they have a set of strong IPs that have been totally drained recently, as the reinvention hasn´t happened properly. Microsoft has adquired a lot of studios recently and sure this is a seed, but while XSX is looking like a great system for videogames, we know little to nothing about games we are going able to play. I guess it is too soon to know. Furthermore, offering your games on PC too is going to give you some benefits of course, but it doesn´t contribute to make people willing to buy a videogame console choose yours over others if they have a reasonably competitive PC. And I am a firmly believer of the notion that "Games sell systems".

Can we somehow relive the situation between PS3 and 360 in which Microsoft seemed to had a golden period? Not that I am especially interested in that, it is just that I think that they deserve more success.
 

karnage10

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,804
Portugal
As a mainly PC gamer With microsoft briging their games to the PC they are getting my money. I wouldn't call that in vain. For example gear tactics is releasing in april and i wouldn't buy this game if it wasn't releasing in the PC.
 

Ivanovic

Member
Oct 28, 2017
379
What reason has Microsoft given Japanese gamers to purchase the console? You say it’s unfair yet the console doesn’t have games they want.
 

Duxxy3

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,041
USA
The big reason why PS4 took off so fast was because it was cheaper and more powerful. Messaging wasn't confusing. It was a very straight forward ass kicking.

Next gen, so far, is not as straight forward.
 

Kthulhu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,571
MS's strategy seems focused on a vast ecosystem and reoccurring revenue via subscriptions. If it's anything like their other business divisions they'll probably do very well with it. In that sense the Xbox Series X is just one piece of the strategy. Just another way for Microsoft to get to consumers with their "real" products, that being gamepass and next cloud. You can even finance your Xbox in the US and you get access to gamepass and Xbox live so that's even more reoccurring revenue for Microsoft.
 

Kingpin722

Member
Oct 28, 2017
494
If Xbox ultimately fails again because they can’t find a way to start producing consistent, compelling game experiences that you can only have on their console then there would be no reason to feel sorry for them.
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
12,407
People really need to stop 'worrying' so much about how many consoles microsoft will sell when they dont look that worried themselves
If you want to buy their games on pc and never buy a console again go ahead. You're also not "stealing" anything when you use gamepass
 

Kingpin722

Member
Oct 28, 2017
494
The big reason why PS4 took off so fast was because it was cheaper and more powerful. Messaging wasn't confusing. It was a very straight forward ass kicking.

Next gen, so far, is not as straight forward.
You can afford to have that margin of error the PS5 is having when you’ll ultimately have the software to back it up. XB1 had unclear/bad messaging but followed it up with a subpar selection exclusive software for 7 yrs.
 

Clive

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,091
The Series X does not have to "beat" the PS5 to be successful. They can co-exist and both do well. Microsoft's gaming division can do fine with a console selling like the Xbox One while expanding on PC and xCloud. I see no reason to believe Xbox is facing some crisis or that they will even if the Switch and PS5 outsell them 2:1. It will be OK.
 

Prine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,973
Honestly, I'm thinking next gen is going to be very good for MS, everything they're doing feels as if it's in the same spirit of 360. They're extremely strong now with thier hardware, services and infrastructure. XCloud imo is their trojan horse, I think they'll be able to bring over far more support from Japan because of it, pending roll out of 5G goes to plan.
 

pswii60

Member
Oct 27, 2017
12,901
UK
Furthermore, offering your games on PC too is going to give you some benefits of course, but it doesn´t contribute to make people willing to buy a videogame console choose yours over others if they have a reasonably competitive PC. And I am a firmly believer of the notion that "Games sell systems".
Do you really think that Microsoft hasn't considered this? They aren't forced to put their games on PC too, it's a choice. A choice driven by the fact that they're focused on selling their ecosystem, services and content, and not plastic boxes. The plastic boxes are a loss leading Trojan horse, so if you're happy to subscribe to Game Pass on PC or xCloud instead then they're not going to complain, quite the opposite.

And people are deluded if they think that Sony isn't very slowly creeping in the same direction. It'll certainly take more time for them given their current market position, but in the years to come, it'll happen, softly softly.

None of this means that the plastic boxes will be going away of course. Amazon still makes Fire TV devices even though you can access Amazon content on every device under the sun. But the future is about ecosystems/services, not plastic boxes and teraflop wars.
 

