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Official Xbox: Series X | Series S Thread


Mister Pink

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Jason

One of the reasons they picked Hi-Fi Rush for PS5 was, as they publicly discussed, it can help them make more games like it. Then they shut down the studio that made it after they finished the ports.

 

Rough.

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Agent Edward
Posted (edited)

Man, what the f*ck is going on with Xbox recently? I can't help but feel like they're boycotting themselves on purpose, get rid of Phil Spencer before he leads this division to its ultimate downfall for Christ's sake.

 

This is poor management at it's finest example.

Edited by Agent Edward
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Jason

Arkane Austin was inevitable, Redfall was an AAA mega flop. It's likely some of that team will be folded into another Austin based Bethesda studio, fingers crossed for everyone there anyway.

 

The other two I dunno much about, Alpha Dog games was a small mobile studio that wasn't up to much, so it's not super surprising if still gutting for the people who work there.

 

Roundhouse games was a small indie/AA studio that as acquired after their last game released in an unusual manner, but don't have any games on their record since. They were folded into Zenimax Online, who handle Elder Scrolls Online.

 

The shock and one no one saw coming was Tango. Hi-Fi Rush reportedly didn't do well financially (sales / GP impressions) which is a big shame, and the location of the studio (Japan) probably made it difficult for it to be folded into anything else, as MS don't have a strong presence in Japan. But given they keep saying they wanna build that presence in Japan... yea lol.

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lndex

Yeah, this quote as well...yikes.

 

 

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Matrelith

image.png.350532c7270a7e7181a1720fc584f4b6.png

 

Imagine owning the studio that sold 2 million copies of a brand new IP within a month, that launched with basically zero dollars advertising costs and then shutting it down 15 months later. 

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LongHairedFreakyGuy

Microsoft really are just shooting themselves in the foot right now these past few months. First it was all this talk of multiple exclusives going to other consoles, which we saw begin with the likes of Grounded and Hi-fi etc, and now this. Dishonored, Prey, The Evil Within, Hi-fi Rush etc, all likely now gone. 

 

Sorry, but it's about time even the biggest Xbox fan boys start to question what's going on. Xbox has become Gamepass, and that's it. 

 

 

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Jason
14 minutes ago, LongHairedFreakyGuy said:

Xbox has become Gamepass, and that's it. 

 

I'm speculating but it's entirely possible that isn't even the sole focus anymore honestly. Shutting down Tango may be the first sign of that. They're still gonna support GP ofc, but their potential customerbase is just not big enough because Xbox hardware tanked and PC GP hasn't taken off like a rocket. They need PS sales, just like any other publisher needs PC sales nowadays.

 

The multi platform future is inevitable for everyone except Nintendo and that's just a simple fact at this point. AAA PS/XB/PC experiences are simply too expensive to develop only to release on one just the one console - look at the latest FF7 remake for example, it's undersold cause it was PS5 only day 1.

 

Microsoft's problem is they're making this course correction as a platformer holder, which is gonna burn their relationship with the Xbox warriors. In the end Xbox 1st party will only benefit from having access to the PS installbase though.

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LongHairedFreakyGuy

How do you get those sales when the brand is failing though? As @Mister Pinktouched on, the marketing for Xbox right now is absolutely terrible, touching upon no existent. The only real Xbox marketing I see is from the Game Pass account on X, and I'm sorry but putting an image up with 5 really obscure titles on it just doesn't really do it anymore. In real life, I never hear anyone talk about Xbox anymore, as apposed to some years back when all you heard about was Hall, Forza, Gears etc. Hell, Xbox was the place to be purely for the online, as it offered the best experience out of the big 3. Everyone I knew had the 360 over the PS3, but since then, it's all about PlayStation and Nintendo again. Halo fell off, Forza fell off, and it doesn't help that the most hyped about titles weren't exactly console sellers either. There's a massive difference between 'it's actually not a bad game' to 'sh*t I need that console to play X game', and that's where the other 2 are winning right now. Hell, even the biggest Xbox fan accounts on X are sh*tting on it right now. 

 

I love competition in the gaming scene, don't get me wrong, but Microsoft just really aren't helping themselves in any way whatsoever. 

 

I remember seeing a Reddit thread where someone asked why people should buy a Series Console, and honestly every answer was either Gamepass or Backwards Compatability. 

