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

Robert_Downey_Jr. said:
Mr Puggsly said:

I am gonna say something that has annoyed people in the past but I stand by.

Nintendo games does a much better job selling hardware than Sony. People arent buying Playstation and Xbox for exclusives any where near the rate of Nintendo. However, better software to increase hardware sales is not a bad idea.

I feel mistakes made early on are far more impactful on sales throughout the gen. Primarily, the high price to bundle in Kinect. Even if MS had a few adventure games like Spiderman or Uncharted, I think it would only boost sales a few million at best.

Bear in mind PS4 was trouncing X1 before any game you mentioned existed. Its not like they were tied and the gap grew with games you mentioned. Unless youre gonna tell me Knack and Killzone were killer apps.

Again, MS is making a lot of obvious choices in regard to hardware and greater focus on software. So keep doing that and hope they win people over.

On a side note, I think Xbox content was much better this gen then its given credit for. The only glaring hole in my mind was 3rd person adventure games, which is where Sony has thrived. However, MS had better games in other genres. Halo 5 and Gears 4 werent amazing but better than Sony shooters. Forza games were amazing this gen, better than GT Sport on its own. Sony moneyhat a fighter partly because they didnt make one. For me it was worth having both consoles for different experiences.

However, these are consoles heavily reliant on 3rd parties. People can get their fix in many genres on either Xbox or Playstation. Sony didnt have to make a good shooter because they can rely on CoD, BF and Destiny. Meanwhile MS didnt make great adventure games, but users still had the latest Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, etc.

Nintendo does a better job moving hardware with exclusives because they virtually have their own audience via unique games.

Of course Nintendo exclusives are more easily tied to sales.  As you said they don't have any third parties you could blame sales on.  Sony had momentum going into the gen because of the great exclusives on the more expensive PS3 helping it overtake 360 at the end including a stellar 2013 lineup on PS3.  Also I don't see how forza having a gagillion installments makes it better.  Id rather have 1 game that gets patched and content updated as the only reason to redo a racing sim is for a new gen or maybe twice in the same gen if there's a big enough gap.

Sony exclusives sell consoles but they're more of a pebble on the scales that tilts it towards them instead of Xbox.  Customer A buys a PS4 because it has GT.  They don't buy any other exclusives and get a bunch of third party other than that

Customer B buys a PS4 because of GOW and does the same.

Customer C does the same but with infamous

And so on

So if an exclusive sells a couple million it very well could have been the pebble that tilted that mostly third party buyer into getting PS4 for a million of them even if they're not primarily into exclusives like a Nintendo customer might be.  Didn't mean it didn't influence the sale.  

Harder to track but still a definite selling point as much or more so (as the numbers indicate) than a few more pixels on third party games 

Nintendo 1st party games simply sell better, they always account for much of the sales on their platforms even when their 3rd party support was better.

I think Sony has always had momentum. They just hurt sales significantly due to the high price of PS3 with little to show for it. PS3 surpassed 360 in the end due to huge sacrifices in price more than exclusives. Again, a small fraction of PS3 users actually bought the exclusives. Therefore its obvious price cuts had a bigger impact then the exclusives. Muliplats did great on PS3.

TLoU was a great release in the end, while GT6 was fine but not huge (like Forza 7). I feel MS and Sony were dumb for not pushing cross gen releases at launch while 3rd parties were doing it.

The Forza sim games on X1 looked great and had a ton of content. They also existed throughout the gen. Forza Horizon games all have unique worlds to explore, not just content updates and added features like the sim games. GT has been considered the king, but the Forza IP simply was better this gen primarily due to Forza Horizon.

Sony keeps making the same type of games, story driven 3rd person adventure games. Therefore its not crazy to assume much of the same audience is continually buying 1st party games. Fans of GT though might not buy other Sony games. Your argument has some validity.

However, I feel the best edge Sony had this entire gen was the momentum of a cheaper and technically superior PS4. I feel that was a mistake MS could never really bounce back from even if they ultimately did pretty good.