Spinluck

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
9,507
Illinois
XSX will not outsell PS5. Sony averages 100 million consoles sold each gen and seems to have better reach outside the US. XSX can still be a massive success...

You mention the 360's success but seem to forget that Sony had to eat massive humble pie that gen and the PS3 was a shitshow up until 2009/2010.

This gen MS started off on some stupid shit, but I'd say this is the first gen in a while where all 3 of the parties seem to be getting their shit together.

We should be excited about that above all else. It's somewhat of an even playing field this time around.
 

Lyre

Member
Feb 12, 2020
489
Nah things will get better.

End of last generation Microsoft were the most disastrous company I've ever seen in entertainment history

- Slow destruction of Rareware
- Loss of Bungie
- Botched development of Fable 3 so badly that Molyneux left and Lionhead were closed, killing the Fable series for a decade
- Running the Halo, Gears and Fable series into the ground (Fable Legends, Spartan Assault, Gears of War Judgment lmao)
- Closing Ensemble studios
- Very nearly permanently lost the Gears IP
- Complete fuck ups at Microsoft Vancouver and Victoria
- Having Turn 10 (a simulation racing developer) as the only competent studio across the entire company
- Not following up with sequels to million sellers such as Alan Wake, Perfect Dark Zero, Halo Wars etc
- Letting Bizarre creations (the PGR studio) get snapped up by Activision
- Turning Halo 3: ODST from an expansion pack into a full priced sequel and then launching it alongside Modern Warfare 2 (LOL)
- Letting Mass Effect, the best new IP of last generation, get taken and subsequently ruined by EA
- Halo 4 being so bad that people were comparing it to the Red Wedding.
- Literally everything to do with Don Mattrick
- Kinect

And then finally the disastrous Xbox One launch

Honestly, you don't have to look back far to be reminded of just how bad things used to be. Things have improved so, SO much since those days.
 

Rodelero

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,556
If Microsoft deliver with consistency they will win people over in droves. Microsoft need to start paying their customers back more.

The best period in Microsoft's history as a console manufacturer was the first half of the last generation. They had the better value console and they released a year early. Masses of gamers bought 360s having been PS2 owners. And then what happened? The Wii came out and Microsoft got envious. That envy lead to them swapping their exclusives focus from core gamers to casual gamers, to Kinect, and ultimately to the disaster of the Xbox One's launch.

Microsoft don't have a large loyal fanbase in the same way Nintendo and Sony do because they haven't earned one.

Microsoft are in a better place right now than they have been for a long, long time. If they can keep a consistent direction for another few they'll start to reap big rewards. The XSX is shaping up to be a great console. If they get the price right and they sort out their first party problems, they're on track for a great generation.
 

TaterTots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,498
There games being on PC isn't a bad thing. They wouldn't receive any of my money at all otherwise. I was playing AoE II on PC gamepass and I went and bought the games on Steam. Obviously, what they're doing is working. Their goals are not the same as Sony's. People gotta stop looking at that formula.
 

RF Switch

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,900
The XSX is not expected to beat the ps5 by anyone including Microsoft. There goal now is to give an option of entry to anyone with as many ways possible. Content is now the main focus and although Iam no insider Iam 99% sure they have that covered as well now from what we have seen and what’s been rumored
 

Thera

Member
Feb 28, 2019
3,115
Japan doesn't rejected Xbox, they ignored it.
If SONY and Nintendo wasn't Japanese, Xbox would have a chance.
 

Euler007

Member
Jan 10, 2018
1,546
They're not in vain, they just need to put out a couple of great games and set up a good stable of IPs. Having the best hardware is not enough, the X1X showed that.
 

OtterX

Member
Mar 12, 2020
75
Isn’t Japan all-in on mobile/portable gaming? That’s part of the problem for Xbox. Other forms of gaming are just a better fit for Japan. Even the PS4 has only sold 7 of its 100 million there and was surpassed by the Switch in 2 years. For comparison, the PS2 sold over 23 million in Japan. The PS3? Only about 10m. That’s a sharp decline. xCloud will hopefully make some inroads not just in Japan but in all of Asia where they’ve been weak.

But Xbox still gets very good Japanese support with a lot a AAA Japanese games.
 

Oreiller

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,408
I don't know why you singled out Japan when it's an issue Xbox has in pretty much most countries that aren't the US.
 

SuikerBrood

Member
Jan 21, 2018
12,509
I've played more Microsoft games than I have ever done. Thanks to their efforts on PC (especially regarding AoE and Game Pass). So.. in vain? Not for me. I'm very pleased with them at the moment.