 

Another reason for me actually wanting the Series X was because I got in to all the hype for the upcoming titles, but even they seem to have dropped off the radar. Perfect Dark, anyone? Saying that, Fable 4 could be an amazing title if done correctly. 

 

 

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Jason
10 hours ago, LongHairedFreakyGuy said:

How do you get those sales when the brand is failing though?

 

There are reasons why clawing back hardware sales are difficult, which is the issue they're facing. The generation they lost, which had nothing to do with Spencer, was a real bad one to lose. People are now very sticky with their platform of choice.

 

Microsoft's approach for the past few years was to become service driven - aka Games Pass - but now it's seemingly to become a hybrid of software and service, while also offering hardware options. More PC like, more Steam like.

 

The issue they face is like I said, their warrior fans adapting to this. It'll otherwise work for them in the long term.

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Mister Pink

I haven't had much time or will to game and the recent news has been a bit of a downer. But, got in the mood and the sale had pretty good options. I bought the Ori collection for €16. For some strange reason all my data and everything to do with the first time I played it, disappeared. There is no evidence whatsoever I played it before. Bizarre. I played it on GP originally and never finished it. I really enjoyed it. I'm back to where I was, about halfway through the game. I also bought Hellblade which I also played on GP. It was about €7. I put it down when I got stuck at a fight. I managed to get past it last night. I want to finish both games. Sick of starting games and not finishing them. I think I'm done with Game Pass in general.  I do like to own my games. Great thing about GP was I was able to take a risk and play Ori and Hellblade - both games I otherwise probably wouldn't have bought before. Ori is great and I thought Hellblade is OK but I'm actually thinking now it's better than OK. It's quite good. 

 

Will I get GP again? Yes, but only a few months here and there just to sample the buffet. If there's something I like, I'll buy it. 

 

I agree with @Jason that Xbox is going after more than GP and multiplat is the future. I think Xbox has taken the move first with Hi-Fi Rush and SoT. This will only force Sony to do the same. Sony has basically been doing everything Xbox does eventually anyway. Remember Xbox games going to PC was this Sony fanboy "gotcha?" There were asking what is the point in owning an Xbox? Well, now PS games come to PC. Granted, PS games aren't day and date which gives Sony the 'exclusivity' edge over Xbox. 

 

On 5/7/2024 at 3:27 PM, Jason said:

One of the reasons they picked Hi-Fi Rush for PS5 was, as they publicly discussed, it can help them make more games like it.

I don't remember them saying that. I do remember them saying that choosing Hi-Fi Rush was a way to show PS gamers the great games on Xbox. Might that be the reference you are talking about? Phil Spencer said it in the podcast thing. I thought it was good reasoning all the same. 

 

Anyway, the closure of those studios and Tango - Xbox's first Japanese studio - isn't that mad as people think. Tere's more to the story than just closures. All wasn't well at Tango. Ikumi Nakamura creative director of Ghostwire Tokyo left halfway through development due to stress. coming from dealing with publishing/creative controls. This was pre-Microsoft acquisition. One theory is that they struggled to replace her as a creative director. She had not only done Ghostwire Tokyo but The Evil Within too. When you have someone as talented, skilled and tenured as Nakamura leaving, especially leaving half-way through her own project, it kind of destroys the heart and soul of a company. Not only that, the founder of Tango Shinji Mikami left. Apparently, he had planned to leave years ago but only stayed longer to see out commitments. So you had the founder, and the creative director (of nearly 10 years) both leaving in a short time of each other - it wasn't looking good, despite Hi-Fi Rush's success. John Johanas the creator of Hi-Fi Rush also left Tango. The company was shelled out by the founder and their top creative talent. 

 

Nakamura left before acquisition and the founder said he was planning of leaving years ago, which left Johanas in a difficult position. Maybe the acquisition was the final straw. But Tango, hasn't been Tango as of late and MS/Spencer probably made a good decision. I mean what were they going to put out next without those 3? The next title, IMO was bound to fail. 

 

 

 

 

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Failed Again
45 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

I haven't had much time or will to game and the recent news has been a bit of a downer. But, got in the mood and the sale had pretty good options. I bought the Ori collection for €16. For some strange reason all my data and everything to do with the first time I played it, disappeared. There is no evidence whatsoever I played it before. Bizarre. I played it on GP originally and never finished it. I really enjoyed it. I'm back to where I was, about halfway through the game. I also bought Hellblade which I also played on GP. It was about €7. I put it down when I got stuck at a fight. I managed to get past it last night. I want to finish both games. Sick of starting games and not finishing them. I think I'm done with Game Pass in general.  I do like to own my games. Great thing about GP was I was able to take a risk and play Ori and Hellblade - both games I otherwise probably wouldn't have bought before. Ori is great and I thought Hellblade is OK but I'm actually thinking now it's better than OK. It's quite good. 

