Microsoft Is Going to Give Away the Xbox One's Best Game

After a strong debut, sales of Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) latest console, the Xbox One, have slowed to a crawl. Last month, rival Sony's (NYSE: SNE  ) PlayStation 4 outsold Microsoft's console by 2 to 1 in the U.S., and some retailers have begun to offer incentives to move unsold inventory.

Microsoft announced its own program on Monday, officially cutting the Xbox One's price in the U.K., and unofficially reducing it in the U.S. Going forward, the Xbox One will still retail for $499, but starting next month, will also include a free copy of Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ: EA  ) highly anticipated first-person shooter Titanfall (a $60 value).

Sony can't keep up with demand
Microsoft's sales initiative designed to move its console stands in stark contrast to what Sony is experiencing with the PlayStation 4. Currently, it's difficult or impossible to find Sony's gaming machine in stores, and the Japanese electronics giant expects supply to be constrained for at least the next month.

As I've written before, the demand discrepancy is hardly surprising -- in addition to being $100 less expensive, the PlayStation 4 is also the more powerful gaming system, able to output third-party games at higher graphical settings.

Although Microsoft has sold an estimated 3.6 million Xbox Ones worldwide, Sony has sold more than 5.3 million PlayStation 4s, and although that gap remains small today, it could increase significantly in the coming months. Microsoft's and Sony's previous consoles, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, sold roughly an equal number of units on a global basis, but were dominant in different regions.

Sony's PlayStation is particularly popular in its home country of Japan and much of Europe, while Microsoft's Xbox brand is strong in the U.S. and U.K.. That makes the PlayStation 4's Western popularity all the more alarming for Microsoft.

Electronic Arts should get a boost
Bundling Titanfall should boost sales of the Xbox One, as it's largely considered the console's most highly anticipated game -- it has received widespread acclaim and should be an early contender for game of the year. It's also somewhat exclusive, as it won't appear on Sony's PlayStation 4.

But while it should help Microsoft, the bigger winner could be the game's publisher, Electronic Arts. While I suspect that the majority of gamers planning to buy the Xbox One next month would've purchased Electronic Art's Titanfall anyway, Microsoft has guaranteed Electronic Arts additional sales of the game. 

That could boost Electronic Arts' results, both in this quarter and in the future. Titanfall is EA's marquee first-quarter release, and the company is expecting to continue to profit from the game through the sale of digital add-ons. The more gamers that own the game, more digital content Electronics Arts can sell. Moreover, the video game industry is one of sequels -- establishing Titanfall as a popular franchise will be crucial to selling future games in the series.

Still, that works in reverse as well. If sales of the Xbox One remain sluggish, Electronic Arts' decision to back Microsoft's console over Sony's could prove to be a massive mistake. With a larger install base, Titanfall would've likely sold more copies as a PlayStation exclusive. Electronic Arts has said that Titanfall's sequels could come on Sony's platform, but the popularity of the first title will be crucial. As an online-only, multiplayer first-person shooter, Titanfall and its sequels will, over the next few years, compete head-to-head with popular franchises like Call of Duty and Destiny, an upcoming original franchise from the creators of Halo.

Is it too early?
Of course, with the two consoles just three months old, some may say it's simply too early to jump to conclusions. Sony's own PlayStation 3 was initially a disappointment at retail, as consumers struggled to pay its (then absurdly high) $599 asking price. Through a combination of quality exclusives and price cuts, Sony was able to close the gap.

No doubt Microsoft is capable of pulling off something similar, but the recent slowdown in the pace of Xbox One sales is still troubling. The broader tech world is in the process of some significant changes, making comparisons to prior console generations difficult.

If recent rumors prove true, soon Microsoft will find itself competing with Amazon.com. The online retail giant is expected to roll out a set-top box next month, and in addition to playing Internet-based video, Amazon's machine could also double as a video game console. Last month, TechCrunch reported that Amazon had acquired Double Helix games -- the studio behind the Xbox One launch title Killer Instinct.

Add in similar rumors about both Apple and Google, Valve's efforts to bring PC gaming to the living room, and the growth of mobile gaming, and you have a market for gaming devices that's never been more competitive.

While video game enthusiasts may own multiple consoles, most Americans don't -- according to Nielsen, although the majority of households own some sort of modern gaming device, less than a quarter own two, and fewer than 10% own three. In other words, consumers have a tendency to pick a platform and stick to it.

