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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - You're in charge of Xbox division. What would be your battle plan for Xbox Series X?

Mr Puggsly said:

I read a lot of nonsense in this thread... now I will give mine.

I think MS should keep doing what its doing. Make an effort to increase the quality of their big IPs which is happening. Gears 5 showed that, Halo Infinite is looking great, Forza is highly praised and successful, but I am still waiting for Fable.

Make more big budget story driven adventure games given those are quite popular. Seems they have the talent to do that.

I would like to see a low end and high end console for the 9th gen. It would help their userbase if they can get the cheapest hardware on the market. Not win the gen, just help boost sales.

While some keep arguing Xbox needs actual exclusives, not shared with PC. I think thats neglecting many gamers only use PC or console. Therefore software revenue goes down by ignoring PC. Some games seem to thrive more on PC like Sea of Thieves and naturally AoE. The shared audience of PC and Xbox consoles is more revenue without directly supporting competing hardware. They can also take more risks if they can rely on PC revenue which is happening and why some IPs are returning.

Gamepass is fantastic, I imagine it has also increased engagment of 1st party games significantly.

I feel MS is making good and obvious decisions. I think many on this forum actually want less competition but I assure you Playstation wouldnt be as good without Xbox. That goes both ways.

For me the sole reason I haven't bought a X1 is the lack of exclusives. I just see no reason in owning one if the titles can be played elsewhere. The 360 lured me in with it's exclusives, and though it wasn't my main console, it had enough exclusive content for me to justify a purchase. Obviously if the nextbox follows the same route as the X1 i'll skip it again. Same goes for Sony aswell, If they start putting everything on PC then I'll just switch to PC and probably end up pirating 80% of the titles and buying the few I liked. I don't see any point in consoles without exclusive incentives when the games can be played on superior hardware personally. 



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think-man said:
Mr Puggsly said:

I read a lot of nonsense in this thread... now I will give mine.

I think MS should keep doing what its doing. Make an effort to increase the quality of their big IPs which is happening. Gears 5 showed that, Halo Infinite is looking great, Forza is highly praised and successful, but I am still waiting for Fable.

Make more big budget story driven adventure games given those are quite popular. Seems they have the talent to do that.

I would like to see a low end and high end console for the 9th gen. It would help their userbase if they can get the cheapest hardware on the market. Not win the gen, just help boost sales.

While some keep arguing Xbox needs actual exclusives, not shared with PC. I think thats neglecting many gamers only use PC or console. Therefore software revenue goes down by ignoring PC. Some games seem to thrive more on PC like Sea of Thieves and naturally AoE. The shared audience of PC and Xbox consoles is more revenue without directly supporting competing hardware. They can also take more risks if they can rely on PC revenue which is happening and why some IPs are returning.

Gamepass is fantastic, I imagine it has also increased engagment of 1st party games significantly.

I feel MS is making good and obvious decisions. I think many on this forum actually want less competition but I assure you Playstation wouldnt be as good without Xbox. That goes both ways.

For me the sole reason I haven't bought a X1 is the lack of exclusives. I just see no reason in owning one if the titles can be played elsewhere. The 360 lured me in with it's exclusives, and though it wasn't my main console, it had enough exclusive content for me to justify a purchase. Obviously if the nextbox follows the same route as the X1 i'll skip it again. Same goes for Sony aswell, If they start putting everything on PC then I'll just switch to PC and probably end up pirating 80% of the titles and buying the few I liked. I don't see any point in consoles without exclusive incentives when the games can be played on superior hardware personally. 

I think you're the type of person MS is not concerned about.

Supporting PC gives them as access to a significantly larger userbase than consoles have alone. And again, there is many users around the world who only use console or PC. Software revenue can go up significantly even if it may sacrifice some console sales.

However, there isn't concrete evidence that supporting PC has a significant impact on console sales. Look at the most active games on Xbox given MS actually shares that information, virtually all of the content on that list is content shared by PC and Xbox. Why are people playing those same games on Xbox when they can get a better experience on PC? Maybe because a vast majority of console gamers aren't interested in buying a gaming PC. Nor can you buy a PC that plays high end games as well as a console for the same price (sometimes $150-200).

You said you rather play Xbox games on a PC, which is fine. As long as you're playing their games somewhere MS has suggested they're happy. But if you're gonna just pirate everything, you just don't matter. We're seeing MS games succeeding on PC with no real evidence of hurting Xbox. It may just be the opposite, Xbox and PC sales combined is increasing their software revenue.

