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Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games industry, Microsoft, The Sunday Seven, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

A few weeks ago, Microsoft were fighting a losing battle against the PS4. Every time they said anything via statement or twitter, gamers would become enraged and bewildered at why the company seemed determined to alienate consumers around the world. But then they sobered up ditched the two features of the Xbox One that may have handed an early victory to the PS4 – pre-owned blocking and daily online requirement.

However, is the damage already done? We’re far from writing off the big company yet, just look at how many times they’ve screwed up Windows and survived. So here’s our Sunday Seven on How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

The Exclusives

Just because we’ve only seen the shortest of teasers for Halo 5, doesn’t mean it’s not already a system seller. With 343 Industries exceeding expectations for their debut with Halo 4, fans will be keen to keep in touch with their first next-gen effort.

It’s not all about Halo though. Forza has risen to the top over the years thanks to Gran Turismo’s tardiness and dated career mode and is a much bigger brand for racers to look forward to at launch as opposed to Sony’s unproven DriveClub. Gears of War is another series that we won’t have seen the back of yet, along with Crackdown 3, which we’re expecting to be announced soon.

Titanfall may be ditching a single-player campaign, but it’s certainly caught the net’s attention at E3. Quantum Break on the other hand, well we’ll reserve judgement until we see it in action as the buzzword-heavy dev vids are borderline unwatchable.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

Sports and TV Options WILL be Popular

As much as we moaned about Microsoft going on about sports and TV too much at the reveal, if anything this-gen has taught us, it’s that there’s serious money to be made from them on consoles. Here in the UK, we’ll probably never see a glimpse of half of the US-sports packages which is a shame, as the NFL and NBA are reasonably popular here.

But Sky have already been working with the Xbox 360 so we can expect that to continue and develop. If consumers are able to sign up to sports/TV/movie packages on their Xbox One that are cheaper and more specifically tailored to them than standard sky box deals, they could enable Microsoft to fill that all-in-one criteria that they so desperately covet.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

Monthly Contracts

Look at the price of mobile phones. Have you ever seen anything so ridiculous? Oh yes, people queuing up for two days to buy a flatter one a year later for even more cash. Monthly contracts often provide a free or heavily discounted phone and it’s only a matter of time before consoles wise up to this.

Just because your machine is more expensive than the competition, doesn’t mean you can’t be a front-runner. Apple’s success being a prime example. A monthly fee would potentially be more attractive than a large initial purchase. Premium TV providers could get in on this too.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

The Controller

People become set in their ways and many gamers prefer Microsoft’s alternate stick placement ahead of Sony’s traditional Dual Analogue design. While the design has only been tweaked slightly, with the bumper buttons seeing the biggest change, the classic design remains the same. Although the battery pack doesn’t stick out as much anymore, this was definitely a smart move.

Enhanced rumble features are something we’re yet to experience ourselves, but each trigger having its own motor sounds great for receiving feedback, especially for racing or shooting games. Considering Microsoft’s controller doesn’t even have a name, it’s doing mighty well for itself. Go on Microsoft; give the poor fella a name.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen
Microsoft Will Advertise the Hell Out of It

You have to hand it to Microsoft, they know how to shove a product in your face. From Windows 7 (yay) and Windows 8 (boo), Kinect, consoles and tablets you’re never far away from a TV ad. They do a great job with games too, with particularly memorable Halo 3’s ‘Believe’ and Gears of War’s ‘Mad World’ trailers.

Compare this to Sony’s continually baffling series of trailers, such as the This is Living campaign around the PS3 and you often struggle to see what the hell Sony are thinking. Microsoft will have a tougher battle on their hands this time as Sony have a huge head start in advertising to the gamer crowd on the internet as they’ve just been reaffirming all the good parts in the face of Microsoft’s initial kamikaze approach.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

Most Consumers Won’t Have Witnessed Microsoft’s Evil Side

Now Microsoft has wised up and ditched the pre-owned restrictions and daily-online requirement, the bile built up over the last few months and during E3 will have subsided. The more casual crowd that enjoyed their 360s and fancy the new console may not have even heard about Microsoft’s initial plans to shaft them.

Staff in stores like Game will be able to allay any fears they have or set them straight on any pre-owned restrictions they vaguely recall hearing about months before. But Microsoft don’t allow indies to self-publish? Do you think gamers that mainly buy FIFA/Madden and Call of Duty each year really give a fuck about that? People that were happy with their 360s and aren’t too bothered about the price difference will probably just opt to stick with the brand they had before, especially when the big games they enjoy are multiplatform anyway.

Sunday Seven: How the Xbox One Could Win Next-Gen

You Need to Pay to Play Both Consoles Online Now

Sony sheepishly revealed that they too would also be charging gamers to play games online for next-gen. Admittedly, this doesn’t include all free-to-play games as the likes of Planetside 2 and DC Universe Online will be exempt.

