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Why Xbox One is Still a Tough Sell for Multi-Console Owners

Why Xbox One is Still a Tough Sell for Multi-Console Owners - Article

by Evan Norris , posted on 25 June 2015 / 12,110 Views

Right now, Microsoft, in collaboration with select retailers, is offering a generous deal for prospective Xbox One owners - buy an Xbox One (with Halo: The Master Chief Collection or two Assassin's Creed games) and get a free retail game. Potential buyers can choose from a long list of games which includes Batman: Arkham Knight, Elder Scrolls Online, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Depending on which bundle you choose, that's as many as five games and a current-gen system for $400. Not bad at all.
 
Yet I'm unmoved. Despite this generous offer and despite Microsoft's strong showing at this year's E3, I'm reluctant to invest in the Xbox One ecosystem. Why? Well, there are several reasons. But the most important, by far, is what I already own.
 
Xbox One promotion
 
As someone who owns a PS4, an Xbox 360, and a computer capable of playing most current-gen software, the Xbox One is - and has been since its inception - a redundant piece of hardware. The fact is the majority of must-play games on Xbox One are available on PS4 (and vice versa). Just take a look at the eligible games in this latest Microsoft promotion: Arkham Knight, Wild Hunt, Elder Scrolls Online, Mortal Kombat X, Destiny, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, etc. They're all playable on PS4. In some instances they even look better on PS4 and/or come with exclusive content. 
 
To be fair, there are many Xbox One games that cannot be found on PS4. But for the most part they can be played on PC and, in some cases, the Xbox 360. Titanfall, for example, has a PC and an Xbox 360 version. Critical darling Ori and the Blind Forest has a PC version and an upcoming Xbox 360 version.
 
Even The Master Chief Collection (MCC), although technically exclusive, can be played on Xbox 360 in its component parts - although, of course, those individual games lack the cohesion, versatility, and various upgrades found in the Collection. There are some important Xbox One true exclusives, including Forza 5 and Sunset Overdrive, but these alone struggle to justify an expensive purchase.
 
Ori multiplat
 
So, that's the past and the present. What about the future? Microsoft's presentation at E3 proved that the future is potentially bright, but there are still many question marks. 343 Industries, which mismanaged the online multiplayer of MCC and delivered a sub-par Halo experience with Halo 4, has yet to prove itself as Bungie's heir apparent.
 
The Coalition (formerly Black Tusk Studios), which is working on the next Gears of War title, is unproven. Lionhead Studios is developing a free-to-play Fable game that will also be available on PC. And Rare, working on Sea of Thieves, a pirate-themed multiplayer game also planned for PC release, is 15 years removed from its glory days.
 
Among these upcoming first party games are several interesting second and third party games, including Rise of the Tomb Raider, a timed exclusive; Inside, a timed exclusive; Below, a timed exclusive; Cuphead, which will launch on the Xbox One and PC; ReCore; and Scalebound. These last two, especially, are attractive prospects. ReCore, developed by Keiji Inafune (Mega Man) and Armature Studio (including ex-Retro staff who worked on Metroid Prime), has talented developers behind it.
 
ReCore CGI trailer
 
So too does Scalebound, which is being developed by Platinum Games, one of the most creative and dynamic studios in the industry. But no one outside of a handful of developers and high-ranking staff has any idea how they will play. All we've seen as fans are CGI trailers. That's not enough to make a leap of faith, especially after the Xbox One exclusive reboot of Phantom Dust, which debuted one year ago at E3 2014 with a CGI trailer, has now entered development limbo and has no active developer.
 
So, as the owner of a PS4, PC, and Xbox 360, I cannot justify spending $350-400 on a system that supports 1) third party content that plays and, arguably, performs better elsewhere; and 2) first party software produced by inexperienced and/or unreliable studios. Nor do I fully trust CGI trailers, even if the people responsible for the games in question are geniuses in the field.