What hurt Xbox the most this gen was poor decisions made at launch. Price was too high due to Kinect, some of their exclusive software wasn't ambitious or notable enough and frankly they should have had more studios years ago. Sharing games with PC is talked about a lot but not nearly as significant as other factors I mentioned. The proof of that is best selling console games are multiplat, PC included.



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I have two answers, a selfish answer and a strategic answer.  

My selfish answer is make games that I have been wanting and no one else is making.  A good example is what Nintendo did with Breath of the Wild.  I was very disappointed with the Zelda series for about 25 years, and I would have gone to any system that gave me that old school Zelda feel.  Appropriately, Nintendo was the one to get Zelda back to it's roots.  But now Zelda is off the table for Microsoft, because Nintendo did it first.  I had been wanting a game like Spider-Man 2 also, and Sony did that.  Now that type of game is off the table.   

However, two franchises that have left a hole are Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Tactics.  They should hire some devs passionate about these franchises and give them a significant budget and let them make a game of a similar feel.  They don't even need the franchise name, they just need to make it clear that the game "feels" like these franchises.  I am really enjoying Wargroove right now, because Advance Wars hasn't been made in a long while.  It looks enough like Advance Wars that it doesn't need the name.  Really Microsoft could even hire Sakaguchi and Uematsu and give them like a $20m budget and see what they make.  Even if they the first game only sells a couple of million they should stick with making these kinds of games, because they might have to iterate until they get a major hit.  That is basically what Nintendo is doing with the Xenoblade Chronicles series.  They are trying to get old Final Fantasy fans.  Microsoft should try to beat them to the punch.

Now my strategic answer.  Microsoft's ultimate goal is to build up and defend the PC platform as much as possible.  They released the Xbox series of consoles to prevent the Playstation from becoming a PC in the living room.  They are releasing Gamepass and XCloud to defend from companies like Apple and Google from entering gaming.  Their console strategy is part of their larger PC strategy.  

What Microsoft needs to do is to actually become the PC in the living room.  They need to bundle a stripped down version of Windows in every Xbox, and think of consoles as a third way for people to experience Windows.  This should not be an "in your face" thing though.  Instead it should have a traditional XBox interface with an option to go to Windows.  (Also the console needs to look like a console and not a PC tower.)  Then they need to partner with one or more PC gaming platforms like Steam, Epic and/or GOG.  (I'll just use GOG from now on to keep it simple.) 

Then, they need to have "one-way" exclusive games.  For example, if a person wants Halo, then they need to own an XBox and buy it for XBox.  However once they own it, then they can also play it on the PC platform of their choice (GOG, Steam, etc...).  They can then play the game on XBox or PC, but they can only buy it if they own an XBox.  Also a person can get to their PC platform of choice from XBox in the living room.  This basically turns every XBox into a Steambox or GOG-box too.  Also it should be very easy to use either a normal controller or PC & mouse from XBox and encourage all third party games to have both control options.  Basically this would mean XBox players would have all XBox games with the option of having all PC games too including their whole PC game library.

Other things Microsoft needs to do:
1. Win back North America.  To do this they need to make Halo and Gears revolutionary and amazing games.  They need to make a Halo game so good that FPS fans say, "Why am I even playing Call of Duty anymore?"

2.  Focus on expanding into Eastern Europe.  That is what Sony is doing right now.  Cut Sony off at the knees.  If they partner with GOG and CD project Red they should be able to do it.

3.  Also expand into India.  Everyone focuses on China.  Why?  India has over a billion people, isn't Communist, English is their official language and their only real taste of gaming is PC gaming.  It's a perfect territory for Microsoft.

4.  Make a Banjo Kazooie game.  Nintendo is giving them free advertising, so that is money left on the table if they don't do it.  And while they're at it, try to get Master Chief in Smash Bros.

5.  Get an exclusivity deal on Witcher 4 from CD projekt Red.  Also, hire the Sonic Mania guys to make an exclusive 2D platformer.

6.  Put as many Apple Arcade games on Gamepass/Xcloud as possible.  If these games stay Apple exclusive, they give Apple an opportunity to grow.  They need to nip that in the bud.

7.  Make the system backward compatible all the way back to the O.G. XBox.  Rerelease popular old games like Master Chief Collection and Knights of the Old Republic.  Then if they buy then on XBox make then available for free on their PC platform of choice (Steam, etc...).

8.  Most importantly, make their system slightly less powerful than PS5 and $50-$100 cheaper.  It will run all of the same third party games but it will be a cheaper system.  Chasing the title of "most powerful system" is like chasing a white whale.  Far more people care about price than power.

And really, they would be smart to take both of my strategies into account.  Make games that other companies have neglected, and bring the PC into the living room.  There are actually a lot of opportunities for Microsoft to both win customers and grow the PC platform if they know how to take advantage of them.



