How Microsoft Can Gain an Edge with the Next-Generation Xbox. : ThyBlackMan





( Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console is reportedly coming in 2020. If it happens, the company will likely announce the next-gen Xbox at E3 2019. Codenamed Xbox Scarlett, the new console will be the successor to the world’s most powerful console, the Xbox One X. In 90’s Microsoft was known for its dominance in software space. Things started to change when the company introduced the first Xbox console, and later released highly popular Xbox 360.

While the Xbox 360 put Microsoft in a position where the company was competing with Sony PlayStation, the release of Xbox One in 2013 wasn’t as solid as its predecessor. Finally, Microsoft identified the issues and made some significant changes in its policies. Today, the Xbox One is in a strong position, thanks to the features like backwards compatibility, PC and console crossplay, and the Play Anywhere initiative.

In a separate post, we have mentioned why Sony PlayStation will continue to rule the console market in 2018, but we see a possible change coming. Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console can beat Sony, here’s how.

More first-party and third-party titles

With the next-generation Xbox console, Microsoft will address many challenges it is facing at present. The company lacks a wide selection of first-party games for its Xbox One and Xbox One X. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening now. If you don’t know, all the games that run on Xbox One are playable on the Xbox One X, as there’s no separate selection of games available on either console.

Microsoft has promised that the company is acquiring five more studios for first-party titles, but it doesn’t solve the problem players are facing right now. Microsoft has struggled a lot in selling its console in the beginning, particularly the Xbox One. With its next-generation Xbox, the company wouldn’t want to put itself in the same position as it was at the time of the Xbox One release.

Microsoft’s E3 2018 show was focused on the lineup of first and third-party games coming to the current generation consoles and PC. The company didn’t explicitly said anything about the consoles of the new generation, but Xbox chief Phil Spencer acknowledged that the hardware team is working on something he called “next Xbox consoles.” So, should we expect more than one console offerings from Microsoft? Well, there aren’t clear updates available on this part, but the new console (or consoles) has a codename “Scarlett” like how Microsoft used to mention Project Scorpio while talking about the Xbox One X.

Overseas marketing

For the next-generation Xbox Microsoft should focus on promoting their console outside of the US and UK. They are not putting strong efforts like Sony and that’s one of the biggest reasons Sony is ruling the gaming space outside of these two countries. Sony is a well-known electronics brand in other countries. Sony’s hardware products have a very different reputation than Microsoft’s hardware offerings.

Needless to mention that it was not only Nokia that pushed Microsoft’s Windows Phones further, but people also expected Microsoft to deliver a stronger platform than Android, at least something at the level of the Blackberry OS. They failed there. Microsoft’s dull marketing strategy in countries other than the UK and the US is one of the major reasons why Sony is ruling the console space worldwide.

Xbox-specific strategy

One more step Microsoft must consider is saving Xbox from being killed by PC. Their Play Anywhere program is good, but it kills the reason to buy Xbox One when most of those (limited) first-party titles are available on PC. To play Sony’s exclusive PlayStation games, you have no other choice than buying a PlayStation console. It’s the same case with the Xbox One games, but again it comes down to the quantity and quality of games.

Microsoft is now paying attention to this particular area and it’s commendable. Phil Spencer is doing exactly what fans have been waiting for. Support from CEO Satya Nadella also played a major role in bringing positive changes during the last couple of years. Microsoft is acquiring more studios to fill the gap, but if you look at sales charts, you will notice that it’s not always the first-party games that top the list. Some of the most played and most sold games are third-party titles. If you own a PS4, you probably know that there are some games, not too many, but still the major ones, that have exclusive content for Sony’s consoles.

Promoting hardware power

Choosing a platform where your friends are is the key reason behind every purchase. Backwards compatibility, native 4K support are the key advantages of choosing the Xbox One over PlayStation 4. Microsoft is also working on a Netflix-style subscription model which is going to be a great service in the coming days. With that, Microsoft should also focus on emphasizing the hardware power it has added to the Xbox One X. With the next-generation Xbox consoles, we hope to see Microsoft paying attention to these key areas.

Staff Writer; Corey Shaw

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