Its the same with PS3, it ultimately sold a little better than 360. But they never really recovevered from mistakes early on. That allowed Xbox to grow significantly. If Sony didn't make mistakes with PS3 it wouldn't have sold about equally with 360, it would have trounced 360.

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Mr Puggsly said:
derpysquirtle64 said:

The main business for all the big three is not selling their own games, but selling other publishers games. That's why they make their hardware and services in the first place. So, what I'm saying is that not matter how much more popular PC is than Xbox in certain market, abandoning their own services there is a huge mistake, because all the revenue made from the big Steam audience through sales of first party games won't offset the overall revenue got through sales of Xbox games even if Xbox userbase is way smaller in that region. It means that Microsoft is shrinking their market presence instead of expanding it. Which contradicts what Phil Spencer said in terms of what they are planning to do. And also, I think you won't argue with this one - the current MS strategy is to sell as more GamePass subscriptions as possible. If until 2019 you could do it directly without a hassle from a console and now you can't do it anymore without going to retailer and buying a code, it means that MS took a step back with this one.

At this point I feel like the main business on Playstation and Xbox is selling subscriptions. Selling 1st party, 3rd party and subscriptions are all revenue streams though.

For Nintendo, they likely get big money selling hardware at a profit and their 1st party games sell best. I assume their subscription service is doing well.

Steam in comparison is basically just in the business of software sales. Their hardware efforts failed, SteamOS failed and major PC releases are often skipping Steam. The market has changed.

MS losing their market share in Russia isnt a big deal if it was a small market. How many units did they sell there? I would be surprised if its even a 100K. Resources are better spent trying to grow in the west via more/better software and discounts.

I know what Phil said about expanding in other markets, but I feel its also a waste of resources. Russia likes PC gaming so Xbox games on PC may attract them. They can even subscribe to Gamepass.

If people in Russia have to go to a retailer to get MS subscriptions, well that sucks. But I dont know much about that market and why that is.

360 was huge and while it most likely sold less than PS3 like in any other European country, it was a close battle I think. In hardcore gaming circles you would get bullied if you had PS3 with its soap cinemas instead of 360. Unfortunately, MS didn't have lots of revenue from these console sales in Russia, because one of the reasons why 360 was so popular was that it was easy to chip and play pirate copies of games. It helped built some brand recognition though. Xbox was the synonym of a gaming console in gen 7. But it all changed this gen. Console market is growing every year, people started buying games. I'm almost sure that Xbox One sold more than 100K as still there are quite a lot of people supporting the brand, but initial failure with proper launch - 1 year after PS4 costed MS a lot. Btw, PS4 sold more than 1m here as far as I know. And what's more disappointing is that MS was up and down in this market throughout the gen - fucked up late launch, then things started getting a bit better with cheaper pricing than PS4, then they fucked up again with the announcement that all games are coming to PC (a heavy blow to your console in PC focused market), then GamePass came in and people started getting interested in Xbox again, because it's cheap gaming, and then once again they just decided to fuck everything up this year by reducing their presence and making their services which worked for more than 10 years without any issues almost unusable and inferior compared to the competition. It's especially disappoiniting because Sony and Nintendo see the value in this market and putting efforts to succeed here. Nintendo came here officially later than MS and already overtook them by quite a lot I guess. because that's what you do if you want to reach as many gamers as possible like Phil Spencer says. You need to put effort in every market possible. Especially if you are already established your brand there.


curl-6 said:

What would be your strategy for Xbox Series X in the upcoming console war if you were in charge?

Make AAA single players quality games, lots of them like Sony does. Make exclusives for the Series X in order to lure gamers towards it.

STOP releasing my games on PC so as to again make players come back to Xbox.

If the question is how to make Xbox a hard-core oriented quality system then end all the games as a service crap. If the question is how to make Xbox profitable then continue the games as service crap and add even more micro-transactions like EA and Activision do.

Buy the biggest studios, like Square Enix, 2K Games, Rockstar, Activision, EA. Also quality studios like From Software or CD Projekt.

If Ms did as I would do if I was in charge there, it would be the death of Sony and Playstation.

Luckily for the Playstation fan in me, I am NOT in charge of Xbox.