If you need to recognize something about Microsoft in recent years, it’s that they worked hard. The current generation of consoles has been dominated by the PlayStation 4, which has taken advantage of the public’s rejection of the initial Xbox One concept and has emerged as the market leader, selling over 100 million units in about 6 years.
There are no official Xbox One sales figures, but the console is thought to have roughly half of its main rival’s sales – not necessarily a bad figure, but still below its predecessor, the Xbox 360.
But it must be admitted that, in a difficult situation, Microsoft’s gaming division, which was now headed by Phil Spencer, did not stand still, making several decisions not only reactive to what Sony was doing, but making its own. proposals and concepts to expand and revitalize the brand.
In the console area itself, Microsoft has reiterated and improved Xbox One with several new versions, including a significantly more powerful Xbox One X. For example, unlike the management of their predecessor, Don Mattrick, Spencer and their team worked to implement a backward compatible system for Xbox One, capable of running not only Xbox 360 games and the original Xbox.
Xbox has also firmly embraced the policy of offering services to its consumers, with its big asset being the Xbox Game Pass, which allows subscribers to access a revolving catalog full of great games (most recently including GTA V), plus discounts for anyone who wants to. buy the game before it is removed from the program.
Game Pass also serves as a showcase for its main titles, making its great exclusive available to the program’s subscribers. And considering the company’s major studio acquisitions in recent years, including Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) and Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds), this showcase should only get more flashy going forward.
Microsoft also seems to want to “decentralize” the Xbox public association as just a console: for a few years now, Microsoft has come back to value the PC market. Game Pass has its own desktop version, and exclusives like Gears 5 and Halo: Reach (part of the Master Chief Collection) are in its catalog.
More than that, in some cases, Xbox has made occasional alliances with potential rivals to expand its brand, such as selling its games on Steam and even porting titles like Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead for the Nintendo Switch.
It wasn’t a perfect way – Scalebound’s cancellation still hurts many people’s hearts – but Microsoft has prepared significant ground for the future. And by 2020, there is a chance to make a big splash in the competition.
The power of the new console is still officially unknown, but the trailer above gives us an idea of what can be done with a platform compatible graphics engine, and they are downright impressive. Microsoft has also indicated that it will be backwards compatible with generations past its release, and it seems that it will even run more than one game at a time.
The Xbox Series X arrives in late 2020, and will have as its flagship product Halo Infinite, whose mission is to revitalize the franchise after the warm reception of Halo 4 and Halo 5. But the game will also be available for Xbox One. and for PC, stressing that the name “Xbox” is not limited to one machine.
In addition, a classic franchise, Flight Simulator, will also return in style for all three platforms.
It is expected that Microsoft is hiding some cards up its sleeve, which should be revealed (expected) during E3 2020, but at this point, considering all the work of the games division, it is quite possible to imagine that Xbox end the year in a promising way.