Xbox One and Microsoft after E3 - Discussion thread



  • Here's a quick synopsis of what Microsoft did at E3 regarding the Xbox One and Windows 10

    Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, a smaller form factor Xbox One that's been slightly beefed up to have a 4K output. Microsoft also announced that future Xbox One games will also come to Windows 10, and if you buy one version you will get the other for free. They also announced the rumoured Project Scorpio, an ever stronger "addition to the Xbox One Family".

    There is a lot to discuss here and I want to know what you guys think of this move. And as any good OP I will lead with an opening opinion/thought. Remember to keep this clean and remember it's all discussion and opinions.

    Here's what I think: Let's start with the decision of having the Xbox One exclusives also on Windows 10. The reason I ever wanted an Xbox One was for the exclusives, but there weren't enough to convince me to make the buy yet. But now with this decision I don't really need to get an Xbone, I could just get the free Windows 10 update for my PC and I'll be settled. The old exclusives (like Sunset overdrive, Master chief collection etc etc) probably won't be ported to Windows 10, but they aren't so appealing that I need to buy a new console for them.
    Speaking of new console, Xbox One S. The console that was basically made obsolete by the end of the conference it was announced at because of Scorpio. I know it's some time before the scorpio launches, but it's still not that long. It's just over one year. I'd rather save money for a year and buy the greatly improved version instead of having a console I just bought become obsolete just a year later.

    I hate the elitism that usually can come with the "PC master race", but honestly, you're better off investing in a PC than the Scorpio. You're getting the same games, but one can do a lot more than the other. In my honest opinion the Xbox One has basically become the Windows games equivalent of a Steambox with this move, neither of which are worth it.
    Maybe this could just be Xbox and Microsoft bowing out of the console war and shifting their focus towards the the PC market. They are getting outdone with exclusives, in both quality and quantity, by Nintendo and Sony.

    What are your thoughts on this matter? Why did Microsoft do this? Is there a shift in focus or is it just Microsoft doing questionable decisions?



  • I may be biased as I'm an Xbox gamer, so take that for what you will. The Xbox One S, to me, is for people who don't own an Xbox yet and by pricing it at $299 it will now be the new standard Xbox model on the market. I will be picking one up as I've been looking to get a 4K bluray player and it's the cheapest I've seen.

    I do agree that Sony has better exclusives, but Microsoft has quite a few as well. I don't see them shifting focus as doing anything questionable so much as them realizing they have people playing games in two different places and them making it easier for them. If you don't want to buy an Xbox One, but you want to play the new game that's coming out, you can now play it on Windows 10. You get to play their new game and they get more money. Also, if you decide to buy an Xbox One system later, all the games you already bought will be on the Xbox One. Seems like a win win to me.

    I also have never understood the love of exclusives. The more people playing a game the better I think. So I don't see the problem with Xbox One games now being on Windows 10. I do think them saying "Exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10" was a little odd though.



  • It's all about Windows 10. It's the cornerstone of their overall strategy to get as many people to adopt it as their primary digital "ecosystem" (bit a stretch). They made upgrading to Windows 10 free... and its now the fastest adopted Windows ever. Not surprising how awful Windows 8 was.

    But it looks like they have over 270+ million devices that now run it. For something less than a year old, that's an incredible feat. Their goal is a billion by 2018. That's a billion people that MS has access to. Access to their shopping habits, gaming habits, social media habits... 10s of billions of dollars worth of data that advertisers and companies would scramble for every year. It's pretty scary when I think about it.

    Those more informed would of course block/prevent Windows 10 from gaining access to so much data, but let's face it, the majority of people won't bother or will be ignorant of such a thing (willfully or otherwise).

    So it looks like MS is willing to sacrifice a couple hundred million in potential Xbox sales to get more people onto Windows 10 and fulfill the potential of their ambitious plan.

    *Quick research: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3049484/windows/microsoft-boasts-of-rapid-windows-10-adoption-to-more-than-270-million-computers.html

    TL;DR - MS is going for long term sustained profits by getting everyone they can onto Windows 10.