I just want another Viva Piñata.
 

johancruijff

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,848
Italy
i don't know, if anything this gen showed a resilience that i didn't think they had

As a mainly PC gamer With microsoft briging their games to the PC they are getting my money. I wouldn't call that in vain. For example gear tactics is releasing in april and i wouldn't buy this game if it wasn't releasing in the PC.
and this.
plus the new AoE, Flight Simulator and having Obsidian&Inxile in the fold raised my interest a lot
 

Adulfzen

Member
Oct 29, 2017
750
the xbox is only relevant in a few territories compared to Sony or even Nintendo. Thinking Japan is the only problem would be a mistake.
 

Septimus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
393
I think next-gen has the possibility of PS5 taking off even faster than PS4 did. It's the only time in the history of game consoles where all the main rival's releases are on PC/not exclusive to the console. Of course this is a great decision on their part, but with a ton of people having PCs, I just don't think Series X will do even as good as Xbox One on the hardware front. Software/xCloud though will be great.
 

Sotha_Sil

Member
Nov 4, 2017
2,133
PS5 will be bigger overall of course, but XSX will win back some of the market share lost this go around. That would be a win for Microsoft.
 

Prine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,973
I think next-gen has the possibility of PS5 taking off even faster than PS4 did. It's the only time in the history of game consoles where all the main rival's releases are on PC/not exclusive to the console. Of course this is a great decision on their part, but with a ton of people having PCs, I just don't think Series X will do even as good as Xbox One on the hardware front. Software/xCloud though will be great.
Those XCloud/PC gamers would count towards XBL pool of gamers so that works out for MS.

Also think US/UK will be much closer next gen, good chance for MS to sell alot due to Lockhart + Gamepass.
 

Elandyll

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
4,815
Let me start by saying that I consider myself a games fan in general, without bearing any affiliation or total preference. I have played on Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony consoles and PC.

With the next generation around the corner (if the damned virus allows it to happen in the time planned), things start to get moving and the first steps in this long period that is a generation start to take place. PS5 seem to have the advantage of a previous and very succesful PS4, that had and has amazing games, and the support from many gamers around the world. On the other hand, Microsoft seem to be the challenging contender, as they started the generation with some misteps and the system couldn´t shine in the end, with some great games, but not so many. I´d like to comment on certain point or factors that I feel like drawbacks or obstacles that Microsoft seem to have from some time now, and that are not easy to overcome for them.

- Japan: this may sound silly but we all know this problem exists. There may be some rejection of the Microsoft brand there, and I don´t understand very well why. It just seems unfair to me. And yes I think it matters, because many many great videogames come from there, so the opinion of japanese developers and gamers is important. They seem to see Microsoft as a foreign brand that doesn´t mean a lot to them. This is a problem that hasn´t been solved yet. Phil seems commited to bring japanese games on board with the next gen, but we´ll see.

- A giant "rival". Sony has very valuable brand with "Playstation". And it is totally deserved, because they have offered us many great games along these years. Now, with the reveal of the PS5 specs, every developer seem to be pretty excited with the system and I am pretty sure PS5 is going to be amazing but their response when Xbox Series X specs were revealed wasn´t the same. It was folks in forums and certain media that praised the beast that XSX is going to be, but there weren´t many supportive words from devs, especially third parties. And this buzz, obviously, is not in the favour of MS.

- The games. I think this is the main problem. I think Microsoft efforts with backwards compatibility are amazing, and I feel like they aren´t recognised enough. Also, in my opinion, they have a set of strong IPs that have been totally drained recently, as the reinvention hasn´t happened properly. Microsoft has adquired a lot of studios recently and sure this is a seed, but while XSX is looking like a great system for videogames, we know little to nothing about games we are going able to play. I guess it is too soon to know. Furthermore, offering your games on PC too is going to give you some benefits of course, but it doesn´t contribute to make people willing to buy a videogame console choose yours over others if they have a reasonably competitive PC. And I am a firmly believer of the notion that "Games sell systems".

Can we somehow relive the situation between PS3 and 360 in which Microsoft seemed to had a golden period? Not that I am especially interested in that, it is just that I think that they deserve more success.
Nobody "deserves" anything, specially not giant corporations.
 

night814

Member
Oct 29, 2017
8,705
Pennsylvania
I would not have gotten an XB1 without BC or Gamepass. I may have caved when they announced PSO2 but I already had the console for the other things. So it worked on me.
 