Xbox One games

Now, if I owned none of the above, the Xbox One would be a much more attractive proposition. As an Xbox One owner I could play games like Halo, Dragon Age, Tomb Raider, Gears of War, The Witcher, and Forza - plus a bevy of "indie" games - on a single console. Moreover, with backwards compatibility recently announced, dozens of Xbox 360 games would be playable on my Xbox One. 
 
The reality, however, is that I already do own several other systems, and these play host to most of the multiplatform third party content available on Xbox One along with their own deep libraries of exclusives. 

Rise of the Tomb Raider timed exclusive

So what can Microsoft do to attract multi-console owners like me? Well, for starters, it can invest in "true" exclusives - games that can be played only on the Xbox One. If I want to play Titanfall I don't need to buy an Xbox One. If I want to play Dead Rising 3 or Ryse: Son of Rome I don't need to buy an Xbox One. If I want to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at launch I do need to buy an Xbox One, but if I practice patience the game will probably show up on a system I already own a few months down the line.
 
Secondly, Microsoft should build up its first party studios, staff them with the best minds in the industry, and manage them wisely. 343 Industries has been a middling caretaker of the Halo franchise. The Coalition has been named and renamed, pulled from a brand new project and redeployed to Gears of War. Rare's IPs, outside of Killer Instinct and a 30-game compilation announced at E3, continue to collect dust. And Lionhead, in the last three years, has developed four games in the Fable series (an Xbox Live Arcade game, a Kinect title, a remaster, and, due out this year, a free-to-play game).
 
Even the usually reliable Turn 10 faced criticism earlier this generation when Forza 5, which was probably rushed for the Xbox One launch, was deemed by some critics and fans light on content and heavy on microtransactions.
 
Gears of War 4
 
Microsoft has a fortune at its disposal. It's one of the world's most valuable companies. It owns several studios and a laundry list of beloved IPs. And while the Xbox division is far from its most important or most profitable, Microsoft would win over many more fans, myself included, if it brought those resources to bear on Xbox One.
 
That doesn't mean buying timed exclusivity. It means investing intelligently in first party studios. It means creating (and maintaining) meaningful partnerships with third party studios. Without breaking the bank and without relying too heavily on short-term, one-off deals, Microsoft needs to bring irresistible video game content to Xbox One, and it needs to keep it there. Until it does, Xbox One will remain a tough sell for multi-console owners.

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83 Comments
yo33331 (on 25 June 2015)

your forget to mention that the new Tomb Raider game will also come on xbox 360 at the same time it comes out on xbox one ;) so you already have a console that you can play this game on, you don't need to wait several months like you said.

  • +10
Xeon (on 25 June 2015)

Yep, I agree with pretty much all of the points you raised. My PC and PS4 suit me just fine. I am glad MS is porting more games over to the PC though.

  • +9
Sixteenvolt420 (on 25 June 2015)

Yep, i still have no want for an Xbox One. I had the original Xbox and rarely played it. Didn't get a 360, so that's probably the main reason i'm not yearning to own a one. They do have a few titles i'd like to play at some time, though. My PS4 will do just fine, i don't have enough time to even play all of the games on it.

  • +7
Shadow1980 (on 25 June 2015)

The PS4 has been my primary system this generation for various reasons. The only reason I bought an XBO was because Halo is an Xbox exclusive. Halo was the entire reason I invested in the Xbox brand in the first place. I don't even particularly care for Xbox as a brand and don't think much of their hardware (they make great controllers, though). It just so happens that I found a game series I liked and it was exclusive to a console brand I had no interest in otherwise.

  • +6
OnlyForDisplay Shadow1980 (on 25 June 2015)

Shadow-San. I suppose you do not like games like Ori and the Blind Forest and ScreamRide? Not attempting to attack you in any way, but would appreciate to hear your thoughts.