JRPGfan said:
Bandorr said:

I considered the "make exclusive JRPGs" before. How many do you think they have to make to draw in the "JRPG" fan base?

I don't recall the Xbox 360 library much. I googled up a list.  Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey.. and a bunch of not exclusives.

Eternal Sonata was exclusive - and then it wasn't.

Leaving me two points.  How many exclusive ones did the Xbox 360 have(real question).  And will they actually stay exclusive?

I went to do a quick look (googled jrpgs xb360):

Infinite Undiscovery
Final Fantasy XIII  (wasnt exclusive)
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (wasnt exclusive)
NieR (wasnt exclusive)
The Last Remnant (was (not on ps3), I played it on PC)
Resonance of Fate (wasnt exclusive)
Blue Dragon
Eternal Sonata (wasnt exclusive)
Tales of Vesperia (wasnt exclusive)
Lost Odyssey
Record of Agarest War Zero (wasnt exclusive)
Star Ocean: The Last Hope  (wasnt exclusive)
Enchanted Arms (wasnt exclusive)
MagnaCarta 2
Pier Solar and the Great Architects (wasnt exclusive)
ect ect ect...


It had like 4-5 good JRPGs, atleast that were exclusives.
Stuff like that might be enough to get someone to buy a Xbox tbh.

Once you factor in stuff like Mass Effect, and other western RPGs, that might have been exclusives too.

Only Lost Odyssey made a minor impact and to be honest RPGs isn't really a console seller, especially if they are generic RPGs. But, Microsoft has already targeted exclusive RPG has their future plan with the purchase of two new studios that can make JRPG. There is also the rumored reboot of Fable.  

Obsidian, Inexile & Playground games future should really address Xbox one lack of RPG & JRPG.  



Tommy Jean, CPA, CGA

Focus on having awesome kick ass games on the Xbox platform, exclusive or not, I mean, most people don't even know what an exclusive game even is, nor do they care, they just want something good to play for cheap.

Make sure people know that they can play these games on Xbox for less money, if that means a less powerful console, so be it.

Basic online play for free, add bonuses with gold suscription, such as gamepass, game sharing, cross game chat, cross platform online gaming etc. Focus on social streaming, apparently, for some reason I don't understand, watching some idiot playing games is far more popular than playing games in itself. Why not make a profit from it?

Stop the Series X, Series S hardware tier BS. One Xbox, simple, functional and elegant. Non gaming people get very confused by this. If you give them simplicity and convenience, they'll buy what you're selling.



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Mr Puggsly said:
think-man said:

For me the sole reason I haven't bought a X1 is the lack of exclusives. I just see no reason in owning one if the titles can be played elsewhere. The 360 lured me in with it's exclusives, and though it wasn't my main console, it had enough exclusive content for me to justify a purchase. Obviously if the nextbox follows the same route as the X1 i'll skip it again. Same goes for Sony aswell, If they start putting everything on PC then I'll just switch to PC and probably end up pirating 80% of the titles and buying the few I liked. I don't see any point in consoles without exclusive incentives when the games can be played on superior hardware personally. 

I think you're the type of person MS is not concerned about.

Supporting PC gives them as access to a significantly larger userbase than consoles have alone. And again, there is many users around the world who only use console or PC. Software revenue can go up significantly even if it may sacrifice some console sales.

However, there isn't concrete evidence that supporting PC has a significant impact on console sales. Look at the most active games on Xbox given MS actually shares that information, virtually all of the content on that list is content shared by PC and Xbox. Why are people playing those same games on Xbox when they can get a better experience on PC? Maybe because a vast majority of console gamers aren't interested in buying a gaming PC. Nor can you buy a PC that plays high end games as well as a console for the same price (sometimes $150-200).

You said you rather play Xbox games on a PC, which is fine. As long as you're playing their games somewhere MS has suggested they're happy. But if you're gonna just pirate everything, you just don't matter. We're seeing MS games succeeding on PC with no real evidence of hurting Xbox. It may just be the opposite, Xbox and PC sales combined is increasing their software revenue.

What hurt Xbox the most this gen was poor decisions made at launch. Price was too high due to Kinect, some of their exclusive software wasn't ambitious or notable enough and frankly they should have had more studios years ago. Sharing games with PC is talked about a lot but not nearly as significant as other factors I mentioned. The proof of that is best selling console games are multiplat, PC included.

Guess you're right, I'm not the type of person MS is targeting. Thankfully I'm not missing much. 



think-man said:
Mr Puggsly said:

I think you're the type of person MS is not concerned about.