Apr 4, 2018
462
I agree OP, to a good extent, and I think MS really shot themselves in the foot at the beginning of this gen.

Having said that, MS has made some great moves recently, and Game Pass seems to be gaining some incredible momentum. If MS keeps investing in Game Pass, and they can start investing in exclusives and incentives directly into specific markets, I think they have a potential game changer on thier hands.

Game Pass is actually the first time I've been optimistic about MS's chances of gaining some success in Japan. They have a big opportunity to invest and gain Japanese dev support there.

With Game Pass being so cheap, forward-thinking, and such incredible value, I think it has the potential for success in many unexpected markets.
 
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Regret

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,666
NYC
To your second point, mindshare has a tremendous role to play here. Sony has smartly used this to their advantage since the PS3 days; it's the reason why fictional personas like Kevin Butler existed (who many people thought was his real name). They began the PS4 gen the same way, taking advantage of Microsoft's E3 messaging blunder by quickly putting together a short video mocking the used game situation (and this was done by the top two in the Playstation business!).

Why do this, though? It's very simple. Let your vocal fanbase do the work for you. Mindshare is invaluable for corporations with close competitors; simply look at Apple for a good example of a non-gaming entity with similar results. Remember the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads? If you're old enough, you definetely do.

About your Japan point, let me extrapolate in a broader sense. Microsoft needs to really take Europe and Asia more seriously. There are too many countries in those regions that don't even know what an Xbox is, and as a foreign traveler, you'd have a hard time finding any advertisement for the console(s) outside of hobby/enthusiast shops. These are easy pickings for Sony, and Microsoft are 100% to blame for this. I understand that hardware sales are not as important for them as they are necessary for Sony, but wouldn't more popularity WW still strengthen their software approach? It's truly baffling, and with the aforementioned mindshare explanation I gave, this will only be more of an uphill battle when/if they DO start taking it seriously.
 

Sub Boss

Member
Nov 14, 2017
13,049
Microsoft will be fine.im sure developers will be happy to work on XSX

But if you don't appealing their lineup of games for X reasons thats why there are other systems like Play Station and Nintendo
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,847
The Ocean
What reason has Microsoft given Japanese gamers to purchase the console? You say it’s unfair yet the console doesn’t have games they want.
It’s not like Sony first party output is geared towards Japan either. It’s primarily focused on western titles and experiences.

Sony offer Japanese games via third parties purely because the Japanese development community don’t foresee supporting another platform. They certainly don’t fund those games and don’t export a lot of those to the west. I’m not sure on the reasons why but if they don’t create for Xbox then the console won’t take off in Japan.

for all the attempts of Phil and co to reach out it takes two sides to make that happen and only one of them isn’t playing.
 

Rion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,693
Do you really think that Microsoft hasn't considered this? They aren't forced to put their games on PC too, it's a choice. A choice driven by the fact that they're focused on selling their ecosystem, services and content, and not plastic boxes. The plastic boxes are a loss leading Trojan horse, so if you're happy to subscribe to Game Pass on PC or xCloud instead then they're not going to complain, quite the opposite.

And people are deluded if they think that Sony isn't very slowly creeping in the same direction. It'll certainly take more time for them given their current market position, but in the years to come, it'll happen, softly softly.

None of this means that the plastic boxes will be going away of course. Amazon still makes Fire TV devices even though you can access Amazon content on every device under the sun. But the future is about ecosystems/services, not plastic boxes and teraflop wars.
Your dismissive "plastic boxes" narrative falls apart when you realise that a correctly designed console starts to make $50-$100 profit per unit sold after the first year, getting larger the longer the generation goes.

If like Sony you can sell 100+ million consoles it's potentially billions of dollars of profit over the generation on top of all the digital service revenue which they're already breaking records with.
 

Hoo-doo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,052
The Netherlands
People need to realize that it’s all about the games.

The reason why I don’t feel compelled to invest in the Xbox ecosystem has 0% to do with their hardware or services. Those are great. It has to do with the fact that I haven’t truly felt entertained by an Xbox first party game since the early 360 era. The franchises they rely on feel stale and uninspired compared to their contempories. And honestly, I can’t put my finger on it why.

