This is Microsoft's to lose or win

Microsoft has really tried to turn the ship around from last gen. In the main they have done a really good job, but just need to make sure they address the last few points. On the positive side they have come out with the most impressive of the two next gen consoles. They really went all out to put the best console to the market and did it. Tick 1.

They really screwed up with games last gen. Allowing Bungie to walk away, closing down studios and no longer getting exclusives like in the 360 era really, really, and I mean really, screwed them over. They have addressed this to some degree and bought a number of studios to add to their first party. Tick 2.

They really needed to be more pro consumer after the disaster that was the Xbox One launch with it’s always on, no second hand games etc. They have really done a good job here, and things like gamepass are really showing the way here. Tick 3.

Communication and accessibility was an issue after Don, and Phil has really taken the lead. Perfect frontman, easy to like, and seems to listen and connect with the common Xbox player. Compared to how Jim Ryan flies, Phil is a man of the people. Tick 4. And MS should support places like this by having Xbox peeps here like Major Nelson etc to act as community managers. Support the people who support you MS.

Pricing. Last gen MS launched an inferior console for $100 dearer. I think from what I can see, MS has no intentions to be under priced this next gen. Probable Tick 5.

Games. In the wonder years of the 360, MS brought the games. Not only first party, but third party exclusives. Games like Lost Planet, BioShock, Alan Wake and Mass Effect. These were games PS guys wanted to play. I mean they had Capcom making exclusives for them. This could well be the area that MS dont get a tick. With rumours of Sony buying exclusives from third parties, timed exclusives for the “PlayStation Advantage”, we have heard rumours that MS wont be doing this. Phil’s comments that he thinks exclusives are anti consumer havent worked well here. I Would say to Phil, MSs first party exclusives arnt strong enough to carry the XSX. You are going to need to have what we saw on the 360. You are going to have to have the Alan Wakes, the Mass Effects and the Lost Planets. And alot of them. I hope you have been working on this in the background, because if you haven’t, it’s going to take years to do it now. I dont think MS has enough AAA in-house studios, and they are going to have to buy more of them. Im talking WBs, or Asobo, or 4A etc level studios. We dont want any more Compulsion Games level studios. And before people say MS dont need to sell Xboxs they just want you in their ecosystem with gamepass, do you think MS makes money if someone buys COD on the Xbox? Do you think they make any money if COD is sold on the PS or PC? Steam is where it’s at on PC, not Windows Store. So absolutely MS needs to sell Xboxs to get money from third party games sold on that platform. And with XSX being the more powerful kit, people will buy the third party games on the XSX over PS5 if they have both.

So in short, lots of ticks, but one major question mark.


Microsoft is playing a different battle than people are used to. All they need to focus on and are is gamepass on the different endpoints. Until Sony competes fully in those markets against MS, it’s really up to MS to take advantage of the first mover.


Game pass has been a big win for MS. It will force Sony to react to it I think. But let’s be honest here, the vast majority of game sales and revenue comes from the big third party games. Ubisoft, EA, Activision, Zenimax, WB etc sell millions, and millions more combined than the games in GP do. The new COD or GTA isnt going to launch on GP day and date. It might come 3 or 4 years after it has released. Maybe. And gamepass isn’t a massive earner for MS at this point. Its a great idea, and excellent value, but if that’s all MS care about, at the expense of third party games and exclusives then they are doomed. One of the reasons Dreamcast died was EA wouldn’t put their games on the console. And Segas first party, which was one of the best at that time, wasnt enough to save it.

The biggest movies still open in movie theaters. It doesn’t stop Netflix from being huge. 3rd parties will still exist and sell… But there’s still a market who will sign up for a subscription and use that for their gaming needs.


I fully agree. They have done so much right so far. I feel like they can make some great progress but they need to channel the 360 days as far as games and exclusives.

Sure, but have you seen the massive bidding wars for exclusive content from the streaming services? Seinfeld, Friends etc getting hundreds of millions for exclusivity. Content is king.

Yes. And your point? As I recall, those are older shows that people want to re-watch, not new ones. Also… Who is doing what MS is on the same scale… No one really. Hence why they need to focus on it before others do.


I mean if we’re talking the traditional “console war” sense then they’ve already lost no? Sony has all the mindshare and are moneyhatting seemingly everything in existence.

They will most likely price the DE PS5 very aggressively to try and reduce the impact of Series S too.

I’d say all Microsoft are looking at now is revenue revenue revenue.

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Don’t get me wrong, I agree MS taking the lead on Game pass is the right decision. My point is that in the end it’s the content that will win the day. And for people to have a reason to buy an Xbox, then the games need to be there. If Sony has twice the exclusives that MS do, including timed exclusives like say GTA that is rumoured, then people will buy the PS5. Tomorrow Sony could say, yep all our exclusives are day and date on PS Now. Once that is done, GP isn’t more attractive than PS Now. So they still need to push third party exclusives like it appears Sony does. You want people to choose Xbox over PS. In my mind there is going to be three things that make a person choose one over the other.