 

Will I get GP again? Yes, but only a few months here and there just to sample the buffet. If there's something I like, I'll buy it. 

 

I agree with @Jason that Xbox is going after more than GP and multiplat is the future. I think Xbox has taken the move first with Hi-Fi Rush and SoT. This will only force Sony to do the same. Sony has basically been doing everything Xbox does eventually anyway. Remember Xbox games going to PC was this Sony fanboy "gotcha?" There were asking what is the point in owning an Xbox? Well, now PS games come to PC. Granted, PS games aren't day and date which gives Sony the 'exclusivity' edge over Xbox. 

 

I don't remember them saying that. I do remember them saying that choosing Hi-Fi Rush was a way to show PS gamers the great games on Xbox. Might that be the reference you are talking about? Phil Spencer said it in the podcast thing. I thought it was good reasoning all the same. 

 

Anyway, the closure of those studios and Tango - Xbox's first Japanese studio - isn't that mad as people think. Tere's more to the story than just closures. All wasn't well at Tango. Ikumi Nakamura creative director of Ghostwire Tokyo left halfway through development due to stress. coming from dealing with publishing/creative controls. This was pre-Microsoft acquisition. One theory is that they struggled to replace her as a creative director. She had not only done Ghostwire Tokyo but The Evil Within too. When you have someone as talented, skilled and tenured as Nakamura leaving, especially leaving half-way through her own project, it kind of destroys the heart and soul of a company. Not only that, the founder of Tango Shinji Mikami left. Apparently, he had planned to leave years ago but only stayed longer to see out commitments. So you had the founder, and the creative director (of nearly 10 years) both leaving in a short time of each other - it wasn't looking good, despite Hi-Fi Rush's success. John Johanas the creator of Hi-Fi Rush also left Tango. The company was shelled out by the founder and their top creative talent. 

 

Nakamura left before acquisition and the founder said he was planning of leaving years ago, which left Johanas in a difficult position. Maybe the acquisition was the final straw. But Tango, hasn't been Tango as of late and MS/Spencer probably made a good decision. I mean what were they going to put out next without those 3? The next title, IMO was bound to fail. 

 

 

 

 

Very reasonable, thanks for adding thought's that I feel reflect the whole picture.

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Moonshine Wagon Fan

Have any of you bought the console wraps or considered getting them for the Series X?

 

I bought the Starfield wrap in January and it is very nice.  Link here.

 

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Failed Again

Haven't bought it, but tempted💫

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Matrelith
6 hours ago, Mister Pink said:

Nakamura left before acquisition and the founder said he was planning of leaving years ago, which left Johanas in a difficult position. Maybe the acquisition was the final straw. But Tango, hasn't been Tango as of late and MS/Spencer probably made a good decision. I mean what were they going to put out next without those 3? The next title, IMO was bound to fail. 

 

The problem is that now we'll never know. Reportedly Tango was in the process of pitching a Hi-Fi Rush sequel. So despite people leaving it would seem they had enough plans and ideas to make a second game in the series. Paired with Microsoft going on record it needs more games like Hi-Fi Rush the day after closing the studio and the whole thing just reeks of incompetence and wasted potential. 

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Jason
9 hours ago, Mister Pink said:

I don't remember them saying that. I do remember them saying that choosing Hi-Fi Rush was a way to show PS gamers the great games on Xbox. Might that be the reference you are talking about? Phil Spencer said it in the podcast thing. I thought it was good reasoning all the same. 

 

Nope. Rewatching the "Xbox Business Update" now and it's exactly as I remembered, they specifically mention a reason for porting the two smaller games (Hi-Fi Rush and Grounded) were a way of "generate more business out of those games, allowing us to invest in future iterations of them or games like it".

