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HD Report | March 24, 2017

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Xbox One’s Best Year Wasn’t Good Enough

Xbox One’s Best Year Wasn’t Good Enough
Matthew Byrd

Xbox One S

There has never been a better time to own an Xbox One.

Between the launch of the Xbox One S (the best piece of gaming hardware released this year), an E3 presentation that finally found a nice balance between actual game footage and hype, a stable of compelling software releases, and exciting programs such as an expanded backward compatibility initiative, this was the banner year for the Xbox brand that Microsoft has been dreaming of.

It’s just a shame that it wasn’t quite good enough.

The Xbox One S may very well be the best console on the market from a price vs. performance perspective, but it’s not the kind of console that will turn Microsoft’s fortunes around. The Xbox One S is the console that Microsoft should have released from the very start. It’s sleek, it’s powerful, and it’s not weighed down by bloat like the Kinect.

Had Microsoft released that system in 2013, they might very well have turned the current console sales race into a photo finish. They didn’t, though, so it isn’t. Sony’s 10-20 million unit lead is not going anywhere. Realistically, you could even argue that there’s no way that Microsoft could have expected to close that gap within a calendar year.

That gap is still a problem, though, because it continues to swallow the company’s best efforts. If you were to weigh the quality of Xbox’s exclusive 2016 games against PS4’s exclusive 2016 games, you’ll that they’re about even with a few degrees of variation based on preference. Factor in some of the intangibles, like the aforementioned backward compatibility system and the quality of the free games Microsoft offers, and you could even argue that Microsoft had more to offer in that department as well.

Despite all this, the best Microsoft can hope for is to be able to confidently say that they did the best they could. Even if the Xbox One S is a steal at $250 (a price it regularly goes for when there is a sale), the number of people that would rather spend that money on the system rather than on PS4 Pro, Nintendo Switch, Project Scorpio, or even something like a 4K television grows a little smaller each month.

It’s not accurate to say that everyone who wants an Xbox One already owns one, but it is starting to feel like Microsoft is putting their best foot forward at a time when they don’t have anywhere to go.

The sad truth is that there isn’t an immediate solution in sight. Still, it was a great year to be an Xbox fan, and that has to count for something.

Comments

  1. VR-4nic

    MS did this to themselves the day the Xbone was revealed and essentially handed this generation to Sony & the PS4. I for one wanted nothing to do with MS after seeing the reveal. Sony won a lot of games support by default of MS arrogance. Kind remember a similar thing happening with the PS3 reveal…

    • medman

      Perhaps…but Sony turned around the ps3 by delivering stellar games during it’s lifecycle, so much so that despite being priced higher for a few years and releasing more than a year later AND Microsoft selling the same customers multiple 360’s due to red ring, the ps3 went on to overtake and outsell the 360 for the generation. With all that Sony has coming on the games front in 2017 and 2018, they will further distance themselves in ps4 vs xbox one sales, despite whatever Scorpio will be.

  2. bob tart

    Anyone think it’s strange that you can still buy brand new original Xbox ones months after the One S came out and all the crazy discounts that were going on? Seems like they still have a few warehouses full of them.

    • Real Man

      You’re a clown

  3. kevin

    Their a solution but it requires Bringing Bill Gates back to lead MS and all it divisions .
    Bring him back and we get the cutthroat edge MS & company once had leavening all other in waste .

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