Supporting PC gives them as access to a significantly larger userbase than consoles have alone. And again, there is many users around the world who only use console or PC. Software revenue can go up significantly even if it may sacrifice some console sales.

However, there isn't concrete evidence that supporting PC has a significant impact on console sales. Look at the most active games on Xbox given MS actually shares that information, virtually all of the content on that list is content shared by PC and Xbox. Why are people playing those same games on Xbox when they can get a better experience on PC? Maybe because a vast majority of console gamers aren't interested in buying a gaming PC. Nor can you buy a PC that plays high end games as well as a console for the same price (sometimes $150-200).

You said you rather play Xbox games on a PC, which is fine. As long as you're playing their games somewhere MS has suggested they're happy. But if you're gonna just pirate everything, you just don't matter. We're seeing MS games succeeding on PC with no real evidence of hurting Xbox. It may just be the opposite, Xbox and PC sales combined is increasing their software revenue.

What hurt Xbox the most this gen was poor decisions made at launch. Price was too high due to Kinect, some of their exclusive software wasn't ambitious or notable enough and frankly they should have had more studios years ago. Sharing games with PC is talked about a lot but not nearly as significant as other factors I mentioned. The proof of that is best selling console games are multiplat, PC included.

Guess you're right, I'm not the type of person MS is targeting. Thankfully I'm not missing much. 

Well if your argument is MS needs to keep games on console so you dont pirate it... that's dumb. In that scenario PC gamers get less notable content from MS because people like you.

Maybe you dont care for their content, but they are putting notable games on PC and people are clearly enjoying it. Aside the big budget stuff, people also like the smaller games MS brings to PC like Cuphead and Ori.

This is the problem when people just think with bias. It makes you say stupid shit and add nothing to a conversation.



Recently Completed
River City: Rival Showdown
for 3DS (3/5) - River City: Tokyo Rumble for 3DS (4/5) - Zelda: BotW for Wii U (5/5) - Zelda: BotW for Switch (5/5) - Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch (4/5) - Rage 2 for X1X (4/5) - Rage for 360 (3/5) - Streets of Rage 4 for X1/PC (4/5) - Gears 5 for X1X (5/5) - Mortal Kombat 11 for X1X (5/5) - Doom 64 for N64 (emulator) (3/5) - Crackdown 3 for X1S/X1X (4/5) - Infinity Blade III - for iPad 4 (3/5) - Infinity Blade II - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Infinity Blade - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Origins for X1 (3/5) - Uncharted: Lost Legacy for PS4 (4/5) - EA UFC 3 for X1 (4/5) - Doom for X1 (4/5) - Titanfall 2 for X1 (4/5) - Super Mario 3D World for Wii U (4/5) - South Park: The Stick of Truth for X1 BC (4/5) - Call of Duty: WWII for X1 (4/5) -Wolfenstein II for X1 - (4/5) - Dead or Alive: Dimensions for 3DS (4/5) - Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite for X1 (3/5) - Halo Wars 2 for X1/PC (4/5) - Halo Wars: DE for X1 (4/5) - Tekken 7 for X1 (4/5) - Injustice 2 for X1 (4/5) - Yakuza 5 for PS3 (3/5) - Battlefield 1 (Campaign) for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Syndicate for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: MW Remastered for X1 (4/5) - Donkey Kong Country Returns for 3DS (4/5) - Forza Horizon 3 for X1 (5/5)

- Fix marketing, it's awful right now, even though there are some improvements in terms of messaging and creating cool stuff like gamepass, the shows like Inside Xbox actually do more harm than promotion IMO. Anyone who would watch this, would probably turn off from Xbox brand even more.
- Fix international appeal. They barely even try outside of US and Western Europe. Basically no presence of Xbox brand at all. No ads, no promotions, even no official Xbox local branches in some countries. And to make it even worse, in some cases (like Russia for example), it even got even worse this year when they closed the local MS Store and the ability to buy subscriptions directly. It all looks like they abandoned the market completely to Sony and Nintendo. And that's after Phil Spencer's words about trying to reach 2b gamers.
- Have a Series X price on part with PS5 at least. Better to be cheaper, but it is probably not happeniing especially if they have more powerful console. With the current positions on the market, Xbox can't be more expensive than Playstation even if it provides a better product.



 

I think they have already implemented a major part of their plan. CONTROL THE INFLUENCERS!

They created their own streaming service in Mixer a few years back. Over the last couple of years, they have gotten key game players to move to their platform. Today, their are more hours spent watching people play games than most of the gaming itself. So, I think a key part of their plan is to have all of the key influencers pushing their next systems by playing their games and multi-plats on their system. It probably won’t change the hardcore fanboys minds, but that is only a small percentage of the real market anyway.