 

Schreier put out another article saying MS are thinking about more cuts, thinking about raising the price of GP again and thinking about not putting CoD on GP. Nothing confirmed obviously, but alarm bells would certainly start ringing then. Xbox warriors will cry about Xbox turning their back on them or whatever cause of exclusives coming to PS5, but you haven't lost anything by MS doing that, the Xbox Series consoles will still get Xbox games, but degrading the service you've sold people on with very recent claims of "all Xbox gamess are coming to GP" or by increasing the price yet again? That would be some major alarm bells.

 

He also said Tango and Austin might have just been a timing thing, which I guess means that MS wanted to do cuts and Tango and Austin had no game in active development, so they were an easy studio to drop.

 

It's becoming pretty clear that the Acti Blizz takeover has now meant that the MS hierarchy are now expecting results and growth from the Xbox division and relatively soon.

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Harwood Butch3r

I’ve been following this story unfold online and to keep things short and sweet if there’s a silver lining with the studio closures is at least the people from the other studios have been moved onto other projects, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little upset by Tango Gameworks’ closure.

 

Now I’m not going to pretend I’m a super fan of them or anything, but I did enjoy the games they made and ended up owning all of them. Well except the mobile game. Never played that.

 

The Evil Within 1 and 2 were excellent IMO. I got Ghostwire Tokyo for my PS5 back when it first came out and enjoyed the unique premise. It took me a bit longer to come around to Hi Fi Rush, but I did. So much so I bought it for Series X AND PS5. Sucks we’re never going to see DLC for it or a sequel.😢

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Jason

I played a little bit of Hi-Fi and Ghostwire, rythm stuff isn't my cuppa tea nor are platformers really, but you could tell it was a great little game. Ghostwire less so, it had a very interesting concept and some good ideas but the execution was a bit messy and flat in areas. The combat was just straight poor IMO.

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On 5/8/2024 at 10:27 PM, Moonshine Wagon Fan said:

Have any of you bought the console wraps or considered getting them for the Series X?

 

I bought the Starfield wrap in January and it is very nice.  Link here.

 

Actually looks great, I did consider it when it was first announced; however, I barely glace at my XSX even though I use it daily. 

 

But I can see myself pulling the trigger if they were to do it for a game I actually do enjoy in their lineup. 

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Mister Pink
Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2024 at 8:01 AM, Matrelith said:

 

The problem is that now we'll never know. Reportedly Tango was in the process of pitching a Hi-Fi Rush sequel. So despite people leaving it would seem they had enough plans and ideas to make a second game in the series. Paired with Microsoft going on record it needs more games like Hi-Fi Rush the day after closing the studio and the whole thing just reeks of incompetence and wasted potential. 

Yeah I agree. While I do like Xbox's open dialogue they have with the community they often put their foot in their mouth by reversing decisions which reeks of hypocrisy and flip-flopping. Perhaps a more silent approach like PlayStation is better. Because my trust in Xbox has dipped. How can we be so confident in whatever Spencer says that in 6 or 18 months these decisions might be reversed? 

____

On a personal level, I'm not so bothered by Tango closing. Hear me out. I remember filling out a survey on Xbox about 5 years ago. It asked what type of games I wanted. What type of games did I prefer to play and what type of games I would like to see on Xbox? Xbox has the data. They know. In hindsight, they were using these surveys while going on a developer purchasing hunt. And then they bought ZeniMax/Bethesda. And so, I can't be too concerned about games 3 or 4 studios closing - maybe Arkane - but Alpha Dog games and Tango  - aren't too much of a miss to me, even principally speaking because Xbox has the ID@Xbox programme which fosters innovation and indie games. Xbox doesn't actually need to own any studios that make quirky new titles or AA. They need to focus on their AAA content. ID@Xbox covers that innovative, indie titles space. And Microsoft is the anthesis of 'indie title.' 

 

ID@Xbox | Xbox

 

In fact, I would argue that Xbox Games Studios being a developer/publisher of titles like Hi-Fi Rush 2 goes against actual indie developers. It would be big corporate Microsoft going against actual indie developers. So why not let indie developers be indie and Microsoft can stay out of the indie space, but support them. I'll give you a negative scenario. Imagine Hi-Rush 2 turned out not to be great. You could guarantee that Xbox would be promoting this game on the dashboard, taking away a spot that Stardew Valley 2 or Palworld 2 or something might have occupied. 

Edited by Mister Pink
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26 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

How can we be so confident in whatever Spencer says that in 6 or 18 months these decisions might be reversed? 

