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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Xbox is becoming the unsung hero of this generation

Shadow1980 said:

Once I finally get a Series X, I'll have owned every major console from the past five generations except for the Saturn (it was discontinued several months before I got my first job). I have had my fair share of both praise and complaints about all of the current Big Three. Perhaps because I've always been a multiplatform person since the 16-bit days, I've never really understood how vociferous people get over their like of a particular brand and, frequently, dislike of other brands. I know where it comes from: the same part of the brain that all other forms of tribalism comes from. Still, why tie your own identity as a person to a particular brand of electronic toy? It's not something serious, like disagreements over matters of public policy.

I think a lot of it has to do with this:

Shadow1980 said:

Once I finally get a Series X, I'll have owned every major console from the past five generations except for the Saturn.

Not everyone has money to spend on getting every console under the sun. For starters, pretty much every kid or teenager that wants a console will have to ask their parents to buy them one, and the vast majority of parents won't buy more than one. Obviously, this stops being the case amidst adults, but inevitably you already have some brand loyalty forming in someone's childhood years - heck, the gaming marketplace was very much meant for kids during the 80's, 90's, and even a little into the 2000's. Games were seen as a kiddie thing, so you didn't have many adults to begin with.

Even ignoring that and taking it from the point where there are many adult gamers with jobs, there are a lot of people who don't make enough money to be spending so much on games. You can argue that if someone makes enough to buy one console, they can eventually buy another, but for most people it's just not worth it as it can be really redundant to own multiple consoles just for a few specific exclusives. This obviously also depends on where you live, I'm sure in somewhere like the United States there might be plenty of people who make enough money just fine but somewhere like here in Brazil it's extremely expensive to buy just one console and the vast majority of people wouldn't even entertain the idea of getting another.

And, yeah, if you can only get one console for financial reasons, it is still very much possible to not act like an idiot and take sides like the console brands are your football team. But I feel that's just how it is. Inaccessibility makes people want to disregard what they can't have, and for some this can escalate into idiocy. This is especially true if it's between kids at school, who love to take sides to argue about stupid things and bully the ones with unpopular opinions - and since most gamers in the 80's, 90's and even a bit into the 2000's were kids at school, well... there you have it.

Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, but as gaming lost its stigma of being a kids hobby over the past 15 years or so, I feel like console wars have become less and less relevant, to the point I rarely see anything of the sort nowadays.



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^ Atop that there is also the aspect of paid online play which many people would find absurd to pay twice for even if the cost isn't prohibitive (which it would be for many).
And then of the people who don't mind the price of two consoles, many might ask why not by a stronger gaming PC which they could get for the same price?
In earlier gens, the price of advanced graphics computer was high enough that 2 consoles were still very price attractive, but that no longer is the case.



smroadkill15 said:

While Sony and Nintendo continue to be the top selling consoles(for good reason of course), Xbox continues to fly under the radar of most consumers. It doesn't help that the Xbox One was a lackluster system overall. Way too much controversy during the beginning of the generation and lack of heavy hitter exclusives made the Xbox One a system most consumers overlooked last gen. 
Fast forward to current generation, Xbox has been making all the right moves. I think it's safe to assume Xbox has become the most consumer friendly between the 3 console manufactures. Several examples include:

Xbox has the widest range of BC games of any system reach back to the 6th gen, and they are committed to adding more BC titles in the future.
Have been adding FPS boost to select titles, and as of today have 97 titles that enable that feature. 
Game Pass continues to grow, and offers the ability to play hundreds of games on it's platform. Many of which are newer titles, and 1st party games get added day 1. It's the best value in gaming. 
Offer cloud saves without any kind of paywall. 
Offer multiple ways of playing games via Cloud, PC, and Console, and accessing your save progress on any device is seamless. 