It would be stupid to suggest that Sony don’t currently offer far more value for money with PlayStation Plus as it works across all devices, has better (and more) free games and discounts and so on, but Microsoft must be planning on a decent response. Yes?

At E3 they announced that they’d be giving away a few games each month, although the first batch of titles has been a letdown there’s a good chance that they have some better plans for subscribers on the Xbox One. There’s no way they can afford to let Sony keep showing them up each month with such generous freebies.

If not more free games, we could see something along the line of free (or at least discounted fees) extra services like Netflix or sport packages. If Microsoft aren’t to improve their offerings, lowering the price to £15-£20 could undercut Sony’s £40 fee and see them able to boast about being cheaper.

Well that’s the list. Admittedly, it may have gotten a little optimistic towards the end there but hey, it’s the Sunday Seven, not the Sunday Six. What do you reckon Microsoft’s chances are of maintaining domination of the console market next-generation? We’ll be back soon with the Sunday Seven and examine Sony’s chances of winning the title too.

Add a comment23 comments
GetsugaTenshoS  Jun. 30, 2013 at 20:46

No need for that Win 8 boo, Windows 8 is a great OS that's easier to use than Windows 7.

I don't doubt that MS will do well but Sony has always done well outside of the US. In the UK especially Sony seem to do pretty well.

Xbox 360 dominated early this gen but Sony have managed to catch up and do fairly well. Casual gamers, sports fans and people who watch a lot of movies especially seem to love Playstation.

From what we know so far, I think Sony will edge out over MS early this coming generation. At the the start of it I think Sony will do a fair bit better since they have seemingly allocated a higher number of consoles to retailers for launch.

I don't see there being a clear cut winner next gen overall though. Both have people loyal to those brands, both will have lots of advertising surrounding them and both will offer things that interest people.

aspaceman  Jun. 30, 2013 at 21:05

Ill informed blog, nonsensical and out of touch with true gamers thoughts

Are you a game journalist or someone on GCSE work experience?

kmcroc  Jun. 30, 2013 at 21:16

We (MS) Shall over come any & all obstacles even those provide ourselves, for we shall over come any foe. As for winning that is most definite occurrence.

Last edited by kmcroc, Mar. 11 at 14:08
JoeDark64  Jun. 30, 2013 at 22:29

Nice article.

You mentioned that most consumers won't have witnessed MS evil side. I am not sure this is entirely accurate.

Already over the last couple of days a friend of mine who is much more of a casual gamer was telling me that his mates at work had reserved the PS4 and that there was no point getting the X1 as it won't play second hand games. This kind of information, although now inaccurate, will be difficult to wind back from the larger markets perceptions.

If MS announce a price point equal or lower than the PS4 with the proviso of subscribing for two (or more) years to XBLive this could be a real winner. Rightly or wrongly people are fixated with the lower price point. I remember the days of selling the PSP at launch and customers of having either the base PSP or the Value Pack model. For a small cost extra customers would get a case, memory card and headphones. This Value Pack was a significantly better deal than buying the items separately yet even on the launch day with informed early-adopters we sold the Base Pack hand over fist.

I can't help but think in the opening round that Sony will have the advantage as customers will be fixated by a lower (even if it arguably less value) price point.

bggriffiths  Jul. 1, 2013 at 00:34

Ill informed blog, nonsensical and out of touch with true gamers thoughts

Are you a game journalist or someone on GCSE work experience?


If you think 'true gamers' make up the majority of numbers for consoles/games sold, you're off your meds.

hakesterman  Jul. 1, 2013 at 02:12

[quote]No need for that Win 8 boo, Windows 8 is a great OS that's easier to use than Windows 7.


I wouldn't give you a Wooden Nickel for Windows 8, worst Operating software ever created.

socialjeebus  Jul. 1, 2013 at 02:44

The one thing that repeatedly fails to get mentioned in these type of "console war" comparisons is that the Xbone won't be getting released in Asia (and Africa and even Latin America bar Brazil and Mexico) until late 2014 and even then it may need to be radically altered (the Koreans wouldn't allow location data to be used by the PS Vita - so they're going to have a field with the new Kinect).

MS have even suggested that if you import the console it will still be region-locked (unlike the PS4) so no go there either.

That's a huge advantage to hand-over to Sony.
And to add to that the Xbone just seems so heavily targeted at the US / Canada market. 

While you quite rightly state that the UK is unlikely to see most of the TV services (I don't believe the demand is necessarily there either), most of the world will never benefit from any of the TV services due to the complexities involved. 

Another thing on the exclusives, by default Sony will, over time, have a far greater suite of "exclusives" unless MS come to their senses over indie titles.

