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You're suddenly put in charge of the Xbox division. How do you steer it towards a recovery?

Forums - Microsoft Discussion - You're suddenly put in charge of the Xbox division. How do you steer it towards a recovery?

Ok, so this thread has gone on long enough without me answering my own question. So here's what I would do...

1. Launch the next Xbox in 2020 as an upgradable system, with parts that are so easy to change, that a toddler could do it. Anybody remember how easy it was to change the harddrive on a 360? Now just make all the parts that easy to change out. Xbox starts out as a base model, and you can then make it as powerful as you want it to be. Or you can just buy a shell of an Xbox and the parts separately. Building your own custom Xbox console should be as simple as snapping Legos together. This opens up a whole new market for hardware sales, and takes building your own PC and brings it to the masses.

2. Make the Xboxlive storefront as good as Steam in every way shape and manner imaginable. You've got discounts on games? Our discounts are just as good! You've got an eternal storefront that will never go offline, so your digital games will never be lost? So do we!

3. Put the revamped Xboxlive storefront on Windows, and make it replace the awful Windows live storefront.

4. Allow people to sell or trade one digital game that they bought a month if they have an Xboxlive subscription. Give the power back to the consumers. This makes it so buying digital doesn't mean that you can't trade or sell your game. This gives real value to digital games as a whole. It also tells the consumer that they are sorry about the no-tradable-games fiasco from the launch of the XB1.

5. Offer money to Japanese developers so that they will port their games to Xbox. There really isn't much MS can do about Sony's 1st party lineup, but it's downright embarrassing when so many good third-party games aren't on Xbox. Where is Neir: Automata for Xbox? Where is Nioh? How about Tales of Berseria? If MS doesn't do something about this then by the end of 2018 there will be over 25 fantastic games that are playable on PS4, but *not* playable on Xbox. That's ridiculous, and a pathetic showing on MS' part.

6. Make Forza a series that arrives every two to three years. Take 75% of the talent dedicated to Forza games and put it to work making two new IPs. Leave enough talent on the Forza team to allow them to finish a new Forza game in three years' time.

7. Stop hyping so many mediocre games. Sorry but Crackdown 3, and Sea of Thieves won't be good. Stop acting like they will be. Rare hasn't been good since the 90's, and Crackdown 2 was mediocre. Yes, let those studios keep trying to make good games. There's nothing wrong with this. But don't make these games your end all be all, marketing push. Do you see Nintendo wasting all their money promoting games like Hey Pikmin, Paper Mario Color Splash, and Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker? Of course not. You don't hype up your B team developers like this. That just sends a message that you don't have any good developers working for you.



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LudicrousSpeed said:

The pricing of the Scorpio tells me that financially the state of Xbox must be in a good place for them. So I assume by "recovery" we're talking back into a state where they can sell 80 million consoles or whatever the 360 sold. I think the easiest answer is being ready to eat a lot of money on hardware. Outside of the policies blunder at the reveal, their biggest mistake was launching weaker hardware at a more expensive price. They have the brand power and games to sell a lot of consoles, but the mass market cares about price. Launch hardware that matches or exceeds the next products from Sony and Nintendo for a better price and there you go.

To offset those hardware losses you'll have more games selling, more revenue from Live, and more revenue from other services like Game Pass or EA Access. It's too late with the Xbone, that reveal and price created a snowball for PS4 that has rolled downhill and become too big to overcome. I think it really is that simple for them next gen though, just be a lot smarter price wise.

Xbox doesnt have the brand power and games to sell "a lot of consoles" outside the US and Halo isnt what it used to be. They tried what you suggest with the 360 -good HW at low price- and in the end PS3 took over. It's all about the games, MS just doesnt have them. They haven't cultivated a 1st party that puts out great IP at healthy intervals, instead relying on their "triforce" and moneyhatting 3rd party exclusives like Bioshock, Mass Effect, GTA IV, COD DLC etc but they were all temporary measures prolonging the arrival of a big ass problem, which is hurting them now.

Xbox will never dominate gaming, anyone that believes otherwise just hasn't travelled the world enough to know how weak the brand is outside Merica. It will never sell another 85M. MS doesn't view gaming thru the same lens as Sony and Nintendo. They tried to bruteforce their way in just like Zune and Windows Phone and the fastest way to do that is to buy 3rd party exclusives instead of making them.



