Microsoft wants people in the ecosystem. If they buy the shiny new console with a controller that’s great, but if they “only” buy 3 years of Ultimate on PC or Xbox One, that’s fine for them too because people will be in the ecosystem either way, giving them money.
Let’s not forget a lot of people game cheap by hunting used copies, cheap codes on websites, borrowing titles from buddies and not investing in newer consoles until they’re dirt cheap. Microsoft does not see money from such consumers, or a very limited amount. But if such a cheap games decides to throw 10-15 bucks at them for years, that’s a lot of money, especially compared to the scenario in which the user spends practically 0 on “standard” storefronts.
Xbox is certainly playing a very different game to Nintendo and Sony, and that‘s great! As long as enough people keep buying Xbox consoles so that publishers continue making dedicated console versions for their games on Xbox, I‘m good. And as the main customer divide continues to be between PC and console players, I absolutely believe this won‘t be a problem. I do think Phil should sometimes phrase stuff a bit more like “of course we want to sell consoles, but our vision is much broader than that“, sounds better to me
To be honest neither is sonys, they are just more secretive and more behind in implementing it.
In the great words of Jessie pinkman “are we in the meth business or money business”
Well its similar in the gaming industry, sony want a bigger piece of the pie like xbox does, but sony are taking a one foot in one foot out approach probably fearful of loosing there foothold in the console business. It wont happen for a long time but I think its a group of decisions which will come to haunt them later.
The thing that get me with the console sales narrative is on one hand people are expecting MS and Sony to sell their consoles at a loss, even as much as a $100 loss per console and on the other hand still push the idea that the physical number of consoles sold is so very important to MS and Sony. They will lose more money the more consoles they need to sell, it is as simple as that. So people do seem understand what is important is how much people are spending on games, services, accessories, etc… but somehow can’t disconnect the console sales number from those things like it is some set in stone 1 for 1 relationship?
The Xbox is just one of a few pillars to reach gamers now. They aren’t just focused on funneling everyone into a single box so of course they don’t really care about that box’s sales so much. What they care about is people getting into their ecosystem. They don’t need to sell a Series X to get you to buy a controller. They can get you to buy a controller to use on Steam, or XCloud too.
Simply put MS is no longer competing with itself Xbox vs PC and has unified that effort. Everything will be fine.
Another thing , is this “if they don’t focus on consoles (exclusively) they will lose developer support etc and can’t sell gamepass “ is a very weird slippery slope . it imagines that the things phil spencer etc are doing now is leading to a scenario worse than the one faced at the beginning of this gen , where they basically had every scandal or bad decision imaginable, lost almost half their user base and still sold 50-55 million units (versus the 90m~ xbox 360 sold ) .
Even with all that’s happened with xbox one , the most notable or only developers skipping the system are Japanese developers and Indies. These groups are not skipping the system due to install base but due to audience fit. It doesn’t matter if xbox sells 10m, 50m or 120m if certain developers don’t believe the audience is there for their game beyond 20k-500k buyers. This issue is largely only being resolved due to microsoft pushing gamepass deals and building connections with said groups which alleviates some of the risk of putting their games on xbox .
You’re missing X in the equation. Every game developed for Xbox is developed for Xcloud…and isn’t far removed from PC. Xcloud is going to be fully loaded with the Series X APUs. I really believe most gamers under-estimste the potential that will have in a few years once worldwide latency and bandwidth limitations improve exponentially.