This week I got Hotline Miami on Vita (an awesome game on any platform) but the ability to play on my commute on my vita and then continue my save game on my PS3 when I get home is a huge plus.

As someone who travels on business regularly (generally 4 hour+ flights too) this feature is a boon and I'm hoping it'll translate across to future cross-platform titles too.

But back to the exclusives, Xbox needs a strong exclusive launch to justify the additional price point. 

In the near future however, when titles like Uncharted 4, GT6, The Last of Us 2 (too early?), Yakuza 6 (I know we haven't had five yet but here's hoping), Heavy Rain 2, etc drop the exclusives issue will become more about then taste and quality as opposed to quantity (Ryse looks truly abysmal).

It's interesting to note too how little coverage was given to the PS3 exclusive content for Batman Arkham Origins and the exclusive GTA V PS3 bundle relative to the EA exclusive DLC announcement. I also wonder what effect the DRM "u-turn" has on its strategic partnership with EA (any denial that the two were related is complete BS imo) and whilst the exclusive DLC will be locked in for the already announced titles it may not be the case for 2014 releases.

Last edited by socialjeebus, Jul. 1, 2013 at 04:03
john123321  Jul. 1, 2013 at 07:05


It's interesting to note too how little coverage was given to the PS3 exclusive content for Batman Arkham Origins and the exclusive GTA V PS3 bundle relative to the EA exclusive DLC announcement. I also wonder what effect the DRM "u-turn" has on its strategic partnership with EA (any denial that the two were related is complete BS imo) and whilst the exclusive DLC will be locked in for the already announced titles it may not be the case for 2014 releases.


^ All those games blow

john123321  Jul. 1, 2013 at 07:06


In the near future however, when titles like Uncharted 4, GT6, The Last of Us 2 (too early?), Yakuza 6 (I know we haven't had five yet but here's hoping), Heavy Rain 2, etc drop the exclusives issue will become more about then taste and quality as opposed to quantity (Ryse looks truly abysmal).




^ *Those ones*

DrTrouserPlank  Jul. 1, 2013 at 07:44

I think the only thing that the XBone can steal a march on is the exclusives, but this won't last forever. Sony's first party studios tend to output higher quality exclusives in the long run, and they continue to produce output for the duration of the console's life. MS' exclusives tend to dry up as the console ages.

TDR2  Jul. 1, 2013 at 08:52

"Here in the UK, we’ll probably never see a glimpse of half of the US-sports packages which is a shame, as the NFL and NBA are reasonably popular here."

Erm, no, They are not. Pretty much zero coverage in the UK. Everyone wants real Football - plus Rugby, Cricket, etc...

socialjeebus  Jul. 1, 2013 at 12:58


In the near future however, when titles like Uncharted 4, GT6, The Last of Us 2 (too early?), Yakuza 6 (I know we haven't had five yet but here's hoping), Heavy Rain 2, etc drop the exclusives issue will become more about then taste and quality as opposed to quantity (Ryse looks truly abysmal).




Wow really?

They all blow?

Even Last of Us (which even MS acknowledged)?

Heavy Rain and Uncharted blew?

Besides The Witcher 2, Gears of War and Halo - what Xbox exclusives matched / bettered any of them?

Fable 2 was pretty decent. (Fable 3 was poor).

Forza was good but touch and go as whether or not it was better than GT5.

Then there's others I forgot to mention such as LBP, Resistance and God of War.

Taking a look at this generation's exclusives;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_exclusives_(seventh_generation)

I know which list I'd rather have.







^ *Those ones*

irratable  Jul. 1, 2013 at 14:17


In the near future however, when titles like Uncharted 4, GT6, The Last of Us 2 (too early?), Yakuza 6 (I know we haven't had five yet but here's hoping), Heavy Rain 2, etc drop the exclusives issue will become more about then taste and quality as opposed to quantity (Ryse looks truly abysmal).




Wow really?

They all blow?

Even Last of Us (which even MS acknowledged)?

Heavy Rain and Uncharted blew?

Besides The Witcher 2, Gears of War and Halo - what Xbox exclusives matched / bettered any of them?

Fable 2 was pretty decent. (Fable 3 was poor).

Forza was good but touch and go as whether or not it was better than GT5.

Then there's others I forgot to mention such as LBP, Resistance and God of War.

Taking a look at this generation's exclusives;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_exclusives_(seventh_generation)

I know which list I'd rather have.







^ *Those ones*
You're opinion blows too.

Kamille  Jul. 1, 2013 at 14:43

if the Xbox 360 with a year head-start, lower price point and more games couldn't win against the PS3 when it had the most issues I don't think there is any way the XB1 could win against the PS4 with lower price-point and both launching at the same time. Maybe in North America it can win but the rest of the world will be PlayStation.

playboi27  Jul. 1, 2013 at 15:28

[quote]No need for that Win 8 boo, Windows 8 is a great OS that's easier to use than Windows 7.