  • @TheChrisGriffin The exclusives are usually the thing I look for when I buy a new console. You don't buy a Wii U for the gamepad or dated hardware, you buy it for games like Mario kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U.
    And the Xbox One S will be priced at $399, not $299.

    "Introducing the new Xbox One S. Now $399.
    2TB version available August 2016."
    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one-s

    @Mechanoid Sounds like it might be the beginning unto the end for Xbox. With their focus being Windows 10 and bringing people there, sacrificing Xbox sales on the way over there.



  • @Fridge-man said in Xbox One and Microsoft after E3 - Discussion thread:

    @TheChrisGriffin The exclusives are usually the thing I look for when I buy a new console. You don't buy a Wii U for the gamepad or dated hardware, you buy it for games like Mario kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U.
    And the Xbox One S will be priced at $399, not $299.

    "Introducing the new Xbox One S. Now $399.
    2TB version available August 2016."
    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-one-s

    @Mechanoid Sounds like it might be the beginning unto the end for Xbox. With their focus being Windows 10 and bringing people there, sacrificing Xbox sales on the way over there.

    Yes, it does start at USD 299 for the 500GB. https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/cat/Xbox-One-S/categoryID.4406728800?icid=US_Homepage_STH1_EDM_62016



  • I always thought it wasn't smart of Microsoft to ignore the PC market. I think it was obvious that they didn't because the catastrophe that is Games for Windows failed to capture any meaningful audience from Steam.

    Now they finally made it, but I always knew that it would mean the price of the Xbox value. Sure, there are some who don't own a PC, and those are far and few between. Scorpio's price is probably going to be high enough that you could put together a rig that plays those Windows 10 exclusives at medium or high. Then there are some for the form factor, but looking at the current failure of Steam Machines, that's not really the real reason. Anyone wanting form factor would just go over to the strongest console, which is the PS4, because it has the better exclusives and has all the multiplatform games people want.

    I also found it really strange that they announced two new console versions right when they announce all the cross-buy Windows 10 stuff. It really puts the consumer in a situation where they can choose to abandon the consoles entirely rather than viewing it as a hardware update. They really should have, at least, announced Scorpio at later point to avert comparisons.



  • I have a friend that recently bought a refurbished Xbox 360 because he couldn't afford an Xbox One. So yeah, I can definitely see a market for the Xbox One S, especially if they continue to drop the price of entry into the gen. Some people just don't have a lot of disposable income and others just don't prioritize video games that much.

    Personally, I phased out my desktop PC when the Surface Pro was released. I found I could offset the loss in high end games by getting a console. Of course I noticed the loss in graphics, but it wasn't enough to give me a significant reason to invest in a desktop PC anymore. I ended up giving the PC I had (670, I'm pretty sure) to a friend's son so he could use it for practical purposes as well as gaming.

    I may end up getting a Scorpio, depending on how the actual product turns out. It may even give me an excuse to get a 4k TV. I am also considering buying an XBO Slim for my parents as a Netflix box/media hub that I can play games on when I visit - because external hard drives are amazing.

    Microsoft finally getting it's act together and releasing games on its own OS is a good thing. It means you don't have to buy a console you don't need and I don't have to buy a PC I don't need.



  • Well, I was always of the mindset that there was never a reason to own a Bone since the vast majority of it's exclusives were also available on PC, and those that weren't were not worth buying an entire console over. (Halo 5? ololol please stop killing the franchise 343 I beg you)

    This E3 cemented that for me. But hey, thank god I'll be able to play Scalebound above 25 frames per second now.



  • I have an Xbox One and a gaming PC with a GTX 980ti and a 4790k.

    I disagree strongly on multiple points. I worked at Best Buy for 4+ years, I traveled and worked at a 100+ different stores for weeks at a time. If one best buy had 50 gaming-employees, 2-3 of them would be PC Gamers. The rest were people who didn't want to think about how they would experience their games. They just wanted to sit down and play.

