This is Microsoft's to lose or win

Microsoft’s new approach feels weird for some because it’s moved away from the “Us VS them” ways of promoting a new console. They’ve adopted the iPhone style of transition and I’m honestly all for it. Eventually it’s all going thia direction anyways. Microsoft is just the first to do it.

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But the console market is not growing (expected single digit growth [1]). You can stole some market share from competitors (as Sony), reorganize your userbase (Nintendo merging home console and handled) or play in a different category (Microsoft with focus on services which can be accessed via xbox and PC, a market untouched by console platforms… this is where xbox can grow without fighting their usual competitors ; xbox series x being the “premium” experience for those using xbox services). Focusing on console sales is not necessarily a good business strategy for xbox, specially with Sony being so aggresive.

And we should also take into consideration what will happen with the post-seriesX generation. With the experience that xbox will get from xCloud, they will be in a much better position if consoles become cloud-based (and subscription-based).


Puuuh first of all Microsoft invested a lot in first party. Once the dice is rolling you won’t get around a xbox if you truly want to play all the great games. With 15 studios the amount of games gonna be huge! And honestly you think xbox first party won’t have enough AAA games?

I could make a long list.

Yes gamepass is a important tool for the future of xbox. Expect deals where Microsoft gets some third party games into gamepass day one. Not timed.

The thing with timed exclusive and Xbox is tricky. Microsoft comes from a weak position and the money they need to send on a deal would be huge. Better invest in Gamepass and your first party studios which they do!

Compulsion Games came with 25 people to xbox and plans to expand to 90 people. In exile is growing and stacks themselve with veteran developers to make a new huge RPG.

Since I mentioned it Xbox soon is known as the RPG box. RPGs are a big genre and outside of Witcher 3 this gen was not the best for huge AAA rpgs. People starving for these games.

Timed exclusive work if you have the general public behind you Xbox don’t want the debacle from Tomb Raider again.

Also we have Xcloud. Xclould might be not ready in the western world thanks to data restrictions but places like South Korea could be a huge market.

In short Xbox is doing longtime investment. For the Netflix of gaming you need a stable indoor studio template. XGS screams genre diversity. Something for everyone with focus on rpgs. I can’t repeat enough how huge Fable, Avowed etc could be. RPGs has mass appeal across the board and theatre you for a long time.

Finally the series s could be the potential fortnite/fifa/cod casual box. 250-300 entry price point. Gamepass gives you a huge library from the get go and Halo Infinite FTP multiplayer? You wanna play splitscreen? Sure take your old one controller and go.

Xbox/Microsoft has nothing to worry about. In my opinion.

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Not gonna lie you had me in the first half but all of this is a huge miss for me. Microsoft doesn’t need to sell consoles, they need to sell game pass which will most likely lead into console sales anyway. I don’t think people actually fully understand what is happening right now, I don’t know if it’s being being naive or they really just don’t see the massive shift from console sales to subscription numbers.

Game Pass IS the console they’re trying to sell not the actual physical box, they are going to use Game Pass as their #1 performance indicator not hardware sales. Let’s just say they did focus only on the box itself and let’s say Steve bought the brand new Xbox and he only plays the brand new cod every year. Microsoft would only get the % of the sale of cod + XBLG and that’s it BUT if they market Xbox Game Pass Ultimate they will get $15 every single month.

Put it this way a trillion dollar company doesn’t get to a trillion status by making dumb misinformed decisions (not saying they haven’t done that at all though) MS is a huge software and data company they know so much shit about what we do on our consoles that they can make much more informed decisions than what we can see from the outside.

Game Pass #1 focus and you can see that, #2 focus would be games and then #3 focus would be the console. If console sales was their #1 focus you wouldn’t be seeing games releasing on steam/pc and it being a “Xbox” exclusive.

I think it’s going to take a lot of time for people to wrap their heads around what MS is trying to do and that’s ok because it’s a pretty big shift in the console market scene.

