Microsoft’s foggy Xbox future has been a recurring conversation in recent years since Sony took a massive lead in hardware sales. Xbox One X sales numbers are looking strong, but we’ll just have to wait and see how that pans out in the long run. Anyway, the main tagline Microsoft has been pushing for the Xbox One X is that it’s “The best platform to play games on”. Most of the time when this topic is brought up, we immediately jump straight to thinking about exclusive titles. As we all know, Sony has been dominating recently with critically praised releases like Horizon Zero Dawn and Persona 5. For this beginning segment, let’s take exclusives out of the equation and shed some light on what Xbox exceeds at.

I believe the services and choices Xbox One offers are superior to the PlayStation 4. To date, these services include: EA Access, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Play Anywhere, Xbox Rewards, Xbox 360 and OG Xbox Backward Compatibility, the Elite Controller, a better kept online infrastructure, Xbox Design Labs for custom controllers, the ability to change your Gamertag (c’mon Shuhei!) and the company is more open to cross-play titles with PC, Nintendo and PlayStation (ex: Rocket League, Minecraft).

Phil Spencer has proven time and time again that it’s in his best interest to cater to the gamers. In my opinion, the company is still recovering from the travesty of messaging the Xbox One used at launch (family, sports, TV, Call of Duty). Phil is still pushing for more ways to treat Xbox gamers with additions like the upcoming reconstruction of Xbox achievements and native 4K games for the hardcore Xbox fans who want a premium product.

Now, The Exclusives

Phil Spencer is fully aware of the lack of AAA exclusives, but he has stated that he’s not comfortable announcing games that are at least two years out. Phil’s quote:

We are investing in new things, we signed things just recently that I thought, ‘Hey, from a PR standpoint it would be really easy for me to put a trailer on screen’, but then I know the game is not coming for another two and half or three years, so I didn’t want to do that.

I understand some people would say, ‘Hey, that would give me confidence in the future of Xbox’…

This is a cheesy line, but I’ll just say, trust that this is important to us as a platform. From the top CEO of the company down, if you talked to Satya [Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO] he would say ‘I understand, we need to invest in content in the gaming space’.

(fan-made image)

So what will happen when Xbox turns things around in the exclusives department? If Microsoft can output games of the same caliber as Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War, that would surely shift the mindshare in Xbox’s direction. Partner top-notch exclusives with the best services and applications out there and you get one helluva gaming/entertainment experience. One that maybe even Sony won’t be able to keep up with (until they start offering all-around better services).

The Xbox One is ‘winning’ in multiple areas in comparison to PS4 when it comes to catering to the fans. Its biggest issue right now is how far off the big AAA exclusives may be, and how this gap will affect the Xbox One X sales and reception. Don’t get me wrong, this year will surely be a decent year for Xbox One console exclusives with titles like Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. But one thing all of those games are lacking is the AAA polish of exclusives like Gears of War 4 and Sunset Overdrive. To add to that, 2018 might just be the PS4’s biggest year yet with games like God of War, Spider-Man, Detroit: Become Human and possibly Days Gone. So it’s possible that PlayStation overshadows Xbox once again, similar to last year.

Why Are Exclusives Important?

Even though exclusives represent a very small percentage of the overall games released on consoles, they’re incredibly important. They get people in the door. Whether a person is new to this generation of consoles, looking into owning multiple platforms, or completely new to video games as a whole, the first thing they do is check out what exclusive games each platform has to offer. While Xbox may have the upper hand in terms of services and choice, Sony wins when it comes to pound for pound great exclusives games. Unfortunately for Microsoft, exclusives sell consoles a lot more proficiently than services and applications.

I think the Xbox One X’s sales will stay strong for a short while, as all the hardcore Xbox fans are rushing into stores to pick one up. However, I hypothesize that sales will begin to slow down until Microsoft is done cooking up those AAA exclusives Phil Spencer Spoke of. Lastly, if they could obtain PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as a full console exclusive, that would definitely be a huge get for the company. With a somewhat disappointing lineup of Xbox exclusives coming this year, I’m hopeful the Phil and co. have a lot of surprises of their sleeves.

