Microsoft’s XBox One X Strategy Is Incredibly Dumb
I’m tempted to write a full post about it, but for now I’ll leave you with this:
“Price is a pretty big issue, and that’s coming out at a premium,” he says, talking about the Xbox One X’s $499 price point. “It’s really targeting the people who already bought an an Xbox One or more likely a PS4, and who are ready to have a second system. The issue I think is that overall, that’s a fairly small market. And they are competing with the Nintendo Switch as an option of the second system. A lot of people who own the PS4 or Xbox One are going for the Switch because the Xbox One really plays the same games as the PS4.”
The odds that the ideal Xbox One X customer does not already own a game console of some kind are incredibly low: Microsoft is aiming to sell these things as either second consoles or upgrades to the sort of people who know the difference between checkerboard and native rendering and who likely already have a PS4 or Xbox One. Plenty of people bought those machines years ago and might have some extra cash burning a hole in their pockets, so it’s not the worst market. The question then becomes how best to spend that money.
The Nintendo Switch makes a perfect second console whether you already have an Xbox One or a PS4. Not only does the handheld side of the equation dramatically expand the sorts of things you can do with your console, but the library of exclusives offers some truly interesting titles you just won’t find anywhere else. True, the lack of third-party support is always going to limit the Switch’s library even as it grows. But that’s less of a problem if you already have an Xbox One or PS4 for all your multiplatform needs. If you’re looking to expand your gaming options with a second console, the Switch offers a much more expansive solution.
If Microsoft’s strategy is for the 1X to compete with the Switch and become a “second console,” they’re going to lose. Consoles get fans and purchases through offering unique games and experiences a consumer cannot get on another console. The 1X has no major “killer app” exclusive games like the Switch does (such as the new Zelda game), and minor graphical improvements are not going to get people to abandon their PS4s. The PS4 is also significantly cheaper than the 1X as well and will have Japanese titles that the 1X won’t.
Why would you buy this console, especially in this economy, when cheaper alternatives with more or better games are available? I struggle to see the logic.