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Can I just say that all this about ‘levels of studio’ really turns me off. Its a bit like fanboy list wars. Studio X is proper AAA level but studio Y isn’t…it is such a ridiculous thing to say. You need a diverse roster of studios - Xbox was criticised for only being big production AAA focussed in the 360 era whereas Sony went for a more diverse set of studios. Games like Grounded show why this is so important - yes grounded is from a big dev but only a tiny team leading a passion project. And look how good that game even in early access is. I enjoy lots of types of games and I’d hate it if all I could play were big budget cinematic third person action adventures…


This, I don’t want all my games to be AAA 300m games that take 7 years to make. I’ve had more fun on a small “indie” game that’s made by 13 people than I’ve had on a AAA massive game… people need to remember we play games for fun and budget/size/style doesn’t limit how fun a game is.

I do agree that MS could probably do with another 1 or 2 big studios and they’ll be set but if they don’t they’re completely fine. They have such a good range of studios that also have multiple teams which you can pretty much say that there’s studios within studios. So while it looks like they only have 15 studios they actually have more. Fable and Forza Horizon teams can most likely count as 2 studios by now for example.

I think Xbox will always be on the lookout for the right studios now to help push gamepass. BUT I think people need to remember that MS want to remain agile and not have huge influx of staff into their organisation - they are very good in terms of terms and conditions for their staff and pay levels. So adding a hundred extra staff is more expensive for them than for many competitors. People should keep in mind their focus has mainly been on smaller and mid sized studios and even the initiative is relatively lean with a lot of work being outsourced. When there are rumours of a collection of studios with thousands of staff being bought I personally think in almost all cases you can rule MS out of those.

I think regardless of how things look right now regarding XSX and XSS, I doubt they perform worse than Xbox One. I have been pretty much satisfied with what we got this generations outside of the lack of big Japanese games (which they are fixing with things like PSO2 and Yakuza), but I can see it only going up from here.

I know Microsoft paid a lot for the IP and it benefits to be EVERYWHERE, but if Sony is going to keep moneyhatting exclusives, I think it is time Microsoft stops selling Minecraft on Sony platforms and keeps it as a console exclusive on XSX. You can keep the legacy editions alive such as PS4 and Switch, but they really should leverage the control they have over this massive brand.

Game Pass seems to be the common denominator here. However, the minority of people have Game Pass, and at this point, I suspect the minority (less than 50%) of people actually want a Game Pass subscription. I still don’t want Game Pass at this time. So they need to appeal to the majority of gamers without using Game Pass as a crutch. This means great games first and foremost.

I truly hate the idea of the Series S, but that is as an owner of the 1S. Honestly, I haven’t been able to do anything with the 1S for years now except play movies and the occasional indie game as the end of the current generation requirements are WAY advanced for the 1S. RDR2, Control, Jedi Fallen Order, Ori 2, etc all have very substandard performance on the 1S.

I think anyone that buys the Series S shouldn’t expect it to be viable after 4-5 years, and I don’t understand the reasoning for it being available at launch. You get what you pay for, and if there is a mid-generation upgrade then I doubt it will be remotely capable at the end of the next generation. I understand wanting to get the “budget” gamers, but honestly I feel like the 1S was a ripoff except to perform multimedia functions. Only games that work on it at this point are ironically the XGS ones …

I will be getting a Series X, and hoping that it lasts awhile instead. As for the rest, XCloud is great if you have an Android (many don’t), and GP is great if you can find the cards at a discount (speaking from a “budget” standpoint). Chances are the Series S won’t even have a disk drive, so cannot use if for home movies either, except through a service like Netflix or Disney +. So in the race to be “cheap”, a lot of “budget” functionality isn’t really supported

For the record, I expect Sony to have similar issues with the DE

if the rumored specs are true, Series S shall not hold back the Series X because it’s essentially the same box with a bit smaller RAM, slighty lower clocked CPU and 1/3rd of the GPU power which is perfectly viable for 1080p gaming It shall have the same CPU power, same SSD which are the two major components driving asset streaming and AI and the like. GPU can take a hit because 1080p won’t require the absurd amounts of power to run at 60fps. Also, expect upscaling tech through Machine learning like DirectML (Microsoft’s version of DLSS) so you won’t even need to have native 4k to eventually get 4K gaming. Resolution is one of the biggest criminals when it comes to framerate taking a hit, that’s why that’s the component that shall be gimped while keeping everything else fairly similar to Series X