    With my background for context, here are my points;

    1. "The Xbox One S is obsolete". Pure and simple; This console is not for the gamer. This is a console that you'd put on display next to the 4k TV's in a Best Buy. People who want something for their living room to watch Netflix, and have the benefit of playing games as well. The aesthetics of the console are a big attraction to this crowd.

    2. "I don't need to get an Xbox One" - Microsoft isn't forcing you to play on an xbox one. That is a good thing. Microsoft has realized that the percentage of non-Xbox gamers who would buy an Xbox One is very small. On top of that, what do they gain by having people buy Xbox One's anyway? They simply have their games on PC & Xbox One. Microsoft just ends up gaining customers who are buying their games.

    3. "They don't care about Console Gamers" - To somewhat repeat, Microsoft just realized that these two groups don't overlap. How many console gamers are open to selling their console and completely switching to PC?

    4. "They don't care about Console Gamers" Microsoft is just acknowledging that comes down to people picking how they want to experience their games. Sitting down on a couch/laying down in bed, controller in lap....or at an office chair, hands on the desk. Steam Machines for streaming to TV's hasn't been successful at all, and there's a large number of technical issues stopping it from overtaking consoles.

    Overall I think that its a brilliant move. The only potential disaster situation for Microsoft is if pallets of Xbox One's start piling up in warehouses and they don't sell anything. A situation I find very unlikely, but we just have to wait and see.

    They simply gained an entire market of people who are going to buy their new games, and spend money on the DLC/Microtransactions inside of them.



  • @Fridge-man said in Xbox One and Microsoft after E3 - Discussion thread:

    @TheChrisGriffin The exclusives are usually the thing I look for when I buy a new console. You don't buy a Wii U for the gamepad or dated hardware, you buy it for games like Mario kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U.

    I suppose I should have said I don't understand the love for games being exclusive, which is a lot of the hate I've seen towards Xbox with this move. There was a huge backlash when they did the same thing with Sunset Overdrive being released on Windows 10.

    I'll be buying a PS4 to play the exclusive games like Spider-Man, Death Stranding, and a ton of the other exclusive games they have. Will also buy an NX for Zelda and I'm sure many others. I get why people love the games that happen to be exclusive, I just never understood why people love the exclusivity of games.



  • @Stormcrownn
    People buy a console because

    1. All of their friends play a certain console, so they purchase the same so they can play together.
    2. Exclusives.

    MS's strategy makes no sense unless they intend to kill the Xbox brand as a gaming machine, and promote it as a DVR or just kill their hardware division altogether and just keep the publishing and developing branch. Nearly everything they did just strengthened PC appeal, and undercut reason's to get a Bone. Yay price drop, but your biggest sellers are coming to PC? I'll just upgrade my rig. Gamers too casual to be bothered with PC gaming, probably don't care too much about exclusives either, and will have probably already bought the same console their friends have bought, and won't jump ship until the next full console gen starts.



  • Microsoft is doing the right thing. People have always criticized Microsoft for ignoring PC gaming and now they're really committing to it. There are those who think this devalues the Xbox since most, if not all, Xbox games will be playable on PC. This would be true if everyone had a PC capable of playing games, but the vast majority of people do not. Everyone may have a PC of some sort, but you're crazy if you think those college students with their ultra books will be able to play any of the hot new AAA games without a graphics card. While you can play all Xbox exclusive games on PC, playing them on Xbox will be the best option for most people. The fact is that when Scorpio comes out, assuming it's around $500 and no more expensive than $600, it will still be less expensive than a good gaming PC. You simply cannot build a good gaming PC for less money than you can buy a console for. A $300 gaming PC can't play games as well as a PS4 or Xbox One, and a $600 gaming PC likely won't play games as well as Scorpio. It's just ignorance to say that there is no reason to own an Xbox after that conference. For many people the best way to play sea of thieves, Halo, Gears, and Forza will be on Xbox and not PC. And those who do have a capable gaming machine will be able to play them without owning an Xbox. It's a very good thing.

