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Bloomberg: "Microsoft’s Xbox Game Plan Has Big Problems"

Raziel

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Jun 19, 2007
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The software giant’s strategy to roll out two new versions of its gaming console isn’t going to displace Sony at the top.

So, what is Microsoft trying to do with its new strategy? With the two-pronged device offering, the company is hoping it can gain share by attracting hard-core gamers — who crave the best performance — with the Xbox Series X, while also accommodating the casual, price-sensitive customers with the cheaper Xbox Series S. Microsoft also plans to emphasize its Game Pass service, which gives its subscribers affordable access to a library of more than 100 games for a $10 monthly fee.

Microsoft’s plan may seem to make sense on paper, but it has several big flaws. First, the naming convention is a confusing mess. One can imagine the poor store sales clerk, who has to explain the differences between the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and the prior generation’s Xbox One S to the average consumer. In contrast, Sony’s proposition of PlayStation 5 as being much more powerful than the PlayStation 4 is a more concise message. Second, and more importantly, success in the video-game industry has always been about which company can offer the best, exclusive gaming experiences.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, its new hardware strategy doesn’t fix this deficiency, where it lags far behind its Japanese competitor. Simply, the Sony PlayStation’s lineup of exclusive franchises is unparalleled. This year, the game maker has already generated record-breaking sales numbers for its original games such as Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima, presaging further strong results for those franchises. And Sony has already announced upcoming PlayStation 5 titles in key series such as Horizon, Gran Turismo and Spiderman. Microsoft’s lineup doesn’t have the same cachet. To add insult to injury, the company’s anchor title for its next-generation console launch, Halo Infinite, was recently delayed to next year on the back of development complications.

The existence of a cheaper Xbox console may be a critical problem in itself. Earlier this year, a Sony executive said his company believes “in generations.” What he meant was that by launching games specifically designed for the high-performance PlayStation 5, Sony could attract gamers with releases that take full advantage of the advanced technical capabilities and features of the new console. Therein lies the negative consequence of releasing the under-powered Xbox Series S console, which has one-third the graphics performance of the Series X. The inexpensive console’s anemic horsepower will force developers to dumb down their games to work on the lowest-common denominator device. That means Sony’s games will likely have better visuals and more immersive gaming worlds versus the Xbox counterparts.





 

eyesabitdull

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May 10, 2020
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The whole she-bang about how this won't affect games across the board for the Xbox brand is pretty damn naive if the games are expected to run from X1, all the way to XSEX, without a hitch.

"But bu- scaling is easy these days" - yeah, okay, sure.
 

ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
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I mean they arenr wrong, sadly MS first parties never hold a candle to nintendo or sonys. Hopefully they fix that issue but itll be a few years. You think they would have thought of this this generation
I could argue that they did hold pretty well with Sony and Nintendo first-party at Xbox 360 generation.

Halo and Gears had more success than most franchises on Nintendo and Sony.
 

Maxwell Jacob Friedman

leads to fear. Fear leads to xbox.
Aug 13, 2020
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I could argue that they did hold pretty well with Sony and Nintendo first-party at Xbox 360 generation.

Halo and Gears had more success than most franchises on Nintendo and Sony.
A generation ago they held well but as usual the last two years of the 360 life brought nothing and as usual sony brought their A game from middle to end and finished strong. MS has never finished a generation strong and always seem to lag behind as the race goes on, sadly this gen it seemed like they didnt even make it out of the gage and you'd think after all this time they would have rectified their way of thinkinf and launch their next gen console with some solid content, whilst things like forza, fable, state of decay, sacrifice 2 are left in the air with cgi trailers and lonnnngggg TBD's

those franchises have HAD success, but those pillars havent been strong this gen as they were last gen. Sony and nintendo have generally been more consistent than ms
 

Abriael_GN

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Why won't anyone think of the poor mainstream journalists who have to make an effort to understand LETTERS?!

With more and more mainstream publications paying attention to games due to the fact that they're big business nowadays, the amount of absolutely inane "opinions" lacking the most basic expertise from journalists completely out of touch with gaming seems to be multiplying.

This is a perfect example of that.
 

ZehDon

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Jun 13, 2013
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If we're comparing Cross Gen titles, then sure. There's a reason Halo Infinite looked as bad as it did.

But, if we're comparing next-gen only titles - that is, titles built to scale within a single generation... *looks at Xbox One S running Red Dead Redemption 2 at lower resolutions and fidelity and Xbox One X running Red Dead Redemption 2 at higher resolutions and fidelity* I don't know, seems to go ok to me?
 

longdi

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
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:pie_roffles:

This piece written by a Sony fanboy? Because points mentioned are what the Sony discord have been regurgitating. :messenger_clapping:

Too much emphasis on first party advantage. How much weightage of first party sales to hardware sales? 15-20%? Series S can lose that figure for the other half.