Turkish said:
I'd:
- make a Halo RPG and breathe new life into the IP
-relaunch Scalebound by Platinum
-invest in a new AAA IP by the Gears devs
-bring back old Rare IPs in a big way
-passion projects such as Lost Odyssey 2
-fund some classic Sega games like Jet Set Radio 3, gamerrs love Sega

All wil help MS to build gamer cred and goodwill.

Pretty much this.

Id also know the isnt much i could do to save this gen, but id be building up my IP's and studios for nextgen.



Exclusive games that are not also on PC and proper advertising of this fact.

I could bring the whole company back by having quality prospects like (the cancelled) Scalebound only on XBOX. And by only on XBOX, I mean ONLY ON XBOX. By giving gamers no choice but to get the game on XBOX and effectively advertising this fact, sales would definitely grow. And if the right exclusive hits, then you could be looking at 360 type numbers.



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Turkish said:
LudicrousSpeed said:

The pricing of the Scorpio tells me that financially the state of Xbox must be in a good place for them. So I assume by "recovery" we're talking back into a state where they can sell 80 million consoles or whatever the 360 sold. I think the easiest answer is being ready to eat a lot of money on hardware. Outside of the policies blunder at the reveal, their biggest mistake was launching weaker hardware at a more expensive price. They have the brand power and games to sell a lot of consoles, but the mass market cares about price. Launch hardware that matches or exceeds the next products from Sony and Nintendo for a better price and there you go.

To offset those hardware losses you'll have more games selling, more revenue from Live, and more revenue from other services like Game Pass or EA Access. It's too late with the Xbone, that reveal and price created a snowball for PS4 that has rolled downhill and become too big to overcome. I think it really is that simple for them next gen though, just be a lot smarter price wise.

Xbox doesnt have the brand power and games to sell "a lot of consoles" outside the US and Halo isnt what it used to be. They tried what you suggest with the 360 -good HW at low price- and in the end PS3 took over. It's all about the games, MS just doesnt have them. They haven't cultivated a 1st party that puts out great IP at healthy intervals, instead relying on their "triforce" and moneyhatting 3rd party exclusives like Bioshock, Mass Effect, GTA IV, COD DLC etc but they were all temporary measures prolonging the arrival of a big ass problem, which is hurting them now.

Xbox will never dominate gaming, anyone that believes otherwise just hasn't travelled the world enough to know how weak the brand is outside Merica. It will never sell another 85M. MS doesn't view gaming thru the same lens as Sony and Nintendo. They tried to bruteforce their way in just like Zune and Windows Phone and the fastest way to do that is to buy 3rd party exclusives instead of making them.

The OP isn't asking what MS can do to "dominate the industry" or outsell Sony or Nintendo, it says return to 360 sales. So when you say "they tried what you're suggesting with the 360" I'll just ignore the irrelevant rest of it and say thanks for agreeing :)



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Xbox has the basics to start with. I would start by increasing the first party studios and having company owned IPs developed (between Xbox and Microsoft there are a lot of IPs to use). Bringback lionsgate and making Rare a true studio again would be a major part of it. Work on bring scalebound back to a active project. The idea would be to build Atleast 12-16 IPs that are the back done of the systems and that you don't need to rush projects while you have enough to release a few "exclusive" titles a year. And have a variety of categories for the IPs.
While you are working on getting the first party studios up and running, make deals to have second party games for the system.

Then once we have enough first studio games, work on getting into a cycle for releasing them
Examples
Group 1 (action/shooters I.e. Halo, gears, mechassault, brute force)
Group 2 (action/adventure I.e. Crackdown, sea of thieves, state of decay)
Group 3 (role playing/strategy I.e fable, lost odyssey, halo wars)
Group 4 (racing/vehicle based I.e. Forza, horizon, crimson skies)
Group 5 (family/kids I.e. Zoo tycoon, ori, max and brotherhood)

Make them the basic groups for the first party studio games and release a few every year.
group 1 & 2 should be able to have 1-2 games a year. Group 3 & 4 should be able to do 1 game a year. Group 5, would be the most mixed group. It would have 3 to 4 releases a year. But all the games don't need to be top AAA titles.
Rare has a lot of titles, that would also be reused and make a line of games, make a line of games called Xbox classics and sell the original in the live store for $7.99?, then make new games with the IPs and sell the. For like $34.99. To help save costs, the games don't need the state of the art graphics, but a good game play and the Xbox classic line would be a huge selling point (a new battletoads, bonkers). At this point you are adding 10-12 exclusive games a year easily and you are covering all the price points (arcade, mid, and AAA titles).
Then add in a few second party games in, and your looking at 12-15 games a year, you can release them throughout the year, so you always releasing exclusive not available on the PS4/Switch.

