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Locked: If Microsoft's measure of success has changed, why hasn't ours?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - If Microsoft's measure of success has changed, why hasn't ours?

It's been more than two years since Microsoft announced that their Xbox exclusives would be coming to Windows 10, and since then a consistent question has been brought up every time a new Microsoft project has been announced: "Why should I buy an Xbox One when I can play a game on a PC" . This "question", which has been used more often as a point of argumentation against Xbox rather than a genuine inquiry, is tiresome - and it's honestly a little embarrassing that more than two years after the announcement people still don't understand that these kind of comments aren't a good point of discussion.

For better or worse, Microsoft has figured out that being successful in the selling of software and subscription services is more profitable and a more reliable business model than selling hardware. So when people say something like "Why would I buy an Xbox One when I can just play Microsoft exclusives on the PC", you're missing the point. If you want to play a Microsoft game, you still have to have the most recent Microsoft operating system, and you're still purchasing an expensive piece of software from Microsoft. They're still gaining a lot of money, and the distribution cost of the product(s) is significantly lower than that of a console. So how is that a loss for Microsoft?

It's particularly telling that a lot of people who really like to hammer this point in as an argument against the Xbox brand - are usually people who are not known for playing on the PC, at all. A lot of the people who keep reiterating this, usually come off as the same kind of people that buy consoles because they like "sitting on the couch" and "using a controller" and still believe that kind of thing can't be done or is incredibly complex on the PC. In other words, if an Xbox game came out that they cared about, they wouldn't go build a PC, or use the most likely crappy PC they have lying around their house. They would go buy an Xbox, plug it in, and play on the TV. That is an assumption, and there are probably a few people that genuinely would just buy the product on the PC, but it just feels like that assumption seems to be the case the majority of the time.

I have to wonder if people are just missing the point entirely because we are so inclined as consumers to care about the piece of plastic we play on. And that's understandable, but it isn't an argument for the failure of the Xbox brand or Microsoft, especially when most of the people Microsoft is selling consoles to (Middle aged dads, young teenagers, children) aren't going to buy a PC any time soon.  I'm not an apologist for Microsoft, I'm not really interested in most of their projects at this moment. But I am offended by bad arguments, and this one seems to pop up quite a bit. So, the question is, if Microsoft's measure of success has changed, why hasn't ours? 

Edit: I can't believe I even have to add this, but because I've had to reiterate this so many times:

1 ) No, I'm not saying this statement is entirely invalid. Used in specific ways, it's fine. However, I think I listed many transgressions that just make the argument worthless. 

2 ) I'm not saying that purchasing software from the Windows store makes Xbox successful. My entire point is literally that you are missing the point of Microsoft's Gaming Division if you say "but I can just buy it on PC instead of on Xbox!" Yeah, that is the point...

(I'm putting this in Gaming Discussion because I want a varied response as to just the Microsoft following)

Last edited by AngryLittleAlchemist - on 21 July 2018

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Because we want to compare consoles. But PC as a whole is infinitely bigger than consoles. Everyone buying a PC and plays games on it buys Windows and Office. Which is way more profitable than buying a piece of plastic.

Sony does need a bigger installbase since they can't sell an operating system. But even they are moving towards a software and system based model instead of one based on hardware. Though Sony collects a lot of income from royalty's and PS+. So stelling plastic is still very important for Sony and Nintendo much more than MS. Since they still get a lot of money from pc gaming. But hey we want to compare consoles so we don't bother with it.



Please excuse my (probally) poor grammar

Because most of us can see they're just trying to change the narrative to hide their console failures.



 

The PS5 Exists. 


For better or worse, Microsoft has figured out that being successful in the selling of software and subscription services is more profitable and a more reliable business model than selling hardware.

And this is why I've said repeatedly, that they will be slowly bowing out of the console market entirely. I expect this to happen over the next three years. I doubt there will be another Xbox. And if there is, it will be a slimmer version of the XB1X. 

A lot of the people who keep reiterating this, usually come off as the same kind of people that buy consoles because they like "sitting on the couch" and "using a controller" and still believe that kind of thing can't be done or is incredibly complex on the PC. In other words, if an Xbox game came out that they cared about, they wouldn't go build a PC, or use the most likely crappy PC they have lying around their house. They would go buy an Xbox, plug it in, and play on the TV.

I'm one of the people that would just buy it on steam. I guess that makes me one of the few you mentioned. But I'm not interested in most of MS' exclusives. Forza is just a racing game, and I don't play sports or racing games, unless there's enough unique elements to make it more than just a sim (Think Mutant League Football, Mario Kart, or Mario Tennis.). Gears is just another bland shooter in a sea of bland shooters. Halo stopped being good after Reach. I suppose there's still Sunset Overdrive, but I'm not sure if that is ever coming to PC. 