 

This is quite possibly THE issue Xbox has right now. As of this moment they're still not where they want to be in terms of hardware sales, game output and game quality and they have told us for years what they're doing and what their plan is, but now that's been thrown out the window - they're putting games on other platforms, closing studios when the entire point of buying them was to be able to have a healthy output of games big and small for GP, and then there are the rumours of GP price increases, not all games coming to GP - though Sarah Bond reiterated they will just today or yesterday, the fact that we're doubting this is exactly what I mean by this now being the issue for Xbox. You can't believe what they're saying cause in 12-18 months as you say, they could change their mind.

 

I saw a post the other day that talked about what Xbox was back in the OG Xbox and early to mid 360 days, which was a console with great shooter games and great RPG's. Halo, Gears, Mass Effect, Fable, MS consistently invested in those genres be it 1st party or third party deals, and we got quality games in return. But today, now, MS' approach is scattergun. I get that development times are longer and this plays a part of this so they have a real excuse there, but there's a lot of variation in the type of games Xbox makes. For years I think everyone thought of this as a good thing, but from a business point of view, is it really? Unless you have a very broad range of genres you genuinely enjoy, you will likely find your self having long droughts between major GP releases that you actually want to play. Big racing fan? Forza and Horizon come out twice every 4-5 years now. Big RPG fan? Starfield was the first Xbox RPG in something like 5+ years, maybe much longer. Shooter fan? Halo Infinite failed, Gears 6 is probably soon but thats another franchise that can't retain the glory days. All of the best Xbox games in the past few years were niche, Pyschonauts 2, Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, all great games and the industry is better of with them, but none of them sell consoles or Games Pass subs. It's great for players that these games exist, but I cannot imagine it's been great for Xbox.

 

Compare this to Nintendo or Sony, who deliver very similar experiences consistently, be it platformers, open worlds, RPG's, cinematic story games, whatever. There's a lot of similarities in their games, a lot of crossover, and yes that makes them formulaic and perhaps a bit samey, but it also means that if you own a PlayStation or Switch you're very likely going to be getting experiences you like at least once a year. That sells consoles.

 

I don't know if MS are thinking this too, but it will be a very tricky thing to fix or even just navigate through, cause it means burning a lot of trust with their core fans and that'll only hurt their hardware sales and GP subs.

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Mister Pink
Posted (edited)

Completely agree. Never actually looked at it like that:  Xbox had this kind of identity back in the OG Xbox and early 360 days. A bit like Nintendo or PlayStation has. Like you said, they're going for this scattershot attempt to cover everything. And while I think I supported that as I think my tastes are broad, I'd actually just prefer some open-world titles and RPG's and racing games to keep me satisfied. 3rd party can take care of the rest. 

 

Xbox be having some kind of identity crisis, lol

Edited by Mister Pink
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3 minutes ago, Mister Pink said:

Completely agree. Never actually looked at it like that:  Xbox had this kind of identity back in the OG Xbox and early 360 days. A bit like Nintendo or PlayStation has. Like you said, they're going for this scattershot attempt to cover everything. And while I think I supported that as I think my tastes are broad, I'd actually just prefer some open-world titles and RPG's and racing games to keep me satisfied. 3rd party can take care of the rest. 

 

Yea I thought it was an interesting post, cause it makes you think about what you actually want for Xbox to be worth it to you. As someone who wants a healthy industry you think oh yea it's great Microsoft make games like Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Psychonauts and stuff like that. It's amazing that AAA studios can make those types of games.

 

...but they don't do anything for me, not really. If you offered me the choice between a new Fable or Avowed or all three of those, personally I'd take Fable or Avowed.

 

Maybe this is part of the problem for Microsoft, that these smaller creative games, while all critically acclaimed and great games, don't interest a significant portion of their Xbox players. Hellblade 2 is likely another game, it'll be critically acclaimed and great, but I mean... it's a week or two from release and there's barely any hype or marketing for it. It's not gonna move the needle for MS. Meanwhile this year Sony have released two console exclusive RPG's in Stellar Blade and Rise of the Ronin, which seem to be doing really well sales wise.

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Failed Again
Posted (edited)

I'm thinking about changing my Profile name to, "Xbox".

Edited by Failed Again
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So reports today that the next Call of Duty will be on GP day 1.

 

My immediate thought for this is "at what cost".

 

Talk now that there will be a new tier and potential pricing changes, no specifics yet, but yea, that'll be the cost of bringing CoD to GP.