  • -1
Shadow1980 Shadow1980 (on 25 June 2015)

Ori looks interesting and I may try it out. I also like Gears of War, and it looks like MS is really trying to invest more in expanding their first-party efforts, something they've largely neglected aside from Halo, Forza, and Fable (that Recore game looks especially interesting since Keiji Inafune is involved). But Halo is the only Xbox-exclusive property that I like enough to invest in Xbox. For the last three generations, Nintendo and PlayStation have been fully capable of satisfying 99% of my gaming needs. But since I stumbled across Halo in 2001, it has since become and integral part of my gaming enjoyment, which will never feel complete without it. It just so happens that I need an Xbox console to enjoy Halo.

  • +1
Mystro-Sama (on 25 June 2015)

For starters they can stop bringing exclusives to PC.

  • +4
Azuren Mystro-Sama (on 25 June 2015)

But... But... #mastergamingrace

  • -1
Mr Puggsly Mystro-Sama (on 26 June 2015)

Maybe Sony could also stop boasting about exclusives that are coming to PC?

  • +1
The_BlackHeart__ (on 25 June 2015)

I remember when Phil Spencer said that the reason why they got the timed exclusivity deal for Tomb Raider is because they didn't have the resources for a game like Uncharted. So I wonder: Uncharted was announced back in 2006, meaning that Microsoft has had almost 10 years to come out with a response. They should stop renting games and start developing ASAP. Reference: http://venturebeat.com/2014/08/18/xbox-boss-on-uncharted/

  • +4
Sharpryno The_BlackHeart__ (on 25 June 2015)

Yes, for next gen. They had a shooter exclusive, third person shooter, fighting, puzzle, and a bunch of other genres. But wanted something along the lines of Uncharted, in order to compete for this gen.

  • 0

haha like the bit about renting haha

  • 0
Libara (on 30 June 2015)

VGChartz, the safe comfortable home of the sony fanboys, just look at the comments, sais it all really.

  • +3
AlfredoTurkey (on 25 June 2015)

It's not a tough sell to people who don't like to play games on PC and love the exclusives, console wise.

  • +3
swirldude (on 25 June 2015)

It's really a matter of which one: PS4 or Xbox One, you buy first. The other one then becomes a redundant console, since the majority of big games are on both systems. The Xbox One has a bigger disadvantage, however, because a good number of its console exclusives end up on PC at some point, while Sony's first-party titles do not.

  • +3
COKTOE swirldude (on 29 June 2015)

3rd party software is superior on the PS4. To a high degree. XB1 can hope for parity at best, in a small % of cases.

  • 0
tolu619 (on 26 June 2015)

The end goal is to make profits, right? If Microsoft makes more profits by also having games on the PC, and not just on the XBoxOne, then why should they stop putting their exclusive games on both platforms?

  • +2
tolu619 (on 26 June 2015)

The end goal is to make profits, right? If Microsoft makes more profits by also having games on the PC, and not just on the XBoxOne, then why should they stop putting their exclusive games on both platforms?

  • +2
kdognumba1 (on 27 June 2015)

My thoughts on this matter. As somebody who owns a gaming PC, a Wii U, all last gen consoles, a 3DS, and a Vita, I have very little reason to go get a PS4 or a XB1. Don't get me wrong, both systems are good and have good features however there's not much about their features and libraries I can't get elsewhere. Most of their library is shared with PC. Much of what isn't on PC is also available on their predecessors. While the games that are actually exclusive to PS4 and XB1 are good, the experiences and gameplay found in their exclusives can be found in many 3rd party multiplatform games. I would be much more inclined to buy both systems if both had full BC with their predecessors entire libraries, but the fact that they aren't leaves me with very little incentive to consider purchasing them in at this point in time.

  • +1
EyeAmTJ (on 26 June 2015)

Whether u game on X1 or PC Microsoft is still winning

  • +1
Angelv577 EyeAmTJ (on 01 July 2015)

I didnt know MS get a cut from steam sales.

  • 0
jaddow (on 26 June 2015)

THE FACT IS THAT MOST OF THE Multi Console OWNERS CHOOSE TO PLAY ON THE PS4. And that's more than half of Xbox one owner, And they're bringing the majority of their friends with them. 90% off Xbox and 70% PS4 FIRST PARTY games were stupid . Third party games were way better and still is a better choice this year

  • +1
DrBuckaroo (on 26 June 2015)

Upcoming PS4 exclusives look way better to me than XB1, but that's just me.
No Man's Sky; Uncharted 4; ABZU; Deep Down; Shadow of the Beast; The Witness; Wild; The Last Guardian; Horizon: Zero Dawn.
I'm just saying!