Multiplatform games will still work well on all platforms. Sure developers will have to work harder, imo thats a fair point.
 

quest

Not Banned from OT
Jul 17, 2004
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Yes the series s is totally the reason that obsidian entertainment could not get a sky rim like rpg in 2 years. That playground could not open a new studio and push out a new fable in 2 years. That those guys at inexile could not finish waste land 3 and a new AAA rpg in 2 years. Get the fuck out of here with this crap. The ones to blame for the game shortage is the Microsoft board for not giving the xbox division money to rebuild its studios until 2018. Maybe next we can make an article to blame cancer and earthquakes on the series s.
 

NullZ3r0

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Jun 8, 2017
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That piece sounded like a PS5 advertisement. You can bet the ranch that this is some corporate stooge writing a puff piece. Tae Kim. :messenger_tears_of_joy: You can't tell me he doesn't have contacts at Sony and one of them called in a favor. This shit happens all the time in politics and business.

Somebody's got a nice interview with Jim Ryan lined up in the next few weeks. A reward for a job well done.
 

Katajx

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May 23, 2020
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That’s a hit piece if I ever read one. I didn’t know the Series S only has 10GB of ram.
 

bender

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As someone who has been with the Xbox since day one, the more concerning thing to me has been their late generation support. They cut the life short on the Xbox because of a terrible contact with NVidia that never allowed them to be aggressive with price drops. The 360 got bogged down chasing after the Wii market-share with Kinect. The Xbox One has been pretty barren as well and that's not even taking into consideration that their first party efforts throughout this generation have been lacking. Coming out of the blocks slowly with a new console is worrisome when they've historically never finished the race.
 
Aug 28, 2019
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As someone who has been with the Xbox since day one, the more concerning thing to me has been their late generation support. They cut the life short on the Xbox because of a terrible contact with NVidia that never allowed them to be aggressive with price drops. The 360 got bogged down chasing after the Wii market-share with Kinect. The Xbox One has been pretty barren as well and that's not even taking into consideration that their first party efforts throughout this generation have been lacking. Coming out of the blocks slowly with a new console is worrisome when they've historically never finished the race.

Yeah, I feel the same. I was the most pro-XBOX guy around when I skulked the Rotten Tomatoes video game forums (RIP) until about... 2010? When all of a sudden all the good exclusives were on PS3 and 360 seemingly gave up or gave us truly lackluster offerings like Crackdown 2 or Gears of War 2.
 

Abriael_GN

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If the principal engine programmer of id software says it’s going to be a problem, then it’s damn well going to be a problem. Doom Eternal is the best looking 60fps game on current gen consoles.

For each dev moaning because they have to work a bit harder on optimization, there are 10 celebrating because their games are gonna get into more hands with the entry bar for next-gen lower.

Incidentally, his rebuttal to the PC argument feels weak. PC games have had multiple texture resolutions for ages.
 
Aug 28, 2019
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For each dev moaning because they have to work a bit harder on optimization, there are 10 celebrating because their games are gonna get into more hands with the entry bar for next-gen lower.

Incidentally, his rebuttal to the PC argument feels weak. PC games have had multiple texture resolutions for ages.

Your rebuttal to his rebuttal is weak. Some games release with high res texture packs separate, that's only one piece of the puzzle.
 

Abriael_GN

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Your rebuttal to his rebuttal is weak. Some games release with high res texture packs separate, that's only one piece of the puzzle.

There are plenty of games that have multiple texture resolutions or multiple levels of compressions out of the box. That's just fact.

Apparently the principal engine programmer at id Software has never heard of texture resolution options?

I guess when your game doesn't look all that great, you don't need that.
 
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Ozzy Onya A2Z

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As someone who has been with the Xbox since day one, the more concerning thing to me has been their late generation support. They cut the life short on the Xbox because of a terrible contact with NVidia that never allowed them to be aggressive with price drops. The 360 got bogged down chasing after the Wii market-share with Kinect. The Xbox One has been pretty barren as well and that's not even taking into consideration that their first party efforts throughout this generation have been lacking. Coming out of the blocks slowly with a new console is worrisome when they've historically never finished the race.

I think that really changed with Xbox One X and Xbox One S then continued with BC and GP, recent years have seen a dramatic change. You also have to hold Xbox in higher regard for OS/QoL updates over Ninty or Sony. Xbox Live features are brilliant, the console OS is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was at and the insider programs for the OS and games is really well iterated and supported now. Xbox has not faltered with ID@Xbox, crossplay, BC or GP and they deserve kudos for that level of support.

A big one for me is similar to this, Aussie population to region match in games and have fairer online multiplayer or quality PvE gaming. The Xbox install base really needs to ramp way up locally for me. Crossplay and GP Ultimate/PC is a great counter to getting more local players into my Xbox game matchmaking but that does not entirely remove the issues of selling more and supporting longer.
 
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