As a gamer, one can’t help but feel sorry for Microsoft’s Xbox One. It’s a console with tremendous potential, great graphics and some killer titles to boot… But has the Xbox One been misunderstood since it launched back in November of 2013?
Marketing is a key component with the launch of any new product. Sony addressed concerns of their target market and designed a gaming console that was developed ‘for gamers by gamers’. It was developer-friendly and catered to the needs of both hardcore and casual gamers, despite not having as many features as its predecessor the PS3. That being said, the Xbox One is also a gaming powerhouse and a more than capable all-in-one entertainment unit. Microsoft heavily marketed their entertainment and TV functionality, which was not Sony’s approach.
Then there was all the drama surrounding digital rights management… The idea of Xbox One being ‘always online’ as well as restrictions on selling used games didn’t get the best reception from the gaming community. From the start Sony pushed the PS4 to be as gamer-friendly as possible, stating that games can be played offline and physical discs can be sold or loaned to a friend without any problems. The first impression is usually the last impression, so even though Microsoft removed the ‘online-only’ requirement and DRM nonsense prior to launch, it was too late. It also didn’t help that the Japanese juggernaut was selling for a $100 less than its arch rival.
Don’t get us wrong – the Xbox One is a fantastic console with some brilliant titles including ‘Titanfall’ and ‘Forza Horizon’ as well as multi-platform games like ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ and ‘Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag’. The issue is that they went about their marketing the wrong way. The Xbox launched a week after the PS4, giving its competitors a decent head-start.
According to Tech Crunch, Xbox One matched the PS4 by selling a million units in just 24 hours. The PS4 as of now has crossed ten million units worldwide, while the Xbox One stands at 5 million as listed by gaming site IGN.
It’s clear from the sales figures that Sony took full advantage of their created hype and cashed in on it. They also benefited from the same multi-platform titles as well as exclusives like ‘inFamous Second Son’ and the re-mastered ‘The Last of Us’.
It has now been nine months since the Xbox One and PS4 launched. Launch fever has worn off and all the early kinks have been taken care of. Who can forget the ‘blue light of death’ that sent many PS4 gamers into a flying rage as their brand-spanking new console became inoperable? Not to mention the disc drive in the Xbox One that came with its own set of problems…
But looking forward, things look bright for Xbox. With a host of exclusive titles that look very promising, it is here that the Xbox One can catch up to the PS4. ‘Forza Horizon 2’ is a great new exclusive for racing fans. According to Prima Games, some of the best upcoming exclusives include: ‘Sunset Overdrive’, ‘Halo 5: Guardians’, ‘Halo: Master Chief Collection’, ‘Quantum Break’ and ‘Crackdown 3’.
Of course, fans on either side will continue to argue that their console is better. And though the PS4 is currently in the lead in terms of worldwide sales that’s not to suggest the Xbox One is doomed for failure. It will continue to sell (with or without the Kinect) and will continue to be a formidable opponent to Sony’s juggernaut.
The battle is far from over!