  • +1
Pirateogta DrBuckaroo (on 26 June 2015)

And upcoming Xbox One exclusives look way better to me: Halo 5, Gears 4, Forza 6, Scalebound, Cuphead, Quantum Break, Crackdown, ReCore, Sea of Thieves.

  • 0
Roronaa_chan DrBuckaroo (on 26 June 2015)

I like how you include X1 games where you've only seen CGI. Says a lot.

  • +2
darkenergy DrBuckaroo (on 27 June 2015)

Those X1 games are more interesting though.

  • +1

No Man´s Sky isn´t an exclusive game. It´s also coming on the PC and has been reported to come to Xbox One at some point.

  • +1
NightDragon83 (on 26 June 2015)

Jeez, talk about a clickbait article! You could easily make the exact same argument about the PS4... if you have an X1 and a gaming PC there's really no reason for you to buy a PS4 outside of a handful of exclusive franchises. Even franchises that had been exclusive to Sony platforms for the past 3 generations like the main entries in the Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series are now coming to X1. And just like with X1, there are console "exclusives" for PS4 that are also coming to PC such as No Man's Sky and Street Fighter V. Bottom line is there's very little separating the X1 and PS4 this gen when it comes to exclusive software and features. The only console that is truly a tough sell is the Wii U, seeing as how it literally has one foot in the grave and hardly any titles coming in the next couple of years for it.

  • +1
Ruler NightDragon83 (on 26 June 2015)

Not true, most PS4s exclusives are not avaible on PC and it gets japanese exclusive to playstation reguraly like dragon quest heroes without sony spending any money.
If you have a PC many first party titles from xbox are avaible there

  • +4
Roronaa_chan NightDragon83 (on 26 June 2015)

Sony's first party games don't go to PC. MS's do.

  • +2
Rafie (on 25 June 2015)

Oh I knew where this was going when I saw the title of the article. Oh boy...

  • +1
SilentStryker (on 25 June 2015)

This would be the exact same for PS4 the other way around. Just depends what you already have.

  • +1
snyperdud (on 25 June 2015)

Great article, and I completely agree on all points. I have a PS4, Wii U, and fairly high end gaming PC. With these platforms at my disposal, it's pretty hard to justify getting an Xbox One at it's current price and library. But for someone in a different position, with nothing to play all of these games on, the Xbox One is a great choice.

  • +1
Doublelime (on 25 June 2015)

good article.

  • +1
SickleSigh (on 28 June 2015)

This argument is old but is still valid. Sony has clearly focused on long term success after the initial failure of PS3. They won the format war with Bluray and switched gears to focusing on 1st and 2nd party games. Fostering relations with indie devs and recruiting new talent before they have proven themselves was a key strategy. They fully embraced MediaMolecule and LBP way before they acquired them. So now that the generations have been reset all those gains from last gen are still active, while MS is used to money hatting and that's all they seem to know how to do.

  • 0
Vasto (on 26 June 2015)

Funny article. As always all eyes on Xbox.

  • 0
bmosvg2015 (on 26 June 2015)

Now that I have a really powerful PC, owning an XB1 is just not a priority. Especially with all the cross platform games coming to PC over the next year. Including Gears of War.

The Steam sale helped me to pick up a lot of games that I owned on the 360 (for next to nothing) and those titles look and play so much better on PC that B.C. is moot.

I don't think MS can turn the XB1 around. There are too many detractors... but Xbox Live on PC is the real deal and moving forward, that is the future of MS gaming.