    The whole "Xbox one S is dead already" thing is overplayed as well. It's a $300 console. It's an option for people who don't want to buy a Scorpio.



  • Well Microsoft dropped the DVR feature from the Xbox One in recent articles.

    I think people would rather have a PS4 for multimedia anyway because PlayStation Vue is absolutely insane as a TV streaming service for cord cutters. It also features Cloud DVR.

    It's pretty weird to see that Microsoft was pushing TV features as a big deal on the Xbox One, but end up getting handily beaten by Sony with PlayStation Vue.



  • @Stormcrownn said in Xbox One and Microsoft after E3 - Discussion thread:

    I have an Xbox One and a gaming PC with a GTX 980ti and a 4790k.

    I disagree strongly on multiple points. I worked at Best Buy for 4+ years, I traveled and worked at a 100+ different stores for weeks at a time. If one best buy had 50 gaming-employees, 2-3 of them would be PC Gamers. The rest were people who didn't want to think about how they would experience their games. They just wanted to sit down and play.

    With my background for context, here are my points;

    1. "The Xbox One S is obsolete". Pure and simple; This console is not for the gamer. This is a console that you'd put on display next to the 4k TV's in a Best Buy. People who want something for their living room to watch Netflix, and have the benefit of playing games as well. The aesthetics of the console are a big attraction to this crowd.

    2. "I don't need to get an Xbox One" - Microsoft isn't forcing you to play on an xbox one. That is a good thing. Microsoft has realized that the percentage of non-Xbox gamers who would buy an Xbox One is very small. On top of that, what do they gain by having people buy Xbox One's anyway? They simply have their games on PC & Xbox One. Microsoft just ends up gaining customers who are buying their games.

    3. "They don't care about Console Gamers" - To somewhat repeat, Microsoft just realized that these two groups don't overlap. How many console gamers are open to selling their console and completely switching to PC?

    4. "They don't care about Console Gamers" Microsoft is just acknowledging that comes down to people picking how they want to experience their games. Sitting down on a couch/laying down in bed, controller in lap....or at an office chair, hands on the desk. Steam Machines for streaming to TV's hasn't been successful at all, and there's a large number of technical issues stopping it from overtaking consoles.

    Overall I think that its a brilliant move. The only potential disaster situation for Microsoft is if pallets of Xbox One's start piling up in warehouses and they don't sell anything. A situation I find very unlikely, but we just have to wait and see.

    They simply gained an entire market of people who are going to buy their new games, and spend money on the DLC/Microtransactions inside of them.

    This is pretty much what I was trying to say in my post but far more eloquent.



  • Windows 10 is MS's goal: they're gonna bring every game on W10 in every way possible: cross play, cross buy, until they will release a sort of Steam Machine with W10 built-in or some custom version, and they're gonna use the Xbox brand until it's useful, but the console business for MS is profitable only in this kind of mentality, where the main focus is on PC.



  • @SkullKid Steam Machines have SteamOS, otherwise it's not a Steam Machine. Since Steam Machines have catastrophically failed, hardware vendors are turning their Steam Machines into regular PCs with the console form factor, like the Alienware Alpha.

    So Windows 10 consoles already exist.



  • @TheOhrenberger Glad to someone see's what I am trying to say.

    I honestly think Microsoft is really ahead of the game here.



  • Discussed during the latest podcast, more people might want to chime in.



  • TL;DR: It's not about pushing Windows 10, it's about pushing the Windows Store, because Steam is the real threat to Windows.

    I don't have much to say about the S or the Scorpio, but I have a giant fuckload to say about bringing all their exclusives to Windows 10. It's not so much about just pushing Windows 10. Windows 10 is doing just fine. MS has had the OS market locked down for decades. PC gamers are going to run Windows, because although Linux gaming is getting substantially better (more on that later), Windows is still really the only game in town. They've already handed out free upgrades, and no new off-the-shelf PC is going to ship without it.