I have to wonder if people are just missing the point entirely because we are so inclined as consumers to care about the piece of plastic we play on. And that's understandable, but it isn't an argument for the failure of the Xbox brand or Microsoft, especially when most of the people Microsoft is selling consoles to (Middle aged dads, young teenagers, children) aren't going to buy a PC any time soon.  I'm not an apologist for Microsoft, I'm not really interested in most of their projects at this moment. But I am offended by bad arguments, and this one seems to pop up quite a bit. So, the question is, if Microsoft's measure of success has changed, why hasn't ours? 

Ok, why isn't this an argument for Xbox failing? Yes, it's true that most people that bought an Xbox aren't going to get a PC. But that doesn't invalidate the following argument:

[argument]Microsoft has failed to provide enough exclusives for their platform, and making their few exclusives available on PC has made Xbox less appealing to PC users. The combined effect of this (few exclusives + those few exclusives being available on PC) has drastically lessened XB1 console sales.[/argument]

Most of the people MS is selling consoles to aren't going to get a PC (or a PS4 for that matter), because the Xbox brand is so weak at this point that MS is only selling to those types of people. If Xbox were a stronger brand then XB1 would sell to PS4 owners, as well as PC owners, in addition to selling to the single console buying Dads, Teens, and Kids. 

What I'm saying here is that MS has such a weak brand at this point that XB1 sales have been whittled down to the core Xbox buyers, in the same sense that Wii U was so weak that it's sales were whittled down to the core Nintendo buyers. (And no I don't exactly mean the hardcore gamers. I just mean the people most likely to buy their platform regardless of how bad the system really is. Core as in the last people that will stop buying said brand. Yes there is strong overlap between this core, and dedicated fans, but I don't mean dedicated fans.) A lot of people keep buying Xboxes because they have had an account for years, and don't want to give up their friends list or gamerscores. All their friends play on Xbox, so they keep buying an Xbox to keep playing with their online buddies. These people are a perfect example of MS' core customers, that will hold out until Xbox eventually discontinues producing consoles. Then they will all migrate to whatever "LIVE SERVICES" MS is cooking up. Nintendo has learned that they need to do a strategy of getting PS4 owners, PC owners, and XB1 owners, to buy their console in addition to the people that already buy Nintendo consoles, to be successful. MS on the other hand is learning that they make more money if they get PC users, and Xbox users to buy their exclusives. They are going this route, because they know that their brand is too weak to go the Nintendo route, and too weak to directly compete with PS4/PC as a platform of choice. 

But to answer the question of the thread. If MS' measure of success has changed, why hasn't ours? 

Because their measure of success is just marketing spin, and not realistic.

Because we can't look at the Xbox division's PnL sheets to see if they are actually making a successful amount of money. 

Because this is VGChartz (a sales oriented site) and over here, we care about console sales numbers, and game sales numbers, not subscriptions to XBL/Gamepass. 



Last edited by Cerebralbore101 - on 21 July 2018

Short answer: console warz

Long answer:

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I think thats because everyone isn't stupid.

To take what microsof is doing seriously they should just come out an say they are no longer a platform holder and they just make a highly customized PC called XBOX. Guess we will know wthat is what they are doing when the next xbox isn't called xbox at all and instead the Surface Box. and is refreshed every year.



LudicrousSpeed said:
Short answer: console warz

Long answer:

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This! People mostly care about console sales because of console wars, not because they want to keep track of success or whatever. If Sony is reporting console sales but MS is reporting subscriptions, its going to be hard to compare the two. 



GribbleGrunger said:

Because most of us can see they're just trying to change the narrative to hide their console failures.

Your comment is asinine but consider this. Even if the X1 was selling significantly better, should MS ignore their Windows userbase?

I've consistently argued that MS doesn't take advantage of their Windows audience enough. All of their games arguably should have always been on Windows. That's a massive audience and many PC gamers don't care for console.



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The measure of success typically changes either after a lot of success above what is expected (raising the bar), or a lot of failure below what is expected (lowering the bar). Microsoft doesn't exist in a vacuum so regardless of what has changed for them the industry hasn't followed suit and so there's no need to lower the bar just for them.

I suppose you could try and compare them on the software rather than hardware side only, but as far as I'm aware they don't exactly like sharing sales figures, although I expect they wouldn't far any better against games software companies such as EA and Activision-Blizzard than they do against hardware companies like Sony and Nintendo.



Bet Shiken that COD would outsell Battlefield in 2018. http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=8749702

Because if the situation was reversed and they were the clear cut leader, they would be singing from the rafters about unit sales. That's why they were more willing to talk about them last gen when the 360 was doing well. Sony did the same thing when PS3 and Vita sales underwhelmed, lumping "families" of consoles together and whatnot. I'm sure if the next Xbox (Two?) sells like hotcakes they'll start talking about it again, Play Anywhere be damned.

The narratives that these companies try and manufacture for PR points don't matter to me. 



Have some time to kill? Read my shitty games blog. http://www.pixlbit.com/blogs/586/gigantor21

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