Recently, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One was the best-selling console for September in both the U.S. and UK markets. This marks the third month in a role the Xbox One has been the top seller in the U.S.
It also marks quite the turnaround for the Xbox brand in the long term. Microsoft’s current flagship system was met with extreme hostility when it was first announced in May of 2013. Much of this hatred was due to controversial policies such as always online “check-in” feature as well as the company’s emphasis on hardware and apps over games. Microsoft removed many of the system’s most controversial features in June of 2013, but the taint of the name remained.
Once Sony unveiled their game friendly, controversy-free, cheaper PlayStation 4…well,it started a few years of people declaring “I told you so” as the PS4 cruised towards its roughly 20 million unit lead in the current console sales wars.
No, it’s not hard to understand why the Xbox One attracted so many doubters, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to understand why it continues to leave people feeling jaded. Perhaps some will forever associate the console with its painfully rough start and months of desperate scrambling. Maybe it’s just too hard for some people to change adamant opinions. Of course, it’s quite possible there are people out there that are just not a fan of the console or its games.
Even that last group must respect what Microsoft has managed to do with the Xbox One. In less than a year, they breathed new life into a system that previously suffered setback after setback. They did it by releasing a compelling console upgrade in the form of the Xbox One S. They did it by finding a way to introduce expanded 4K capabilities at a reasonable price. They did it by structuring a few months to feature the release of at least one notable exclusive title.
In short, they did it by doing everything right and by addressing the problems thrown at them by their harshest critics.
Now, it’s time for those critics to recognize that Microsoft is shaping a contender from the ashes of a potential failure. The Xbox One S is the console that Microsoft should have released from the start. That they didn’t is something that they will have to live with as they struggle in vain to reach the PS4’s sales figures, but that shouldn’t condemn them to irredeemability either.
You can say that the hype surrounding the release of the PS4 Pro is preventing some people from buying PlayStation 4s at the moment. You can even say that the sales gap between the two systems is so great that it was inevitable that Microsoft would gain some ground. What you can’t say, though, is that Microsoft isn’t doing everything they can to make the gaming industry a little more interesting.
Don’t be surprised if those good decisions lead to the system retaining its sales streak throughout the holidays. In fact, be happy.