If Microsoft truly puts their #1 priority towards creating big, new, varied franchises then they will win anyone over. It’s as simple as that. So far their efforts over the last 10 years have felt lacking to me personally.

Their developer shopping spree might finally alleviate this issue somewhat, but when they still largely rely on their big franchise-factories to pump out more gears, more halo and more forza, it makes it very hard for me to feel the hype. If these three devs started introducing brand new franchises and IP’s, that would make me sit up and listen.

This gen might be a clean slate for them. But they need to truly re-organize their priorities in this industry to make me care.
 

Walken

Member
Nov 25, 2019
1,094
What reason has Microsoft given Japanese gamers to purchase the console? You say it’s unfair yet the console doesn’t have games they want.
The quickest and easiest way to remedy that is to do what Epic is doing, buy exclusivity. They tried that on the Xbox 360 but games like Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon and Last Remnant failed to really sell well. What Microsoft is doing instead is trying to get the big multiplat games as well like Kingdom Hearts.

Trouble is Sony will continue to be very aggressive in third party deals. That has always been their bread and butter, I wish we just get past those but they don't see it that way.

There has always been a favortism to Japanese products in Japan. Even the iPod I believe didn't take off right away over there like it did in other parts of the world. Luckily for Microsoft Japan is no longer a console paradise. Switch has taken over and portable devices look to be the main thing. xCloud can help Microsoft there, not Xbox.
 

SuikerBrood

Member
Jan 21, 2018
12,509
Xbox doesn't exist in Asia.
I wonder how much of an impact xCloud will have there. MS has been aggressive with xCloud in South Korea. And Japan and India are next on their list.

They've also worked with a lot of South Korean game developers in the last few years.
 

DumpsterJuice

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,315
California
They have been very transparent and open since Phil has taken over. They have built a great system in XSX. They will not sell more than Sony, but you better believe that they are going to take some market share back. It will not be the same as 2013.
 

xabbott

Member
Oct 28, 2017
759
Florida
Don't worry about Microsoft. They're huge and as long as it works for them it'll be around. It's like worrying if Pepsi will disappear because Coke is bigger.

If all they wanted to do was sell a console they could have made Minecraft exclusive, keep stuff like Ori/Cuphead, cancel third party projects in development when they bought devs, and not put games on Steam. They obviously saw a better outcome with getting games out to many, pushing a sub, investing in cloud and high end hardware. Not to mention a lot of properties they own aren't really discussed around here much that do very well like Age of Empires.

If you look at their software and PC business it operates the same way. Office is on a ton of platforms and they make Surface devices but still have deals with hardware partners. Then they push Office as a sub.
 

Mudo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,401
Tennessee
They are the underdog and that’s a great place to be - next gen is where Microsoft will find their footing again imo.
Gamepass is literally a game changer and likely what the future of gaming will largely look like.
They have acquired, what, 15+ studios in the last couple years?
Just because we don’t know WHAT they are working on does not mean there isnt a far stronger 1st party lineup coming. It is, and it will position Microsoft to compete more next gen.

So I don’t agree with this premise. Japan is probably a lost cause at this point, but I think the next few years will show MS clawing back market share and mindset from Sony who have built up theirs over the PS4 gen.

It’s a great time to be a gamer. We will have 3 solid consoles next gen, all of whom look to be firing on more cylinders than in the past. I’ll take one of each!
 

MillionIII

Member
Sep 11, 2018
4,021
The Xone had some good games but overall a very weak lineup compared to their competitors, their games were never discussed in goty talks, they need to give us the best Halo and the best whatever they are working on, not just in the "great" range. If they relive the 360 era then they could be on top even.
 

RingRang

Member
Oct 2, 2019
1,687
The Series X does not have to "beat" the PS5 to be successful. They can co-exist and both do well. Microsoft's gaming division can do fine with a console selling like the Xbox One while expanding on PC and xCloud. I see no reason to believe Xbox is facing some crisis or that they will even if the Switch and PS5 outsell them 2:1. It will be OK.
You’re right about the Xbox co-existing with PlayStation, but I do think people should recognize that Microsoft has put all their eggs in the Game Pass basket. If that service doesn’t take off in a substantial way, with tens of millions of subscribers this gen paying at least $10 a month, I think they very well may reassess the gaming business again.
 

T0kenAussie

Member
Jan 15, 2020
267
OP please don’t worry about Xbox it’s going to do fantastically next gen, I think the revenue earnings will surprise people on era
 
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