Microsoft entered the gaming market with a brute force attack, they didn’t have the gaming heritage that Sony did, they didn’t have any games to call their own, they had no real console games developers, they had zero friends in the gaming industry, in fact they had absolutely nothing that absolutely no one wanted when it came to home entertainment that wasn’t based around a PC and this was back when Windows XP was new.
Yet Microsoft had one thing, a cheque book and one of the biggest cash reserves in the world, with the buying power to enter the games market with developers, hardware, marketing and more on an overnight basis and while their latest console the Xbox One might be lacking in the power department compared to the PlayStation 4, I wouldn’t count Microsoft out just yet.
Sony seems to have developers flocking to their console for free, it’s as if there is a literal queue of people to get in the deal, Microsoft however have a $1 billion cheque and they’ll be using every penny of fit developing Xbox One exclusive titles, and they’re not afraid to spend more if they need to.
People may think the Xbox 360 won the last round of Sony vs Microsoft, but it really hasn’t. Both sold over 50 million units and both consoles are within 1 million units of each other in global sales, Sony are in the lead here in Europe and have domination in eastern markets where many shops won’t even stock the Xbox because of it’s western origins, so coming into this next-gen race, it’s impossible to tell who will get out ahead first, or if they’ll even stay there.
With 15 exclusive titles in the first year, which also includes eight new IPs and while (a minimum) of $1 billion might not sound like much, keep in mind that studios will be investing their own money too, but that industry giants like EA still spend a fraction of that on their main franchises, aka $100 million.
“We want to be about serious fun. Things that people are really passionate about. Things that they love. Things that they cannot wait to get home to experience and to use. That is what the Xbox brings about. So, we are in the serious fun side of the house. You can call us the, you know, five to nine section if you want,” said Don Mattick, president of interactive entertainment business at Microsoft, in a conversation with OXM.
People might be mocking Microsoft now, but I bet it will still be a sales sensation this Chrismas, DRM or no DRM and you know I’m right.