There are also network effects at work: In an era of widespread online multiplayer, gamers want to own the console all their friends own, and game creators want to develop their games for the most popular machines.

While Microsoft can come back, it's important to close the gap with Sony as soon as possible. Giving away Titanfall should help, though it underscores Microsoft's unfortunate circumstance.

The war for your living room begins now
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  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 6:18 PM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    They have to. It's $100 more expensive for a system that is a lot weaker than the PS4.

    I think it's a good move for MSFT, but it won't get me to buy an XBOXone, they've burnt that bridge during E3 with Adam Orth, Don Mattrick and Major Nelson.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 6:20 PM, Bunnyking77 wrote:

    Well the main problem that EA has is that it wanted to make a Call of Duty killer, and although Titanfall definitely brings that, the game is only being sold on one console and the PC.

    It is severely limiting the whole point of making a killer game. Yes every XBOXone will have that game bundled with it, but really who wants to buy an XBOXone when Titanfall runs so much better on a PC, and doesn't have all the annoying aspects of the XBOX.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 6:39 PM, deltafool117 wrote:

    Why doesn't anyone understand the January and February Xbox sales?

    It is simple. No significant exclusives have been released last month or this month, so why would someone who did not purchase an Xbox One in November/December (also remembering that there was plenty of supply and no shortages) purchase one in January and February, knowing the Titanfall is coming out in march.

    SIMPLE. Wow. motley fool should hire me to write some articles. I can say in one paragraph what this writer struggled to say in a full article.

    -Deltafool117

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:17 PM, stoneskyman wrote:

    What made the great XBOX downfall was the CEO`S who came up with the dumb idea of having a KINNECT for the 360. Because of very low sales when it first came out - they decided to throw it on the new XBOX 1 council and charge an extra $100 for their losses when it was only previously only a $120 for the KINNECT and now with it on the new XBOX 1 - the price of it sky rocketed an extra $100 making it about $250 which made the new XBOX 1 come out with an outrageous price for some, depending on the area of where it is sold it ranged from $500 - $1000.00 after taxes, not including the outrageous prices they already have for the new games and points card etc you need to get the extras and new maps when and when it is they do come out that is - it totals about a $150 basically after taxes - $50 for the points and about $70 a new game - XBOX does like to rip off its devoted players - and throwing that over sized disk player with that KINNECT attachment NOBODY WANTS (XBOX) - its no wonder no 1 wants to say to say they are xbox gamers now days - TRUTH is XBOX has no respect for the many devoted fans that have helped pave the way for them - all we get is over priced games and a gaming council we all have to RE-BUY games for - probably another good reason for us all to leave xbox alone and crumble to their greed - IT`S THE END FOR XBOX - PERIOD, keep youre greed and stupidity - im headed for a PS4

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:25 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    Only morons and wacky petulant fanboys would believe that the difference in specs between the Xbox One and PS4 are vast. The specs are negligible at best. While Sony has slightly better specs, the games play in an almost identical manner on both consoles (regardless of trivial upconverting for the time being). However, there are many things that the Xbox One can do that the PS4 cannot. While most core gamers don't care about those things, there are MILLIONS of customers who do.

    What sold me on the Xbox One?

    It is all about the advanced, added capabilities (e.g., picture-in-picture, Skype calling DURING games/video, the upcoming Illumiroom ability rumored to come early next year, etc...) but, more importantly, the EXCLUSIVES.

    I prefer TITANFALL, HALO, GEARS OF WAR and some of the other Xbox exclusives over the exclusives for the PS4. Of course, this is all a matter of preference. There are some nice exclusives coming to PS4 as well; however, I simply don't care to play those particular games. I do, however, want to play TITANFALL, HALO and GEARS OF WAR. The bulk of the games will play on both systems -- with the added bonus of being able to watch TV while playing a game or Skype call while doing something else.

    That said: Sam Mattera seems to have some weird obsession or even vendetta against Microsoft. He almost comes across as a biased, paid plant masquerading as a "blogger." Sammy boy, do you get PAID to write these silly, petulant opinion pieces?

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:27 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ stoneskyman: I actually like the Kinect. Not only can it be used for voice and motion control of my console, but it also allows me to have HD voice and video calls via SKYPE -- even while in the middle of something else (e.g., games, videos, live TV, etc...) on the console.