 

Good look to MS/Xbox at selling this to current GP Ultimate users, they've all spent years investing into GP waiting for the games to roll out... changing the plan and asking for more money is potentially incredibly risky if done wrong.

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Mister Pink

The Act Man did a good video covering all this Xbox nonsense. 

 

 

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Xbox's plan for years as many of us has said is to become a service driven platform and not a hardware driven one, but I think the thing we all sort of assumed is that the core of the service would still be built on Xbox hardware. But it's not played out that way, the hardware core we all just assumed would be there to build it on has vanished and as a result the service is struggling to grow and this is becoming problematic which I'll touch on a sec. But overall, this problem has very possibly led to end of Xbox hardware as we know it - more on this later too.

 

It should be said though that GP has had success, it's created a service ecosystem that people do like, it's got something like 20-30 million subs and has had success on both Xbox and PC. As a service, GP works. But the problem MS/Xbox are facing is this: is it really profitable or just in general good business for them to be putting their most expensive games on there day 1? Their plan was obviously for the GP sub count to go to the Moon but it didn't, something which has also been influenced by the failure of Xbox hardware. Now when you're just a small part of the wider Microsoft picture, not making a ton of money but not losing it, it was all well and good. Xbox could keep investing into GP at a comfortable rate with the idea that in 5-10 years time it'd pay its self back.

 

But a few years ago Xbox bought Bethesda and that no doubt drew some eyes on Xbox from Microsoft's leaders... and then they bought Acti Blizzard in the largest tech buyout ever, that had to go to various courts and fight w/ regulators over just to get it through. Suddenly Xbox goes from a small corner of Microsoft's overall business to something that's front and centre with a gigantic spotlight on it. No more thinking that 5-10 years time this will all click and start making money hand over fist, today it's expected to make money now.

 

So how does Xbox make money now? Well generally for a console maker you'd have a load of hardware out there and release big games, but they don't have a lot of hardware out there this generation. Fans of Xbox have seemingly switched to PC and those with no strong ties went to PlayStation. So... you go where the players are, and you start releasing games on multiple platforms. This isn't a problem unique to MS, every publisher is going multi platform including Sony, but Microsoft are doing it for the same reasons plus a whole load of other reasons that are unique to them.

 

So once you start putting games out on other platforms then you're looking more like a publisher than a console maker so that begs the question, why not just be a publisher? Cue the end of Xbox hardware as we know it. There's been multiple reports suggesting it, I think I talked about it somewhere else, but a Discord leak is proving more and more legit and has been repeated by other sources now - Xbox will make the OS, maybe create a set of rules/standards, they might even make their own box, but the future of Xbox looks like it might be more like PC. Multiple companies make an "Xbox" and you buy the one that suits you.

 

There's also another potential problem that was discussed not long ago, which is the whole making smaller titles to bolster GP and create value for GP. It sounds f*cking fantastic on paper that we get Xbox studios making games like Pentiment, Hi-Fi Rush, Grounded, Pyschonauts and more... but they don't sell hardware and they don't generate hype for the Xbox brand. It will be interesting, and a little bit scary, to see how MS's approach to these titles changes in the coming years.

 

Personally, I expect Xbox to become a publisher first, hardware maker second by 2030, but it could happen quite a bit sooner than that. I think there will still be Xbox branded hardware but I think MS will now push Xbox to be the worlds biggest publisher, which is what they basically are, or at least could be if they properly become a day 1 multi platform publisher.

 

Edit: speak of the devil

 

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2024/05/28/play-call-of-duty-black-ops-6-day-one-game-pass/

 

How this goes will probably definitely have an absolutely seismic impact on the future of Xbox.

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Agent Edward
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Jason said:

Xbox's plan for years as many of us has said is to become a service driven platform and not a hardware driven one, but I think the thing we all sort of assumed is that the core of the service would still be built on Xbox hardware. But it's not played out that way, the hardware core we all just assumed would be there to build it on has vanished and as a result the service is struggling to grow and this is becoming problematic which I'll touch on a sec. But overall, this problem has very possibly led to end of Xbox hardware as we know it - more on this later too.

