Xbox One and Microsoft after E3 - Discussion thread

  • @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.

  • Banned

    @Mortambulist If MS requires games released on both W10 and Xbone to be exclusive to the Windows store, I can see a looot of companies simply giving the finger to Microsoft and releasing only on PS4 and Steam. Sony and Valve already have a great relationship, so if MS tries to threaten either, I can see them pushing MS out of both the PC AND console gaming space.

  • @SkullKid It won't happen, at least not a full on PC like Alienware Alpha. Microsoft wants DRM. They don't want to make a machine where everyone is going to buy from the Steam store instead. They want to limit their consumers to the Windows store.

  • @El-Shmiablo Yeah, they don't have the clout to pull it off right now. But I think they're trying to build that clout. And incidentally, I'd like to see that Sony/Steam relationship get deeper. Even if it's just streaming games from Steam running on a PC, it would be pretty cool.

  • @Mortambulist They've openly stated the cross-buy isn't exclusive to Windows Store. Phil Spencer's interview on the E3 Stage, he openly admitted that steam is better and has a much larger market.

    I think they'll try to emulate the Origin/uPlay/etc idea, where people use both platforms.

  • @Stormcrownn I did hear that he said that shortly after I made my big rambling post, and I believe he was being sincere. But I still don't think it will ever happen, not for the big MS flagship titles like Halo, Gears, or Forza.

    So... Care to make it interesting Allies style? :-D

  • @Stormcrownn Crossbuy between Xbox and PC is exclusive to Windows Store. Phil says what gamers want to hear and never doing it.
    If Phil thinks Steam is so great, then Quantum Break would be on it, but Quantum Break is stuck in the Windows Store with low sales.

    Origin/uPlay don't have crossbuy, and EA games also are not on Steam.

  • @Whoaness When you buy a game on steam, it activates on uPlay. Although that is only in one direction (Steam -> uPlay, not uPlay -> Steam).

    I'll hold Phil Spencer to that bit about steam. When the first wave of Cross buy games come out and there's no steam, then I'll start being upset about it.

    Right now, I don't have very good reasons to mistrust them other than general dislike.

  • @Stormcrownn Oh I thought you were talking about uPlay Crossbuy with a console. PC to PC is fine. Even CD Projekt Red did that with Witcher where they gave you free GOG copies to get rid of Steam DRM.

    About that Phil Spencer comment, one of the reason I'm more doubtful of his statement than any of his Twitter inanity is because it was on a livestream of Giant Bomb where they're all half drunk, not some official media interview or anything. You don't make this kind of statement for your company in such an unofficial capacity. I've seen Giant Bomb's E3 livestream, and, boy, do they get wasted.

    Two more reasons: Phil is not the head honcho now that Windows is involved. Nadella has no invested interest in seeing pitiful revenue from selling games over making the Windows Store dominate. There's already proof of failure with Microsoft selling on Steam as Games for Windows failed, and there's already proof of success with EA not selling on Steam as Origin is making them big bucks. Microsoft's agenda is to push Windows Store, and putting games on Steam would be backpedaling.

    Third reason is that these games are Windows 10 exclusive. Despite a Valve optional survey suggesting Win 10 is the dominate OS, there are no Win10 exclusive games (In fact, there were a lot of games that didn't work on Win10 earlier on). I don't even think Valve will allow that, and I don't think Phil has even checked with Valve if it is okay. As I said before, he probably hasn't checked in with his boss if it's okay to even consider putting games on Steam. These three strong reasons are enough to call bullshit on "Going to Steam".