  • 0
viewjet (on 26 June 2015)

Interesting, that's the exact combo I have-- PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC (Nvidia 750 TI). I pretty much have everything covered. Not interested in WiiU (except Zelda), and not interested in what I'm missing on the X1 (left over games). I'm sure this configuration will keep me satisfied for the next few years. BTW, finally played DRIVECLUB last night. Man this is a great driving game on so many levels-- and I just have the PLUS version. The nay sayers are clearly wrong about this PS4 exclusive. I like it more than even the FORZA game I have for the 360. I think they must have fixed it after its premature release.

  • 0
Rogerioandrade (on 26 June 2015)

It seems that a lof of people in Europe thinks just like you. XboxOne have not been selling there as well as in America

  • 0
GameAnalyser (on 26 June 2015)

"I want to play Rise of the Tomb Raider at launch I do need to buy an Xbox One, but if I practice patience the game will probably show up on a system I already own a few months down the line." A huge number of them awaits!

  • 0
bettergetdave (on 26 June 2015)

First off I love how the first comment says you can say the same thing about the PS4 and then 3 or 4 comments after repeat that without adding anything new. Do you people even think or read before you type?? So I think the article makes a fair analysis and at the same time it would be true in reverse I mostly agree. However the difference is with Sony they don't need those sales from xbox1 owners b/c they already are profitable and have a 10 million lead on MS. MS needs sales wherever they can get them though! This article is saying their only opportunity is marketing to the 360 fans to come off the bench or to get new console owners period. They have a really tough sell to anyone that already owns a PS4 and they could use those sales!

  • 0
Cloudman (on 26 June 2015)

The writer does make some good points. Exclusive wise, XBO doesnt have a lot to offer over its competitors. They should try to do so with more 1st party IPs or get full exclusives. It would make the XBO more enticing to buy.

  • 0
OnlyForDisplay (on 25 June 2015)

Agreed with all the points you have stated! Excellent work as well. Building up their first party is something they initially pushed in the beginning of the 360 days and much of the original Xbox Years, but after 2007, there hasn't been much in house development games since. To combat someone like Sony, you need to strike will in house products that deliver on quality; leaving breathing room on the big name franchises like Forza and Halo.

  • 0
Trunkin (on 25 June 2015)

People are always saying that console gaming is better than PC. That you dont have to deal with bugs, and crappy ports - that its just easier. Shouldnt that be reason enough? I mean, the way things are going, Xbox is going to share its entire library with Windows PCs sooner or later. I dont really see it as a problem, myself.Most people don't have systems capable of playing Xbox One games, anyway.

  • 0
Azuren Trunkin (on 25 June 2015)

Most people don't have XB1s, either. If I'm deciding between a $700-$1000 computer and a $350 XB1, I'll go with the PC due to getting more games and having a faster interface.

On a side note, if Microsoft wants a sale from me, they need to boost their interface. I felt like I was fighting a Ps3 when I was playing my friend's XB1.

  • -2
mochachino (on 28 June 2015)

Yeah I was seriously considering buying an xone with the recent price promotion: $350 with MCC and choice of new game (Batman, Witcher 3, etc.). But then I thought, what game would I want on xone that I can't play on my PS4. The only game would be Halo 5 and maybe Crackdown 3 but even that's not enough to justify it's purchase. And the free game (which would have been Batman) would be the inferior version. Gears and Fable lost their luster and even Halo isn't nearly as exciting anymore without Bungie. Timed exclusives do nothing for me, so I'd be buying it just to play the Halo series. That being said, if they remaster Reach to complete the collection, I may do just that. In a perfect world MS would just release the Halo games on PC.

  • -1
Maximus2013 (on 28 June 2015)

Should have not called it xbox one and should have not forced kinect with it.....

  • -1
jaddow (on 26 June 2015)

Star Wars: Battlefront, Disney Infinity 3, Hitman, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and Call of Duty: Black Ops III WHO NEEDS XBOX STUPID FIRST PARTY GAMES

  • -1
viewjet (on 26 June 2015)

Interesting, that's the exact combo I have-- PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC (Nvidia 750 TI). I pretty much have everything covered. Not interested in WiiU (except Zelda), and not interested in what I'm missing on the X1 (left over games). I'm sure this configuration will keep me satisfied for the next few years. BTW, finally played DRIVECLUB last night. Man this is a great driving game on so many levels-- and I just have the PLUS version. The nay sayers are clearly wrong about this PS4 exclusive. I like it more than even the FORZA game I have for the 360. I think they must have fixed it after its premature release.