    Anyone who smugly proclaims "the end of" a console -- based upon opinion rather than real concrete evidence -- is borderline insane or just plain stupid.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:34 PM, speculawyer wrote:

    Titanfall is a good description for what happened to Microsoft.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:35 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ Bunnyking:

    Not everyone would be able to play TITANFALL on their PC. The technical requirements for TITANFALL are immense -- especially if you want to play it at an optimal level.

    I have a nice PC with a great card. However, I would need to buy a completely new PC in order to play TITANFALL on the PC. Moreover, there are some games that I prefer to play on consoles -- especially when cheating is a problem (e.g., CoD games).

    I have played TITANFALL. There is nothing like it out on the market. It is one of the deciding factors for purchasing the Xbox One. In fact, I put off purchasing the Xbox One BECAUSE I was waiting for the March release of TITANFALL. My PS4 was blue-lighted/bricked and I had difficulty replacing it. So, I decided that I will go with the Xbox One in March and play my other games on the PC. It will give me all of the games that I am interested in playing (e.g., TITANFALL, HALO, BF4, PLANTS V. ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE, GEARS OF WAR, etc...) as well as the ability to control my console with Kinect. It also gives me the ability to do multiple things at the same time (watch live TV while on a Skype call, play games while browsing, etc...)

    I am happy with my decision. I have nothing against Sony (other than the bluelighted console debacle), but I simply went with the exclusives that suit my tastes.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:36 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ Bunnyking:

    Not everyone would be able to play TITANFALL on their PC. The technical requirements for TITANFALL are immense -- especially if you want to play it at an optimal level.

    I have a nice PC with a great card. However, I would need to buy a completely new PC in order to play TITANFALL on the PC. Moreover, there are some games that I prefer to play on consoles -- especially when cheating is a problem (e.g., CoD games).

    I have played TITANFALL. There is nothing like it out on the market. It is one of the deciding factors for purchasing the Xbox One. In fact, I put off purchasing the Xbox One BECAUSE I was waiting for the March release of TITANFALL. My PS4 was blue-lighted/bricked and I had difficulty replacing it. So, I decided that I will go with the Xbox One in March and play my other games on the PC. It will give me all of the games that I am interested in playing (e.g., TITANFALL, HALO, BF4, PLANTS V. ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE, GEARS OF WAR, etc...) as well as the ability to control my console with Kinect. It also gives me the ability to do multiple things at the same time (watch live TV while on a Skype call, play games while browsing, etc...)

    I am happy with my decision. I have nothing against Sony (other than the bluelighted console debacle), but I simply went with the exclusives that suit my tastes.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:45 PM, EddieEsco wrote:

    I love how people think Titanfall will somehow enable XB1 to catch up to PS4's sales.

    Another thing too, its not an exclusive, I'm buying it for 360, and others on PC, so to say that this is an excljusive to the XB1 is moronic and stupid.

    also ! chrismireya, illumiroom is not happening, it would be too costly----"Microsoft now says cost is an issue for bringing it to market. "I wouldn’t expect you’ll see that," explains Albert Penello, head of product planning for Xbox One, in an interview with AusGamers. "It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but... we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars [for the set up]."

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:51 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    Sam Matterson is singlehandedly destroying whatever credibility MOTLEY FOOL. His articles are ridiculous.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 7:59 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ EddieEsco: Who do you know who thinks that the sales of the Xbox One will catch up to the sales of the PS4?

    I haven't heard anyone say this.

    TITANFALL is an exclusive for Microsoft. That is what we are saying. You need a very high end PC or an Xbox console (either the Xbox One or Xbox 360) to play it. So, no one is "moronic or stupid" except those silly little fanboys who claim otherwise.

    Finally, Illumiroom is not happening now...but it is in the works. I know this because I know the right people from Microsoft. While we won't experience it for some time, we should look forward to it in 2015.

    Still, there are many reasons that some people would prefer the Xbox One over the PS4. It is a matter of preference. There are features that the Xbox One has that PS4 does not have. Those are selling features for millions of people. In addition, the exclusives for Microsoft are more compelling to me -- and many others -- than the exclusives for the PS4.