I wouldn't give you a Wooden Nickel for Windows 8, worst Operating software ever created.


You clearly don't remember Windows ME.

Late  Jul. 1, 2013 at 17:00

aspaceman "Ill informed blog, nonsensical and out of touch with true gamers thoughts
Are you a game journalist or someone on GCSE work experience?
"

john123321 "all those games blow"

irratable "You're opinion blows too."

Welcome to dealspwn. :D
Always nice to see new members!*


Nice article, Brendan - though I think some of the arguments don't hold a great deal of water.

The Exclusives
MS's exclusives will definitely influence a lot of purchases. So will Sony's, though. I'm xbox current gen, and tbh the exclusives on both sides look good. Would love to have both, but if I'm picking one it's hard to say either side wins by any great margin on that front.

Sports and TV Options WILL be Popular
If they do it right it could absolutely be massive. If I could get rid of my sky subscription and sky box and pay a monthly fee to Microsoft (who then pay a proportion over to Sky) and my total monthly bill goes down then of course I'm interested.

Monthly Contracts
I'm surprised we didn't see this announced at E3, to be honest. The rumours had been around for a long while that there'd be two ways to buy - with one of them being a cheap console but a commitment to pay a subscription.

The Controller
That controller really does look (and sound like) it's got the ps4 controller beat hands down. I'm leaning toward Sony next gen, but the xb1 controller looks like it's improved on a fantastic design whereas the ps4 controller looks like it's added a nonsensical touchpad to a reasonable design. As a result the difference between the two consoles' respective controllers looks to have opened from a gap to a gulf.

Microsoft Will Advertise the Hell Out of It
Their adverts last gen definitely made more sense than Sonys, lol. I imagine we're on a level playing field now, though - it could easily go either way.

Most Consumers Won’t Have Witnessed Microsoft’s Evil Side
Too true. With casual gamers and uninformed parents making up a massive proportion of the buying public they can easily get away with the negatives they've suffered lately. The evils we've seen in recent weeks won't affect most of those people.

You Need to Pay to Play Both Consoles Online Now
Not really a point in favour of Microsoft, more a levelling a of the playing field (but you did sort of note that point was weak, yourself).

One thing that I'm loving on the xb1 that you haven't mentioned there is the "snap" feature. Voicing a request to see the internet or tv and having it come up in a pane on the side of the screen while you continue playing sounds great. (You could argue PIP did it first. I'd argue this does it so much better it's a different ball game.

*Don't ask me how sarcastic that is. I'm as confused as you. It's definitely good when new people contribute, but it's a stretch to say those posts actually contribute!
I wonder if the IP addresses for those three posts all differ. Not that it matters, really...

socialjeebus  Jul. 1, 2013 at 17:06

New members hey, where will they learn their manners?

Last edited by socialjeebus, Jul. 1, 2013 at 17:09
BlackSteel  Jul. 1, 2013 at 17:57

Great article. Finally someone is talking sense. Keep up the good work.

Adster  Jul. 3, 2013 at 15:17


Sports and TV Options WILL be Popular
If they do it right it could absolutely be massive. If I could get rid of my sky subscription and sky box and pay a monthly fee to Microsoft (who then pay a proportion over to Sky) and my total monthly bill goes down then of course I'm interested.


I'm confident enough to state there is zero chance of that happening.

Anarchist  Jul. 3, 2013 at 15:39

One thing that I'm loving on the xb1 that you haven't mentioned there is the "snap" feature. Voicing a request to see the internet or tv and having it come up in a pane on the side of the screen while you continue playing sounds great. (You could argue PIP did it first. I'd argue this does it so much better it's a different ball game.


I could argue that teletext did it first :\

Late  Jul. 3, 2013 at 15:54

I'm confident enough to state there is zero chance of that happening.

I know what you mean - I'd say it's extremely unlikely. But if it did they'd win a lot of customers. And it's remotely possible - both Microsoft and Sky have the financial clout and the modus operadi when it comes to offering discounts up front on a contract to secure future earnings.

I could argue that teletext did it first :\

Heh - fair call. You could argue buying the TV Times and a roll of sellotape did it first, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
And I still say the xbone does it better :P

Anarchist  Jul. 3, 2013 at 17:07

I could argue that teletext did it first :\

Heh - fair call. You could argue buying the TV Times and a roll of sellotape did it first, but we have to draw the line somewhere.
And I still say the xbone does it better :P


Yes, I once snapped the TV times to the Beano. I never missed a single gnashing while checking to see what was on the new fangled Channel 4!

Late  Jul. 3, 2013 at 17:56

Damn, do Microsoft have a suggestions box?

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