  1. You are already in that ecosystem. If you have 100 PS4 games, and want to keep them into next gen, you are most likely going to stay with the PS5 as a starting point.
  2. Games. Exclusive games make people want to buy a console as well. You might be a PS guy, but if XSX has a dozen AAA exclusives you just want to play like Alan Wake, Halo etc, then you might grab it as your second console. And once you have both, than when the third party games come out better on XSX than PS5, then you might start buying them on XSX than PS5. MS make more money, your games in the MS ecosystem grow and it makes it difficult to not get an XSX 2 when it comes out.
  3. And this is a big one. Kids are the new generation coming in, and the absolute decision maker for what they want is what console their friends have, as they want to play on line with them. If You have the strategy that you dont care about console sales, and its the ecosystem, then you lose the next generation coming in.
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I don’t feel like they’re going to sell more consoles worldwide but as said, not playing the same game. Also believe they’re in a much better position in terms of consoles than most people give credit to. Series S, Game Pass and Halo as a combination are being massively underrated. Price, value and the game that should have the most mindshare over the next 2 years outside of COD, Fortnite and Minecraft.

I REALLY hate this “win” “lose” narrative that gets thrown around in gaming. The gaming industry is not a zero sum game, 2nd or 3rd place console sales can still be highly profitable for the company and also be a great product for gamers.


Sony may have the mindshare, but MS has the money share to change that. Sony was coming off the biggest console in history in the PS2. MS was coming off the OG Xbox that sold just over 20 mill if I remember off the top of my head. The gap between the two companies was four times what it is now. Now Sony made some bad decisions which cost them, but MS also made some good ones in buying exclusives. If MS bought say Zenimax or WBs, and made those games unavailable on PS, it would push console sales for MS. I agree MS wants revenue, but more revenue comes from third party game sales on the console than comes from first party exclusives I would assume (Happy to be corrected). Both Sony and MS might release three exclusives a year at best, sometimes less, where as the third party devs are putting out hundreds. MS should want the royalties from someone buying the game on Xbox rather than PS. And if the game is sold on PC, MS gets no royalties from that either. So if it’s revenue they want, console sales will drive more revenue than not.

Agreed. MS has sold over 50 million Xbox Ones. That’s no slouch. And if Sony sells 100 million PS5, and Xbox sells 75 million, MS still loving it.

As much as I adore Xbox for trying to reinvent the industry, and do agree that GP seems to be where everything is headed - they absolutely better hope that Halo Infinite, Hellblade 2, Everwild, Fable, Avowed, etc. all turn out to be complete showstoppers because that’s what’s ultimately going to sell consoles. Especially when you can access GP elsewhere.

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The big 3 don’t directly compete anymore. It’s not the 90s even if some platform holders strategies still belong there.

The reason you had winners and losers then was because you had to do 2 things: win over enthusiastic fans with content and reasons to buy your system as there wasn’t enough of an enthusiast base to go around, and win over parents who would be buying for their children who used pester powers to move units in the holidays.

These days in 2020 everyone understands gaming and each vendor has its enthusiastic base which makes them profitable. The shareholders care more now about year on year growth buy any means necessary which is why you see Sony leverage their hardware philosophies and Microsoft leverage their software and services philosophies.

Both will do just fine and both have done just fine this gen. MS may not have beaten its 360 target which isn’t ideal but they still have a high attach rate and spend per user which drives their software sales despite their lagging hardware numbers. Series S and X strategy is about meeting all players at 2 price points and then gamepass is collecting residuals from people who aren’t as invested in consoles. This eggs in many baskets strategy should bear good fruit for everyone as MS has to make more content to collect more residuals which leads more series s sales into secondary console owner homes which feeds again.

Really Xbox isn’t going anywhere

U have that old console war mindset like sony does its pretty evident Microsoft went in different strategy while sony is being anti consumer money hatting games Microsoft is going the opposite direction being pro consumer and building up their first party division which was a huge negative of the 8th generation and they know this people are vastly underestimating the impact halo and series x and s can have at launch having a huge ambitious halo at launch is a huge freaking deal

I just think Microsoft is fighting a very different fight to the one people think they are.

Microsoft aren’t trying to sell more consoles than Sony. They most likely know they can’t and never will. Or the head honchos aren’t willing to give them the budget to make that happen.

So they’re all about getting people on Game Pass. Regardless of how. Console, PC, mobile, they don’t care.


At the same time they need to sell consoles to grow gamepass, so they really, really do care about console sales. Most people who use gamepass, use it on their console. Which is why they made sure the Series X has the best hardware and the Series S is the cost friendly console (presumably).


Thats my point as well. MS wants to make money. At this point they make very little money from Game pass. They dont make money from third party games sold on PC or PS. So, they need to sell consoles to get people to buy the hundreds and hundreds of third party games to get the royalties from them.

I think MS has gone all in with Game pass to help it sell consoles. You have two potential options. Buy a PS5 and one game for $560.00 US and have one game to play. Or Buy a XSX for $499 and game pass For $10 a month and instantly have 200 games to play including all MS first parties.

I think they believe that is far more attractive than the PS5 option. Now it may be, but they will lose on the console sale most likely and wont be making any real profit from the $10 per month they get from Game Pass.

Microsoft aren’t playing a game for the short term. Their bet is the next ten years. People need to understand that they are positioning gamepass as the Netflix of games and as it’s subscriber base grows it will become impossible for anyone to match its brand or quality in the short term making similar services very hard for anyone to launch unless they do so now or very very soon.

They don’t and can’t fight Sony on exclusive third party content because it’s too expensive for them and spending huge bucks on that is completely against what they are trying to achieve.

They know that the PS5 is going to eat the SX in sales even more than the PS4 did the Xbox One. But they are ok with that. Over the generation they are better that multiple entry points and their first party roster will drive gamepass subs. People have to make their peace with this as the die was cast a year ago and there is no way to change any of this now. Just accept it and move on. If you care about console wars then you just aren’t a customer for Xbox anymore.