    What this is really about is the Windows Store and UWP. Right now, the overwhelming majority of the PC gaming market is going through Steam, and that's a whole lotta sales MS isn't getting a cut of. Trouble is, not many publishers are interested in selling through Windows Store, and those that are are sure as hell not interested in selling there exclusively. Steam is the de facto standard for PC game distribution. If you want sales, you gotta be on Steam. Add to that that gamers have been less than impressed with the UWP versions of games, and the situation is looking dire. So dire that they are willing to jeopardize the XBox brand in order to "encourage" gamers onto their platform. This is not them taking on Apple and Linux. this is them taking on Valve.

    Now while my gut instinct is to say that it's one more case of MS showing up late to the game and using questionable business practices and market dominance to tilt the field in their advantage, that's not the case here for two reasons. Firstly, nothing they have done yet is all that shady. It's bad news for the XBox brand, no question, but as long as they're undermining their own divisions and not competitors, more power to them. Secondly, they don't have market dominance, in either consoles or PC game distribution.

    So, what will the future hold for their Windows Store strategies? Probably anything they can get away with to increase their market share. They will almost assuredly start throwing more money at publishers to buy exclusives, whether timed or permanent. That might be a tough sell for the publishers, but MS does have basically all the money. Will they go so far as to decree that if you want to release your game on both XBox and Windows 10 you have to release solely through the Windows Store? Maybe, but I don't have the market clout to go that far right now. Will they require an XBox Live subscription to play their exclusives online? I'd call it 50/50. That's probably more of a "Phase 2" strategy, for once they've taken a big enough bite out of Steam's pie. They'll surely try to sell it as the "better" way to game online, because features, but I doubt they can force it right away.

    Will they succeed at taking on Valve? I doubt it, but here's the thing. They have no choice but to try, because Steam is the only threat to Windows dominance right now. Not many people realize it yet, but they are backed into a corner, and the future is only going to get darker if they don't act fast Now I can already hear you laughing at this next part (by all means, feel free) but what has them really scared is Linux gaming. See? you're laughing. Now, maybe you haven't looked lately, but Linux gaming is starting to get entirely respectable. Civ5, X-Com 2, Borderlands, and more all play just as well as they do on Windows. Unreal and Unity engines can compile for Linux out of the box. The only thing holding gaming on Linux back is the reliance on OpenGL, which is frankly old and crusty compared to Direct X. But that is changing with the Vulkan API. If you don't know what that is, I encourage you to look it up. In short, it's a fully-modern cross-platform royalty-free 3D graphics API with wide industry support from the likes of Nvidia, Intel, and AMD. Doom (the new one) was just ported to Vulkan. Most developers have said it's lighter-weight, easier to work with, and just generally better than Direct X. And let me repeat, it's royalty-free.

    Now, Valve has already fired shots with their Steam machines, and as porting to Linux becomes more and more of a no-brainer, then the Microsoft OS cash cow is going to be threatened. Gamers are almost entirely driving the market in new PC's these days. Businesses have left the constant upgrade cycle, having learned that the huge expense does not allow them to do anything they couldn't do just fine before. Same goes for your average internet surfer. There's just no advantage to new powerful PC's and new invasive versions of Windows. Only gamers need the latest, greatest rigs and DirectX 10. If you're able to play all the same games on a free OS, neatly packaged up by Valve, then they could potentially lose the only market still driving PC sales. That's why we're seeing the all-or-nothing strategy.

    So, there you have it. That is why MS is willing to risk their console division. They have to if they're going to save their OS business. Is that smart? Well, i would say no, not when their only weapons are Halo, Gears of War, Forza, and whatever exclusivity they can buy from third parties. But you'd better believe they're gonna go full scorched-Earth with this, and if the XBox is a casualty, they're prepared to accept that. At any rate, it's going to be interesting to watch.



  • @Whoaness Sure, but what I meant is Microsoft is going to follow also the hardware side of those kind of machines.