 

It should be said though that GP has had success, it's created a service ecosystem that people do like, it's got something like 20-30 million subs and has had success on both Xbox and PC. As a service, GP works. But the problem MS/Xbox are facing is this: is it really profitable or just in general good business for them to be putting their most expensive games on there day 1? Their plan was obviously for the GP sub count to go to the Moon but it didn't, something which has also been influenced by the failure of Xbox hardware. Now when you're just a small part of the wider Microsoft picture, not making a ton of money but not losing it, it was all well and good. Xbox could keep investing into GP at a comfortable rate with the idea that in 5-10 years time it'd pay its self back.

 

But a few years ago Xbox bought Bethesda and that no doubt drew some eyes on Xbox from Microsoft's leaders... and then they bought Acti Blizzard in the largest tech buyout ever, that had to go to various courts and fight w/ regulators over just to get it through. Suddenly Xbox goes from a small corner of Microsoft's overall business to something that's front and centre with a gigantic spotlight on it. No more thinking that 5-10 years time this will all click and start making money hand over fist, today it's expected to make money now.

 

So how does Xbox make money now? Well generally for a console maker you'd have a load of hardware out there and release big games, but they don't have a lot of hardware out there this generation. Fans of Xbox have seemingly switched to PC and those with no strong ties went to PlayStation. So... you go where the players are, and you start releasing games on multiple platforms. This isn't a problem unique to MS, every publisher is going multi platform including Sony, but Microsoft are doing it for the same reasons plus a whole load of other reasons that are unique to them.

 

So once you start putting games out on other platforms then you're looking more like a publisher than a console maker so that begs the question, why not just be a publisher? Cue the end of Xbox hardware as we know it. There's been multiple reports suggesting it, I think I talked about it somewhere else, but a Discord leak is proving more and more legit and has been repeated by other sources now - Xbox will make the OS, maybe create a set of rules/standards, they might even make their own box, but the future of Xbox looks like it might be more like PC. Multiple companies make an "Xbox" and you buy the one that suits you.

 

There's also another potential problem that was discussed not long ago, which is the whole making smaller titles to bolster GP and create value for GP. It sounds f*cking fantastic on paper that we get Xbox studios making games like Pentiment, Hi-Fi Rush, Grounded, Pyschonauts and more... but they don't sell hardware and they don't generate hype for the Xbox brand. It will be interesting, and a little bit scary, to see how MS's approach to these titles changes in the coming years.

 

Personally, I expect Xbox to become a publisher first, hardware maker second by 2030, but it could happen quite a bit sooner than that. I think there will still be Xbox branded hardware but I think MS will now push Xbox to be the worlds biggest publisher, which is what they basically are, or at least could be if they properly become a day 1 multi platform publisher.

 

Edit: speak of the devil

 

https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2024/05/28/play-call-of-duty-black-ops-6-day-one-game-pass/

 

How this goes will probably definitely have an absolutely seismic impact on the future of Xbox.

Let's see if BO6 can increase the XSS/XSX sales a little, make it reach 30 millions at least, why not include the entire COD franchise in XGP while they're at it? They own the f*cking thing, use it.

Edited by Agent Edward
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Yea the Acti Blizz rollout on GP has been weirdly slow. I know it's probably not a click of yer fingers and all that, but at this point we should be seeing Diablo 3, 2 remastered, multiple CoD's, Spyro and Crash games etc on GP, with GP perks for games like CoD, Overwatch and Diablo IV.

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Agent Edward
8 hours ago, Jason said:

Yea the Acti Blizz rollout on GP has been weirdly slow. I know it's probably not a click of yer fingers and all that, but at this point we should be seeing Diablo 3, 2 remastered, multiple CoD's, Spyro and Crash games etc on GP, with GP perks for games like CoD, Overwatch and Diablo IV.

Reason why it looks like whoever is calling the shots at Xbox is boycotting the division, it's unbelievable how dumb they seem to be recently.

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It's weird, you pay that much money for company, one of the biggest if not the biggest publisher on the planet, you talk about their games coming to GP and, so far, you've brought Diablo IV.

 

Now that's probably the biggest non-CoD game they could bring, but where's Acti Blizz's immensely strong back catalogue? Call of Duty has a ton of campaigns and zombies modes people would still play, Spyro, Crash, Tony Hawk, Diablo 2 and 3, Starcraft. Utilise GP perks for Call of Duty, Diablo, Overwatch, etc, just hand out free skins on there, ezpz, people will sub to GP for stuff like that.

 

Not even a murmur that any of this stuff is coming either. I imagine we'll see a few more announced at the upcoming showcase but yea, weird.

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