They are definitely doing alot right. For me i think they only need to improve their marketing and content. The marketing needs to be more widespread and not just reliant on Twitter or gamers. Use the partnerships like Samsung to push things.
Content refers to games. Games that use the full capabilities of the system like back in the days of the first XBOX, where " Only on XBOX " meant it couldn’t be done on any other systems, then you had games like NINJA GAIDEN BLACK ,OTOGI ,BLINX , RIDDICK and many others. I agree Xbox need more studios like WB INTERACTIVE, 4A GAMES, ASTRONAUTS ( WITCHFIRE devs former devs from PEOPLE CAN FLY responsible for BULLET STORM) ASOBO and in S.korea devs like PHANTAGRAM ( KUF SERIES ) SOFTMAX ( dev of MAGNA CARTA 2 ) and MISTWALKER and get Itagaki Tomonobu director of NINJA GAIDEN BLACK in Japan. Like to see something like this Finally I get the argument for console but I don’t think it’s that important atleast i think GAMEPASS can act as not just a netflix like service but more as a platform, there is nothing stopping Microsoft from selling newly released games on GAMEPASS. Basically they can combine the Xbox store with GAMEPASS and sell games even if there not available on the subscription, pretty much making GAMEPASS it’s own platform or the entire Xbox platform.

What if Microsoft includes the Xbox store in GAMEPASS allowing you to buy new games not yet in GAMEPASS and stream them like on STEAM. In other words what if they expand GAMEPASS to be more than just a rental or Netflix service. A service that also allows you to buy newly released content.

Compared to this current gen they will win. Despite all the issues the X1 had it still managed to sell over 50million. Xbox next gen has some fundimental advantages over the competition.

They will have the cheapest and the most powerful systems

They have gamepass

They have a lot better first party.

The biggest advantage sony has is there marketing and army of fans willing to steer the narrative there way on forums, social media and gaming sites. However things are changing and xbox seems to be gaining a lot ground in the social mindshare.

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I am genuinely curious what it is about gamepass that is unappealing about game pass. For me it is the single best service on gaming by far. In the last 2 months I’ve played life is strange 2, the touryst, DMC 5, hellbade and currently Plague Tale innoncence. Aside from dmc5 I loved all of them. I probably wouldn’t have bought any of them if they had been for sale individually (I Strongly dislike body horror and thought Hellbade and plague tale would be too much for me) but Hellbade has become one of my favourite games of the generation. Wasteland 3 is another example of the kind of game which I wouldnt be willing to pay full price for but will gladly try out on the service.

Gamepass is the Xbox killer app. For a new player who is not invested in either system’s IP it undoubtedly makes the Xbox the better option.

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Honestly, I dabble in GP. There is a lack of AAA titles, and the service seems to be heavily reliant on AA software and Indies, as well as some popular 360 titles. Yes, MS AAA is there, which is the only reason I give it the time of day currently. It could be a lot more, but somehow MS has to find that tipping point that makes it more valuable to gamers that play AAA games. I imagine I will get more use out of it the next couple of years, since I won’t have played a good portion of the games on PS4 before they reach the service, as I certainly had this generation

I will only have one console this time, so it should have more “value” to me. Especially since I’m not signing up on a permanent basis. I already have a “more than a years” worth of discounted cards, that should probably last me until sometime in 2022. Deals can be found pretty much anywhere like they were with Plus and Gold

I hope the digital foundry comparisons between the xsx + ps5 get as much attention as they did at the start of this gen.

They won’t, the narrative changed in 2017, for some reason power does not matter anymore as far as the general narrative in gaming.

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Reconstructive techniques have gotten so good that every game should target 1440p or so with 60 fps. I expect almost every game to do as much during the next year, once the developers realize what a waste native 4K actually is. Matt already said to expect that third party games will be virtually identical between the two platforms

Why do I sense this is a narrative Sony are keen to get out there? Plenty of talk from other insiders that there is a substantial difference between the two systems. The PS5 has about 20% less computational power but as it’s using variable clocks it’s even higher a gap than that. I don’t think insider rumours help here. We know there is a substantial power gap. You can’t bridge that and therefore we can for an absolute expect the best version of games on the Series X.