Why The Xbox One X Will Never Catch The PS4
Credit: The Verge
Yesterday, Microsoft announced their brand new console, the Xbox One X, releasing on November 7th for $499.
It is a luxury product promised to be the most powerful console ever made while remaining a part of the Xbox One family.
As Michael Pachter said yesterday, for the price of an Xbox One X, a consumer could buy both and Xbox One S and a PS4.
Who exactly is the market for this console? People that want the most cutting edge graphics? Those people buy PCs.
The Xbox One X is too expensive for the average person and too cheap for the person willing to spend thousands on a gaming PC.
How many people is that? My market research shows the answer is one in 360.
Not to mention that Microsoft's insistence on sharing their exclusive games on Windows 10 robs the Xbox of a primary motivating factor to entice people to buy one.
Any game you can play on Xbox, you can play on PC. It's almost as if Microsoft is purposely narrowing down the group of people that want this thing.
It is incumbent upon the trailing company to make a console so irresistible gamers couldn't possibly refuse.
In the 1990s, when SEGA was in stiff competition with Nintendo, they cut the price of SEGA Genesis from $200 to $150 and bundled in Sonic the Hedgehog.
It was a clever tactic for SEGA to get its foot in the door of many would-be Nintendo households.
SEGA would take a loss on the hardware believing that they would eventually make the money back on software. It was a necessary gamble.
The second place company can't afford to dictate terms. If Microsoft sold the Xbox One X at $400 it might be tempting.
They would take a big loss but they would get their foot in the door. Even $450 is more palatable. But for many people, $500 is a bridge too far.
The library of games simply isn't up to snuff compared to the competition.
In case you haven't heard, Xbox One X is the most powerful console ever made.
But to most people, they will see a console that looks a fraction better than PS4 Pro that costs more money.
The graphics of Xbox One X are undoubtedly impressive. But graphics are seeing diminishing returns lately.
The graphical improvement from Xbox One to Xbox One X isn't like the jump from Super Nintendo to Nintendo 64.
How is a kid supposed to convince a parent to buy this?
"Didn't I already buy you a GameBoy? Go play with that."
"But MOOOOOM! This has 6 teraflops!"
And every Xbox One X comes with the caveat that you also buy an expensive 4K TV.
So Microsoft's fool-proof plan to reclaim their lost glory is to yet again release a console that costs $100 more than Sony's.
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Only when you are on top can you overprice your product based on the consumer's good faith. (See, $599 US Dollars)
And even Sony, coming off the most successful console of all time had to severely cut the price of the PS3 to compete.
Microsoft needs to do the same with the Xbox One X. And I believe they will have no choice but to do so eventually.
And at that point, Xbox One X might be irresistible. There are some exclusive games that look really good.
Cuphead, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps for example, look incredible. Sea of Thieves looks like a lot of fun. Every third party game looks best on Xbox.
I just don't think this is enough to surmount Sony. The great first party exclusives on Playstation 4 are just too many.
And it wouldn't surprise me if Sony cut the prices on all of their models just to mess with Microsoft.
Not to mention that if Xbox One X really does pick up steam for being the most powerful console of all time, Sony can just announce the Playstation 5 and put an end to the teraflop measuring contest.
Maybe Xbox One X can thrive as a Trojan horse 4K blu-ray player in the same way that PS2 sold, in part, for being an affordable DVD player.
But I think 4K is still a few years away from becoming an industry standard.
Microsoft most definitely needed to shake things up. And their press conference was good.
But for it to truly challenge Sony, it needed to be transcendently great.
Xbox One X is a beautiful console with immense power. But what Microsoft needs more than anything is a library of premium, exclusive games.
Windows 10 is garbaj