What about the 1st party games? Well, there is still work to be done. With Xbox now having 22 1st party studios(23 if you count XGP), they out number any other console maker by a wide margin, but it hasn't shown yet. With Halo Infinite delayed, Gears Tactics was the only 1st party game to play at launch, and there hasn't been much since then except for a few 3rd party exclusives. But for those who have a Series X|S, most will agree Game Pass has filled that void for now. With that said, It's only a matter of time before the games start dropping, and once they do, it's going to be hard for consumers to overlook.  

A bait for fanboys



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Alistair said:

Microsoft has only had 3 generations, sure the beginning of the Xbox One was a disaster but it wasn't "the worst". They sold more Xbox Ones than Nintendo sold SNES worldwide, hardly a failure (and very profitable for Microsoft, no Wii U situation here).

Actually, Nintendo made profits on the Wii U hardware sales (cause Nintendo never sell at loss), unlike the Xbox One hardware where it was sold at a loss, during pretty much its entire life



"Quagmire, are you the type of guy who takes 'no' for an answer ?"
"My lawyer doesn't allow me to answer that question"

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SKMBlake said:
Alistair said:

Microsoft has only had 3 generations, sure the beginning of the Xbox One was a disaster but it wasn't "the worst". They sold more Xbox Ones than Nintendo sold SNES worldwide, hardly a failure (and very profitable for Microsoft, no Wii U situation here).

Actually, Nintendo made profits on the Wii U hardware sales (cause Nintendo never sell at loss), unlike the Xbox One hardware where it was sold at a loss, during pretty much its entire life

Where are you getting that notion from? I remember IHS did a hardware cost analysis of Xbox One when it released, they determined that it cost about $471 to build, including Kinect, and the Kinect itself cost $75 to build so when Kinect got dropped 8 months after launch and the console price was dropped to $400, it would have still been selling at cost with the $400 price tag. A year later, the price was dropped to $350, which again should have been selling at cost, due to the fact that hardware production costs drop over time. A year later the new Xbox One S released at $300, IHS did estimate that the standard 1TB S model was selling for a loss of $24, but offset by the 2TB S model selling for a profit of $70. Probably safe to say that the later Xbox One S price drops would have been selling at cost or only a small loss due to decreasing manufacturing costs over time. I don't think I ever saw a cost breakdown on Xbox One X, so maybe it sold for a loss, but it also likely accounted for less than 10m of XB1's 50m+ sales. 



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I'd add to your list DevMode. RetroArch works like a charm on the XBSX, including PS2 emulation. So technically current MS consoles run more PS1 and PS2 games than Sony's do. Not to mention that it makes NSO's classic games range look laughable. With DevMode, two three generations of BC, Game Pass and xCloud, this makes XBSS/X the most versatile out-of-the-box console in history. MS really ticked all the boxes this time. All they're missing are some absolute killer 1st party titles.

Last edited by Kristof81 - on 04 May 2021

shikamaru317 said:
SKMBlake said:

Actually, Nintendo made profits on the Wii U hardware sales (cause Nintendo never sell at loss), unlike the Xbox One hardware where it was sold at a loss, during pretty much its entire life

Where are you getting that notion from? I remember IHS did a hardware cost analysis of Xbox One when it released, they determined that it cost about $471 to build, including Kinect, and the Kinect itself cost $75 to build so when Kinect got dropped 8 months after launch and the console price was dropped to $400, it would have still been selling at cost with the $400 price tag. A year later, the price was dropped to $350, which again should have been selling at cost, due to the fact that hardware production costs drop over time. A year later the new Xbox One S released at $300, IHS did estimate that the standard 1TB S model was selling for a loss of $24, but offset by the 2TB S model selling for a profit of $70. Probably safe to say that the later Xbox One S price drops would have been selling at cost or only a small loss due to decreasing manufacturing costs over time. I don't think I ever saw a cost breakdown on Xbox One X, so maybe it sold for a loss, but it also likely accounted for less than 10m of XB1's 50m+ sales. 