Next I would add full keyboard/mouse support for the Xbox. Then unite the Xbox/PC store under the Xbox brand. And expand the play anywhere program. Work on getting the indie developers to sell the "play anywhere" and they can be sold for the Xbox/PC market in 1 store. The Keyboard/mouse support will open up more "PC" games to the Xbox system. And have multiplayer available for all the games for PC/Xbox United for people that get the games with "play anywhere". (People would have a choice to pick all players/PC only/Xbox only/controller only in settings for multiplayer).

For the next system (just calling it Xbox). It would be based off a modular system. When you buy the system for a first time, you would get the chassis and all the components. The advantage of the modular system would be say the base system is 4K, but during the next cycle 8K because with new higher option. Instead of needing a new console, a person would be able to just buy the needed modular part, and replace the needed parts. (I know some people wouldn't care for this modular system, but this would but a end to the console cycles for the most part). And the plus side if everything is modular plug in system that would be easy to charge parts, if something goes in your Xbox, you nolonger need to send it in to be fixed or buy a new one to get the higher level. And the biggest advantage is that all games from this point would always work on the Xbox now forever.



No. 1 Avoid another red ring of death debacle at all costs!!

No. 2 Games are art and as powerful a medium as books, films and painting. They have the potential to be better than all those if given the chance. Sony already realise this hence the WIDE spectrum of both AAA and indie games they allow on their console. 

No. 3 The executives behind Xbox CANNOT be accountants and bean counters. They need gamers who are executives. These GEs would be able to spot talented game studios and games and invest in that studio's vision.

No. 4 TV, tv, tv, tv, tv, tv, tv etc should be an after thought if they want to capture true gamers as their core fansbase.

No. 5 They need game developers/stuios who output the kind of game quality that Kojima, FromSoftware, Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studios do. ND particularly has changed the expectations of gamers in that respect. Combining gameplay and story like almost no other devs. I recently played Horizon Zero Dawn and you'd think GG would have spoken to ND about how to polish their 3rd person shooter, considering ND are pretty much the benchmark now for this genre of game. Don't get me wrong HZD is a good game, but it just doesn't have the finese that a ND title has. And they are part of the same company, so not excuses, other than ego stopping them sharing info/tips to make better games!! So Microsoft need game developers of the ND calibre, regardless of the game type being released on their platform. They need to raise the bar if they want to beat Sony next gen. 

6. Stop with the backwards compatibilty rubbish. If gamers want to play retro games, they should invest in MAME. The Xbox brand should be able innovation and pushing the envelope not a box that plays old games better. Wrong message to prospective buyer, IMO.

Final advice, Don't turn up to the next gen battle with last gen or 2 gens ago weaponary and mentality. Games and gamers have changed!



1) Separate myself from Microsoft.
2) Have sexual relations with my new partner Razer.
3) Help develop a modular based console based on the same concept as Project Christine.
4) Finish a future proof modular console what components can be upgraded on a whim and main truck upgrade as better technology comes out.
5) Invest in first party studios. Each studio capable of trading employees to expand on multiple game genres.
6) VR ready
7) Custom Controller Layout. Analog stick and directional buttons able to rotate on the fly. Keyboard and Mouse support for all games.
8) Free online multiplayer games.
9) Subscription based for discounted products. Includes services for Store/Stream/Download playable games options. One flat subscription fee.
10) Main console component and subcomponents sold separately and bundled. If you don't want the uhd playback you don't have to buy it. Fits more budgets.



Focus on 1 or 2 more exclusives. Ryse was pretty cool Maybe develop that more.

Ori was a masterpiece and thank god theres a part 2!!!!

Add 1 or 2 more great quality titles would be where I start.



Have a look at Sony't press conference yesterday in Paris. If you look at the AAA games announced they covered everything from for the hard core gamer (The Last of Us 2 ) to soft core gamers (Concrete Genie). Their games also covered adult themes like bullying Concrete Genie, child physical abuse in Detroit: Become Human and religious zealotry in the Last of Us 2 trailer. This is what a mature entertainment medium can offer, as well as the classic no thinking and purely fun shoot em up and racing sim etc. Microsoft and Xbox need to start understanding this if they want to be a major player next gen.