Xbox Series S - India’s Best-Selling Console in March 2021

Super interesting to see.

The scarcity of competing consoles helps, no doubt - but from the retailer quotes in this article, it seems like xbox might actually be resonating with customers on value prop as well.

“Most of them showed up to buy a PS4,” says one store executive on the condition of anonymity. “When we told them it was out of stock and explained to them what Game Pass is and how many games they get access to, they picked up a Series S instead.”



Interesting news.

I think that it is becoming more and more evident that the Series S has a place in the current console landscape.

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I think Xbox should really up their marketing in regions such as India. It’ll do wonders for them, and give them a lot of new customers. Because it seems like they’re willing to buy a Series S, but only after they found out about just how good Game Pass is and everything.


Gamepass + SS was such an incredible move by the Xbox team.

It’s not even that out of place of what xbone and 1x were on last gen, but better positioned (xbone was weak and ran badly most of the games, SS is a worth next gen machine just targeting a lower resolution) and marketed.

And of course, gamepass also helps because it’s just an insane value at this moment

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You can only focus on India and get 300million userbase. The key is affordability and value for money. Xbox is in a prime position to do this with the PC for India. Not necessarily the consoles.

500 USD for a Series S, 700 USD for a Series X and PS5. Makes zero sense for the regular folk.


The console market will still saturate at 250 million userbase, unless the prices come down for a country like India and other South Asian countries.

I feel - the key has to be a service like Discord offering Gamestore and Gamepass. Easy addition of 100 million userbase.

Cricket 21 is on Gamepass which holds a ton of appeal for a few South Asian countries. Also, xCloud ads are being featured with some phones down there, which is pretty interesting.

The other thing to factor is size, its an incredibly mobile console that fits anywhere, especially in countries where space comes at a premium.

This just goes to show that people arent as loyal as some people think.

Every retailer we spoke to told us that the lack of PS4 and PS5 compelled customers to pick up the Xbox Series S instead. At the same time, February and March had a slew of Xbox-specific announcements such as a wealth of Bethesda titles now on Xbox Game Pass and indies aplenty also showing up on Microsoft’s subscription service both of which they claim, played a role in customers choosing the Xbox Series S.

This part was kinda shocking to me, people went to buy a PS4/5 but no stock so they just bought a Xbox instead. Another thing I remember Phil saying he wants to break in over there, so this is probably music to his ears.

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Basically - it’s all about how much stock can be assigned to a particular country.

Thing is you would think if someone goes in there to buy a PS5 they want a PS5 and not a Xbox, but they seem to be getting whatever is there which is what I find interesting and goes against the whole loyalty thing and locked in ecosystem.

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People really aren’t locked into ecosystem in India. Most of them look for jail break PS4 with bunch a of game bundles. Playstation is just popular as a default gaming system. That’s all.

They would have bought PS if it was available. People even choose between series S and PS4. Clearly they don’t have much info about consoles and only wanna buy the console they know a little about or maybe they know only about playstation.


This is how you can change mindshare and eat away at the competition… availability is important too.

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India is not exactly like Europe or the US where you have a deep history in gaming. Indians are discovering gaming recently with mobile PUBG and so on.

Value matters a lot, and people buy as per value provided. A Series S will have a lot of value if the retailer also knows about Gamepass. No one will be willing to buy an off the shelf game generally as it has never been an India-friendly price.

And - PC gaming still rules, because a PC provides the most value generally.

I saw someone from india say that PC components and laptops are ridiculously expensive at the moment, so it seems like that could be a great opportunity for xbox.

I would really like to see xbox establish brand teams I guess you would call them, in the larger markets around the world. It would do wonders in my opinion if xbox had an Indian equivelant of Major Nelson, and a specific social media team for India, game pass deals that are made for the indian audience specifically, that sort of thing. The xbox social team does a great job, but they cant address all the markets around the world as specifically as they could if they had additional social teams

Let’s say an RTX 3070 costs as much as a Series X here. It will still be considered more valuable. Not due to only tech reasons. India looks at value towards doing something ‘useful’, and gaming is not considered so useful - yet. :slight_smile:

There is a silly management term called ‘reverse innovation’. Meaning - try a new thing in an emerging market and then bring that innovation westwards. It is a very silly term and could have simply be called ‘innovation’.

The reason I bring this up is because you cannot go into India with a patched up strategy. The strategy and application has to be unique for India. This should mean new studios that are specific for Indian gaming. Buy studios if you need to do that, take a backseat, and then watch the innovation happen automatically. This is what Amazon Prime, Disney, and Netflix discovered the hard way.

Amazon Prime is now taking its India product strategy success to the US and other markets in some way.

I really don’t know much about the game developers that are in India, are there many? I cant think of any off the top of my head. It could be a great opportunity to start a game studio or two in India though, I am sure there are a lot of people who are passionate about game development that would be interested

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Ubisoft Pune is doing Prince of Persia, I think.

Rockstar has a studio outlet in Pune – but have heard bad reviews about it.

There are a few indie devs who have started doing interesting work. Raji is one game that I’ve heard of.

I have a much more first principles belief – if you have a good movie industry, chances are that you will have a good gaming dev culture too. However, Poland and India seem to be diametrically opposite to this particular theory of mine.

All we need is that first homegrown spark that can prove inspirational for ppl to start their own console/PC studio. To say that the gaming dev industry is in its infancy would be quite accurate.

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MS still needs to invest heavily in marketing in every region. A short but powerful gamepass commercial that is heavily replayed over and over again to the point it is in every persons mind (Disney did the same with Disney+ to the point that you couldn’t escape their commercial). There’s still so many people who don’t quite understand gamepass and how it works and what it gives you. And the people who do understand how amazing it is are mindblown at how amazing of a service it is. This would be great for parents who aren’t gamers. They understand that subscription model from Netflix, Disney+ and can talk their kids into it for a low price and not worry about buying their kids full priced games repeatedly when they can play so much more for so much less.

I’ve noticed people who, because of PS5 shortage, went with a S cause it was cheap and by accident found out about gamepass and were blown away by it. MS needs that killer worldwide commercial, short and to the point. Show all the ways you can play in a way everyone can understand even parents who aren’t gamers, show the big games that were on and are on, show EA play (fifa, star wars etc.) and all of this for just 10-15 a month. And show all the games from their studios that will be coming. Best value in gaming. And it would be nothing but facts.


Microsoft already has the product and content to dominate in several locations around the world, but marketing is extremely weak outside the US and UK. Series S and Game Pass should have the same effect as 360 in Brazil, but the casual is not even aware of it due to the weak work of Microsoft in the country.