State of the Xbox One
Ever since the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox were released back in 2000 and 2001 respectively, Sony and Microsoft have been at odds, each battle ending with a clear winner crowned. This new era of the 'Console Wars' has been intense and ongoing since these two consoles have been released.
The PS2 destroyed the original Xbox in sales. The PS2 ended up selling over 150 million units compared to the Xbox which only sold over 24 million units. Because of this, Sony had their head held high when they released the PlayStation 3 in 2006.
Microsoft beat Sony to market when they released the Xbox 360 a year earlier than the PlayStation 3. Even though Xbox had a head start, the PS3 had a bumpy beginning after starting their console prices at $499 and $599 compared to the Xbox 360 which was priced at $299 and $399. The price disparity allowed the Xbox take a huge lead in sales, which lead to Microsoft winning this round of the console wars.
This leads us to the current generation: the PlayStation 4 against the Xbox One. Microsoft knew they had the video game aspect of the console in the bag, so they decided to focus on the entertainment side of their new console. Sony knew they had to take back the power, and decided to focus mainly on games and console power, which they did.
PlayStation has easily won this generation due to its exclusive titles as well as confusion over whether or not the Xbox One was meant to be a gaming console or a home media center. We all know that Microsoft have struggled to get the high quality exclusives for Xbox that Sony boasts for its PS consoles. Studios have released many blockbuster games exclusively for the PS4 such as Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, Bloodborne and many more on the way. The Xbox One exclusives include games like like Halo 5, Gears of War 4, Sunset Overdrive, Forza, but not much else.
The PlayStation 4 has already been named the winner of this console generation, with the PS4 sales at 63.3 million against the Xbox One, which has sold 26 million consoles as of the beginning of 2017.
Microsoft have not lived up to their own hype
With the release of the Xbox One X later this year, Microsoft is going after the hardcore players that want the best in graphics and performance without having to buy or build an expensive gaming PC. While there are plenty of games lined up to get the 4K patch to make the experience better on this new console, there isn't much else to play if you want something new.
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In Microsoft's 2017 E3 conference, Forza 7 and Crackdown 3 were the main exclusive games that used the power of Xbox One X. Forza 7 looked amazing, as expected, but Crackdown 3 didn't look too good. Many fans complained that the graphics didn't live up to expectations. If the consumer is supposed to spend $500 on the 'most powerful console ever made' the graphics should be very realistic.
Microsoft have been suffering from a serious lack of quality Xbox exclusive titles. Besides Forza and Crackdown 3, the only other 'exclusives' were indie titles like Cuphead or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Where are the fresh IPs? Where is the next Halo? Where is a brand new game that is going to bring gamers back to the console people want to play?
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What can Microsoft do to bring gamers back to the Xbox franchise?
Backwards Compatibility and Xbox Game Pass are great additions to the console and many gamers spend a lot of time on both of these features. However, I don't want to buy a console just to play old games.
If Xbox wants to bring gamers back to their platform, they need to show more quality games. Yes, people are excited for PC games to be ported to their Xbox One, but that isn't enough. They need to bring fresh IPs to the console. Whether they debut on the Xbox One X or the next console, they need to focus on bringing exciting and high quality titles to their gamers.
I'd love to see a remaster of Banjo Kazooie for the Xbox One X. With the Crash Bandicoot N'Sane Trilogy selling as well as it is and Sonic Mania getting great reviews, it's clear that people want to see the return of these collect-a-thon games. They could either do a remastered version of all the games like Crash Bandicoot, or make a brand new one. We've recently seen that this style of game is in demand.
The Xbox franchise isn't dead... but it needs work
People want to play games on the Xbox One, but if there are no new games, the Xbox will collect dust. Releasing a beefed up Xbox One is a great idea, but how much replayability is in a 3 year old game that's just repackaged with better graphics?
Phil Spencer and the Xbox team at Microsoft need to step it up and prove to both the loyal Xbox fans and gamers everywhere that the Xbox One and Xbox One X are the best consoles to play the best games. If they are unable to do that, they will always be in second place behind PlayStation.