Don’t Forget

Sony turned things around with the PlayStation 3 after its underwhelming launch — offering solid exclusives and going on to surpass the Xbox 360 in worldwide sales near the end of the console lifecycle. Then Sony hit it out of the park with its PS4 messaging at launch, 100Xs better than the smug PS3 messaging back in 2006. Then Nintendo hit a new low with the Wii U’s sales but came back better than ever with Switch (still a bit too early to tell just how great though). Same goes for the Nintendo 3DS’s rocky start. Things started off rough but then the handheld went on to sell like hotcakes (70 million units sold and still thriving).

What I’m getting at is, we should know better by now then to count a company down and out. Once Xbox’s heavy-hitting console exclusives are done gestating, I can imagine the large gap of units sold between PS4 and Xbox One closing up immensely.

This opinion piece was a bit scattered, but that’s all my thoughts on paper. I wanna know what you think. Do you think the Xbox One X will continue to thrive? What other ways can Microsoft improve the Xbox One experience? Leave all your thoughts in the comments below, or on our social media page!

Brett Medlock
Brett Medlock is Nintendo Enthusiast's Editor-in-chief. He’s obsessed with action-adventure games, platinum trophies, and K-pop. To hear more about how lame he is, follow him on Twitter @brettnll

    24 Comments

    1. no. delete this website

      1. Why would I delete my source of income? Why would I delete the one place I can project my opinion? Why would I delete what gets me into conventions? E3? Helps me build connections with some of the biggest publishers in the world? Why would I delete hours upon hours of my hard work? Why sir? Why? Would you? Jk thanks for reading 😛

        1. I think the request- or demand- is due to the odd supposition the article presents.

          Outside of some truly bizarre events, there’s zero reason to think turning the tables is even within the realm of possibility, let alone probability.

        2. You have to admit that title is pure click-bait.

        3. I would delete myself if I said xbox has better anything lol

    2. Does anybody remember how the last Fable games were? They were shit and the very last got cancelled mid development. even if they do release it that one in a bucket full of Playstation exclusives. Xbox has lost this gen, They waited to long for there One X which is extremely over priced and looks like 5% better than the PS4 Pro which will cost you one less Benji. God of War, Uncharted, GT, Horizon, PSVR, etc…. Good try Xbox but you were a day late and a dollar short,saying you don’t like to announce games 2 years before release is really a way of saying we just started making exclusives again because we realized how fucking stupid we were and don’ want you to know how far behind we really are. Lastly, the last exclusives to come out for Xbox were Forza (which really is a great racing game), Gears (which was great when it came out years ago but is dated today), and Halo which was garbage. Sea of Thieves needs to get the hell out of Microsoft and come to the dark side.

      1. Doubtful Sony has the funds to buy Rare from MS. So no sea of Thieves is JUST fine where it is. And i cant wait to play it on my Xbox One X with all the bells and whistles. Highly doubtful the Pro could handle it anyways.

        1. Sea of Thieves isn’t some resource-heavy title that would overpower the Pro. Hell, it’s on the base XB1, which is weaker than the base PS4. Your comment sounds silly.

        2. LMAO that last gen looking game with blocky graphics (besides the water tech)?! You clearly need to find another showcase for your “beastly” console.

        3. LMFAO! First, the game looks fun but few people are going to buy that white piece of shit for a cell shaded online only game were you need at least 4 people to get anything done, I don’t think most people even know 4 friends with an Xbox. Second, God of War, Horizon-Zero Dawn, GT, ACE Combat in VR, Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR, The Last of Us 2, Bloodborne, Persona 5, Uncharted 4, Infamous, Ghosts of Tsushima, etc, etc, ect…. You have picked wrong, your allegiance to a slop company that only knows how to throw money around have cost you many great gaming experiences, I will happily not play a cartoon pirate game to have access to all of those gems. Its like Jordans to Vans or Quinton Tarantino to Michael Bay, they’re in the same business but no where near the same league.