If MS does some of the obvious stuff previously mentioned:
1. Be price competitive
2. Have a ton of exclusives unavailable on PS
3. keep game pass going
4. Buy more studios

Those 4 obvious things plus a bit of control of the influencers and they won’t start the generation in a hole like last generation.



It is near the end of the end....

derpysquirtle64 said:
- Fix marketing, it's awful right now, even though there are some improvements in terms of messaging and creating cool stuff like gamepass, the shows like Inside Xbox actually do more harm than promotion IMO. Anyone who would watch this, would probably turn off from Xbox brand even more.
- Fix international appeal. They barely even try outside of US and Western Europe. Basically no presence of Xbox brand at all. No ads, no promotions, even no official Xbox local branches in some countries. And to make it even worse, in some cases (like Russia for example), it even got even worse this year when they closed the local MS Store and the ability to buy subscriptions directly. It all looks like they abandoned the market completely to Sony and Nintendo. And that's after Phil Spencer's words about trying to reach 2b gamers.
- Have a Series X price on part with PS5 at least. Better to be cheaper, but it is probably not happeniing especially if they have more powerful console. With the current positions on the market, Xbox can't be more expensive than Playstation even if it provides a better product.

I dont really agree with the marketing problem, but big marketing will come for the console launch. I dont really watch Inside Xbox but I feel its good. If people werent watching Inside Xbox they would stop doing it.

I actually feel Xbox games on PC is a great idea for international sales. A vast majority of consoles sales is in the western markets, Japan is the only exception. MS is not going to fight for the Japanese market either, Nintendo is stealing it from Sony as well.

I dont know how consoles do in Russia but I am guessing not great. If a MS store there closed its probably because poor sales. MS might have more success there with PC software sales.

When Phil said he was interested in other markets, well I am not sure what that means. Its more like west is the focus but you hope for the best in other markets. Sony for example doesent really care about Japan, they dont make games for Japan, they just hope 3rd parties help them thrive in Japan. Sony's primary focus is making games the west wants.

Therefore I would suggest MS keep raising the bar in software quality, continue putting games on PC and hope for the best in international markets. I think of it this way, any software sales MS gets on Xbox or PC goes in the same pot. So increased revenue from increased software sales means they can spend more on games. A game like Sea of Thieves may have have been saved by PC success.

Series X doesen't need to be priced at par with PS5 if MS undercuts them with Lockhart, ideally $100 less. But I agree only having a more expensive Xbox next gen would be bad.

If the rumors are accurate and PS5 is only 9TF. Then a 4TF Lockhart would be fine for playing the same games at a lower res. In theory Sony would be giving MS an edge if this happens, but vice versa if we just have a Series X at a higher price.



Recently Completed
River City: Rival Showdown
for 3DS (3/5) - River City: Tokyo Rumble for 3DS (4/5) - Zelda: BotW for Wii U (5/5) - Zelda: BotW for Switch (5/5) - Zelda: Link's Awakening for Switch (4/5) - Rage 2 for X1X (4/5) - Rage for 360 (3/5) - Streets of Rage 4 for X1/PC (4/5) - Gears 5 for X1X (5/5) - Mortal Kombat 11 for X1X (5/5) - Doom 64 for N64 (emulator) (3/5) - Crackdown 3 for X1S/X1X (4/5) - Infinity Blade III - for iPad 4 (3/5) - Infinity Blade II - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Infinity Blade - for iPad 4 (4/5) - Wolfenstein: The Old Blood for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Origins for X1 (3/5) - Uncharted: Lost Legacy for PS4 (4/5) - EA UFC 3 for X1 (4/5) - Doom for X1 (4/5) - Titanfall 2 for X1 (4/5) - Super Mario 3D World for Wii U (4/5) - South Park: The Stick of Truth for X1 BC (4/5) - Call of Duty: WWII for X1 (4/5) -Wolfenstein II for X1 - (4/5) - Dead or Alive: Dimensions for 3DS (4/5) - Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite for X1 (3/5) - Halo Wars 2 for X1/PC (4/5) - Halo Wars: DE for X1 (4/5) - Tekken 7 for X1 (4/5) - Injustice 2 for X1 (4/5) - Yakuza 5 for PS3 (3/5) - Battlefield 1 (Campaign) for X1 (3/5) - Assassin's Creed: Syndicate for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for X1 (4/5) - Call of Duty: MW Remastered for X1 (4/5) - Donkey Kong Country Returns for 3DS (4/5) - Forza Horizon 3 for X1 (5/5)