Well you pretty much answered your question.

And regarding the One X, we have this article: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-06-15-xbox-one-x-selling-at-a-loss#:~:text=Microsoft%20will%20see%20a%20loss,sales%20of%20its%20upcoming%20console.&text=The%20money%2Dmaking%20part%20is%20in%20selling%20games.%22

Which also states that the Wii U was sold at a loss, so I am wrong on this one



"Quagmire, are you the type of guy who takes 'no' for an answer ?"
"My lawyer doesn't allow me to answer that question"

PSN ID: skmblake | Feel free to add me

No heroism here, just business. They're trying to patch up their lackluster exclusive portfolio by offering access to old games, so BC it is. It's also comparatively easy for them to do techwise, so why not. And Game Pass, well, for them that's just a new way of making money and if it seems to be a good deal for consumers as well, then I guess everybody wins. It's just going for a big mass and a steady flow of money instead of high price points. The competition will jump on that if the concept proves to be viable in the long run.



I wouldn't say unsung. My twitter feed is filled with Xbox news and praise everyday, so its definitely not unsung in core gaming circles. I think it will just take a while to trickle down to the general public. What MS does well is not valued as much as what Sony and Nintendo do well. Its a quality of life thing that is great for owners of the platform but not as visible/important to the average gamer as generation defining experiences which I think create more long lasting headlines and word of mouth. Thats why Sony/Nintendo are falling a bit on the services side of things but still remain by far the more demanded platforms.

I mean since 2020 Playstation would of had these huge flagship games which generate excitement and conversation in the industry:
Dreams (despite flopping), Final Fantasy VIIR, The Last of US 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Personal 5 R, Miles Morales, Demons Souls Remake, Astro's Playground, Returnals and soon Ratchet and Clank.

Xbox: Gears Tactics, Grounded. Flight Simulator (coming soon)

So MS is really putting all of this work into its OS/Services but it takes a long time for that to really reap reward. People's primary concern remains where can they play the best games.



shikamaru317 said:
SKMBlake said:

Actually, Nintendo made profits on the Wii U hardware sales (cause Nintendo never sell at loss), unlike the Xbox One hardware where it was sold at a loss, during pretty much its entire life

Where are you getting that notion from? I remember IHS did a hardware cost analysis of Xbox One

This IHS nonsense has been peddled for years now so here is, once again, an approximate rundown of the Kinect2:

1. Development costs, including acquiring software/hardware companies: Probably crude estimate $400M, ToF chip being the main culprit.

2. Kinect2 contains three zero-redundancy chips, an RGBI chip, an extremely performant ToF chip, and a complex controller/preprocessor chip. These chips cost at least $60-80 to manufacture (less capable ToF chips cost around $250-$500 at the time).

3. How many Kinects2 were actually manufactured, less than 15mio? That means every Kinect2 was additionally hammered with around $30 non-recoupable development costs.

4. The rest of Kinect2 was not cheap hardware either, this was an outstanding product in every way.

In the end, it is inexpliccable how a company like IHS can get to $75 if they wanted to be taken seriously. I think there was a Reddit forum thread where one of the developers mentioned Kinect2 actually had similar costs than the console itself. Probably an exxageration but not by far.

All things considered, I'd not be surprised if the cost of each Kinect2 actually sold was anywhere above the $200 range. So when MS dropped Kinect2 and stopped production of it, massive savings occured (depending on applicable manufacturing contracts for it, supermassive savings).

Now, at least in Euroland, XBoxOne saw a massive price drop after about two years. There wasn't a week when you couldn't buy a box for E199-229 (final price, that included taxes and store margins which are NOT zero in Euroland). Towards the end, ridiculous price drops to E99 happened during holiday seasons.

So SKMBlake's conclusion

unlike the Xbox One hardware where it was sold at a loss, during pretty much its entire life

pretty much reflected and still reflects reality in Euroland.