    3. Xbox One will never catch up to PS4 global sales this generation, last generation Sony had the European and Japanese markets to fall back on and once again are dominating them this gen. MS can’t catch up with just the US and UK markets, which are really the only 2 they compete in. MS would have to actually start caring about Europe and really improve in that market to even compete globally, if they even plan on making the investment in Europe that’s still years away. A lot of these games MS are now investing in are 3-4 years out. All of this is great for MS’s next console. It’s not really going to help anytime soon.

      Also, let’s not forget MS’s management style for developing games is different compared to Sony’s. There’s a reason the only 90+ metacritic game this have this gen is a racing game from a 2nd party studio. Sea of Thieves on March 20th will also be the 1st new AAA IP released from a MS 1st party studio in over a decade. Let’s see the games before we start calling them “heavy hitting” exclusives.

    4. No, they couldn’t. I don’t even know why this needs explaining.

      So far, Fable is a rumor, and it’s never had the power to “turn the tables.” There aren’t even rumors outside of that one game, and Microsoft’s words and actions haven’t shown that that’s going to change.

      Beyond that, it would take Sony’s exclusive output to reverse, plus them to stop selling consoles completely for something resembling “turning the tables” to happen.

    5. Crapbox Turn the tables, how when ther over 40+million behind. It’s impossible when PS4 has way more exclusives on the way in 2018, putting even more pressure on crapbox. Even 3rd party multi platform games sell way better on PS4 than crapbox. The chance of crapbox catching up let alone over taking it is nil

    6. xbox live over psn ANY DAY and the xbox community over crappy psn and the sony fan base.it is what it is.

    7. This article demonstrates why Xbox will never beat Playstation. The focus is on USA and UK. Those Apps you talk of require online and most of Sony’s market share comes from countries where internet connections are but a luxury. So Sony will always lead, there is no come back for Microsoft this generation.

      1. Well, it isn’t true that most of Sony’s market share is from places with spotty online; the vast majority is Europe/US. However, in those places where internet is poor, Sony holds an amazingly commanding lead, and part of that is being more offline-friendly than the competition.

        1. I don’t think you understood my comment. Anyway we more or less on the same page.

    8. If they release Fable and it ranks at least an 8/10 on metacritic I will definitely start paying attention. Right now as an RPG gamer the Xbox isn’t even on my radar, and hasn’t been for years.

    9. I’ll believe it when I see it.

      Exclusives alone aren’t enough for me; they need to be exclusives I actually want. Bringing a bunch of multiplayer focused exclusive games to Xbox isn’t going to do anything to draw me over. For example, one critical area where Microsoft is likely to struggle is Japanese games. I need my Tales, Persona, Yakuza, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Gravity Rush 2, Hatsune Miku, Taiko Drum Master, etc.

      Also VR.

    10. Add it to this, not really updated, list:
      http://i.imgur.com/pqgZ3yA.jpg

    11. XBox couldn’t even turn the tables if PS stopped sellling consoles all of a sudden. Too little too late.

    12. It makes no difference what Micros0ft do. As stated, new games taking 2-3yrs before announcing them guess what, new consoles will emerge by the time Microsoft get round to announcing new exclusive games. Too little to late for the Xbox X

    13. The problems is if games are 2 to 3 years away, they aren’t coming out for the XB1… they will be on the new Xbox.. whatever that is. Most analysts are targeting 2020 as the year for new consoles for Sony & MS. Last gen MS came out strong and held the lead for almost the whole thing. This time they are just too far behind. I only just bought an XB1S this holiday (for Cuphead) while I’ve had my PS4 since launch. The last 3 generations in a row I’ve had a Microsoft and Sony Console in my house. In all 3 generations, the Playstation was always my lead console as it always seemed to have more exclusives and as such I picked up all my multiplatform games for the Sony system. I like single player experiences (or couch co-op) and I don’t care for Online games. I WANT MS to be successful. Playing from behind this generation has allowed them to do good things, as your article mentioned… just like Sony had to add games to ps+ last gen to catch up when it was behind. I hope I get a couple more must have games from XB1 this gen… but I honestly think that’s all any of us can hope for. There is no possible way to ever pass or surpass PS4 this gen. Hopefully they can get their messaging right for next gen.

    14. For me personally, just give me a $#@3$# baseball game!

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