  • -1
Roronaa_chan (on 26 June 2015)

So tough that it looks like i'm never, ever going to buy one. No reason to.

  • -1
Rustuv (on 26 June 2015)

I have been think this for a while. Now the xbox fans do raise a good point (technically by saying secondary console the title suggests the argument could swing the other way as well but the writer doesn't really address it at all) if you own an Xbone you don't really need a PS4. That being said Microsofts insistence on releasing all their first party titles on PC (to be fair sony does this some as well but no where close to the same amount as MS) and sony does manage to foster a decently strong first party (not really a huge fan of their first party but it's following is strong).

  • -1
TaMpAbLaCk (on 25 June 2015)

I have a PS4, PS3 phat & slim, PS2, (PS3 plays PSX/PS1 games too)
My PS3 phat has Zerogame installed on YDL 6.2/other OS. That is an amazing piece of software that allows me to play every game from every console, MAME/arcade, handheld, PC etc from 1980-1999 except for handheld is 1990-2007. So I have the full Libraries of games for Atari 2600, Commodore 64, MAME-Arcade, WonderSwan, NES, SNES, TurboGrafx 16, Neo-Geo, SEGA-Genesis, GameBoy, GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Apple ll, PC games etc just to name a few with all their games for every region on my PS3's other OS all mapped to play with the DualShock 3 controller. It Rox! Zerogame FTW! ;) There are probably only 5 of us in the world that installed the Zerogame software since Sony killed the other OS with the Slim & then the HAX community came out with all those JailBreak thumbdrives & MultiMan on the Game OS. So Zerogame fell by the wayside since your have to have a PS3 phat on FW 3.15 or earlier for you to have the other OS & install Yellow Dog Linux 6.2 on the PS3 phat. (Zerogame is not illegal like the JailBreaks & MultiMan etc) I only play Zerogame & watch movies or use Firefox on my PS3 phat. I use my PS3 slim to play PS3 or PSX/PS1 games. With those two PS3's & my PS4 & PS2 that can play burnt PS2 games & PS2 games from Japan or any other region too. All 4 of these consoles combined = Ubahness. No need for anything else. =p

  • -1
Kelzus (on 25 June 2015)

Exactly how I feel

  • -1
WoodenPints (on 25 June 2015)

This article applies to not only X1 but to PS4 as well its just which you bought 1st

  • -2
Azuren WoodenPints (on 25 June 2015)

Considering the market share, this article is targeted at the majority.

  • -1
Sharpryno (on 25 June 2015)

Feel the same way, except towards the PS4. Literally not one game I want to play on it until Uncharted 4 comes out.
I play XBO for exclusives and certain multiplats.
PC for everything else.
Not interested in most Wii U titles (smash and mario cart would be nice to have), but would very much prefer it over a PS4, a system that has absolutely nothing worthwhile.

  • -3
kowenicki (on 26 June 2015)

Did Andrew House write this? wow. The writing is getting as bad as the forum.

  • -4
chidori-chan2 (on 25 June 2015)

xbone 1 sucks, this console have no games period.

  • User was moderated for this post -Tachikoma
  • -4
darkenergy chidori-chan2 (on 25 June 2015)

That is false.

  • -1
Mad55 (on 25 June 2015)

This was one sided as hell. If you got a xbox one first you feel the same way about the Ps4.

  • -4
quisuis Mad55 (on 25 June 2015)

not really!! i want play bloodborne!

  • -2
Landguy (on 25 June 2015)
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Azzanation (on 26 June 2015)
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Seventizz (on 26 June 2015)
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ZyroXZ2 (on 26 June 2015)
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Mr Puggsly (on 25 June 2015)
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