    This doesn't mean that the PS4 is better than the Xbox One or that the Xbox One is better than the PS4. It simply means that many people are waiting to purchase an Xbox One for TITANFALL or some of the other upcoming titles. Others are waiting for a price drop of the Xbox One (which is coming this week in Europe). If I can get TITANFALL with the Xbox One, then I am already sold!

    There is no "war." Healthy competition is good for fans of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 8:30 PM, YoSoyCochino wrote:

    Sam Mattera is serverly full of crap. I bought an Xbox One a few days ago, and the guy at Gamestop told me that the reason it's so hard to get a PS4 right now, is becasue there is some kind of labor dispute/strike going on where they are made in either China or Japan, can't remember. In fact the workers were intentionally hacking the systems with chips to make the system not work. As a result Sony had to recall a crapload of PS4's.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 8:58 PM, EddieEsco wrote:

    @chrismireya

    I just hate the way MS has such bad PR speak---they claimed that 2 million people played the Titanfall beta and make it seem like its all XB1 players....not the case, it was a mix of 360/XB1/PC, I bet a majority of the game will be sold on the 360, at least in the near future.

    Just really do not consider this game a console seller, sure it will get a nice spike in March, but I don't see this being the savior XB1 needs right now. MAYBE if it was a real exclusive.

    also, you will have to forgive me about not believing you having inside knowledge, if I fell for that line each time, I'd be a total dunce.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 9:49 PM, green1 wrote:

    I have to agree with chrismireya, as a long time premium member of The Motley Fool community, Sam Mattera did not do his homework. First TitanFall is not Xbox Ones best game, it is only in beta and it will be a while before we know what the sales figures will be for this title. Maybe Sam is a PS4 fan, maybe he doesn't like Microsoft. I have read similar articles and its easy to put some of the same info in them. The great thing about both consoles is choice! I like both consoles but stick with the Xbox platform because most of the games I play are on that console. I am playing the Titanfall beta and while I like the game its only a part of what they are going to be offering throughout the year. I do think that Microsoft is going for the mutlimedia all in one home console more than Sony. I like the direction they are going and I am willing to pay a little more for more content.

  • Report this Comment On February 26, 2014, at 11:15 PM, chilero wrote:

    Microsoft is obviously incredibly desperate for sales of Xbox One. So desperate that they have to bundle a popular game with the console. No other console maker in history has ever bundled a popular title with the console. This is the evidence that the Xbox One is failing and will be doomed.

    /sarcasm

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 12:10 AM, taker36 wrote:

    seems to me all i see is X1 bashing on here...it's pretty stupid .i've seen plenty of PS4's at target and wal-mart..and doesn't sony bundle games like uncharted..yeah they did..and if you rally think sony cares about you ...haha you guys are nuts they are desperate this time..remenber when PS3 came out oh i do sony to the gamers to screw them selves...now they care so much..they care about the money that is all ..not saying microsoft is any btter but don't tell me sony cares cause they don't.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 12:24 AM, qu4ckaddict wrote:

    I don't know why anyone would buy the bundle unless there in it for a free game. There must be something wrong with me, in my opinion Titanfall sucks.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 12:26 AM, krazie5150 wrote:

    even though I love the halo series, id rather buy a wii U than a XboxONE. PERIOD!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 12:26 AM, qu4ckaddict wrote:

    I alos don't know how they can call it the one's best game theres not that many out yet. The one is only 3 months old.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 6:26 AM, Cerberus82 wrote:

    buy the Titanfall Xbox1 and lose 40 GB of your allotted 500 GB. Microsoft needs to think about something other than offering up a game that maybe 1 in 5 people going for a new console will want. Either way I'm going to sit this new generation of consoles out for at least another year or more.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 9:21 AM, eQil1 wrote:

    Titanfall will give Xb1 a boost in sales but it will probably sell more on Xbox 360 just because of the install base it already has. Cerberus82 there has been a corection on how much space Titanfall will take up, only 20 GB now. It seems like the 3rd generation curse is hitting Xb1 just like it did with ps3, 600$ at launch!! but not to many people (fanboys) want to bring that up do they. Microsoft knows the mistakes they have made & are trying to rectify them, they are not going to take over a year to fix them like Sony did with the ps3. Bundling Titanfall for free is good for business & this will not be the last game they do this for. I'm still going to hold out on getting both ps4 & Xb1. Not many games for either system & I'm still playing & having lots of fun with my ps3, Xbox 360, Wii U & even more fun when I get my Sega genisis & dreamcast. Luckily for us we live in a free country & can choose what we want to play (somtimes but not always without insults). And can somone tell me what stoneskyman is trying to say cause I do not understand a single thing he wrote. Sam your articles are still bad for Motely.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 9:46 AM, giggity51 wrote:

    Will the people that already have the Xbox one get to get Titanfall.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 9:59 AM, JD80 wrote:

    @chrismireya - The requirements are immense? It runs on the Source engine which is known to have low requirements. I have an i5 with 8 GB of RAM and a GTX 760 (which are just ok specs), it ran at a solid 60 fps the entire beta.

    http://www.usgamer.net/articles/titanfalls-pc-system-require...

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 11:00 AM, anuebis wrote:

    Sam, you are a tool. Yes there has been a slow down, but it is not troubling. Both systems are outselling their last-gen numbers. Simply because one system is selling better then another does not mean the system selling less is not successful. Based on your logic there is no room for anyone on a market outside of the number one company. According to your logic, Pepsi should not be in business because it is number two.

    Exclusives do not mean they will not be successful because they have "limited" themselves to a specific console. Heavy Rain a game that could be considered a niche exclusive made $100 million dollars and did not have the mainstream appeal that Titanfall does.

    Titanfall will sell Xboxes. I also want to be clear I am not a "fanboy." I have the 360, PS3 and Xbone, and in the future I will also have a PS4. For me, I have always preferred Xbox because it's online Xbox Live was vastly superior to PSN.

    I also think the power difference is a joke with people not even knowing the terms they use. The PS3 was a vastly more powerful system, yet in the end it did not matter against the Xbox 360.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 12:49 PM, Mark2thaRescue wrote:

    @chilero

    I remember buying an NES in the 80's that was bundled with Super Mario Bros which was their best game at the time. Later, it was Zelda which was a top seller.

    With that said, MS is desperate. They shot themselves in the foot with all that nonsense about not being able sell your games or loan them. Even though they changed their mind, it's all software changes so they can bring it back at anytime.

    It's the trust factor now. I bought a PS4 because they never had thos ambitions to begin with and now they see how MS has fared so I doubt they will head in that direction.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 12:57 PM, stockwoodie wrote:

    I love my 360, but I will not buy XO as long as I am forced to buy a Kinect. I have the first generation Kinect and I've used the new Kinect. No Thanks. I have bricks in my backyard that are more useful. Why is Microsoft "forcing" the Kinect peripheral on consumers when it is NOT required to use the XO? I'd rather spend MY money on things I want to purchase, not on things MS "thinks" I want/need.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 1:04 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ JD80: You conveniently included only the minimal specs necessary to actually load and play the game at its lowest settings. To get an experience similar to what you will get on the Xbox One, you will need much better specs.

    In fact, the recommended specs for TITANFALL are as follows:

    Intel Core 2 Quad Core 2.6 Ghz x 4

    or AMD Phenom II X4 820

    8 GB RAM

    Radeon HD 6870

    48 GB of HDD space

    My system can play BF3 and BF4. I have a decent dual core processor, 6 GB RAM and a Radeon HD 7770 card. This is well within the minimum specs for those games. However, the game is exceptionally sluggish on multiplayer. I have to lower the settings to almost last generation quality to have an almost normal experience -- and even that is sluggish.

    I have no doubt that TITANFALL will not play on my system -- especially with the fluidity that it plays on the Xbox One.

    No matter how many fanboys stir up faux dissent and whining, TITANFALL is a revolutionary game that will sell extremely well for the Xbox One. Will it push out consoles? With it offered for FREE with the Xbox One, I think that it will make many current gen Xbox console owners make the jump. It may draw a few other multi-platform gamers too.

    I do think that there is an almost cult-like following among core gamers with the Sony consoles. I doubt that too many of them will make the plunge. In fact, the most die-hard Sony fanboys have probably already made the plunge to the PS4. more power to them!

    The PS4 is a fantastic console! However, it doesn't offer some of the things that I really want -- particularly in extra features and the exclusive games that I am more interested in.

    I purchased a PS4 on pre-order. Unfortunately, my console was one of those that simply didn't work (it was blue-lighted beyond repair). I tried to get Sony to replace it, but they referred me to the store where it was purchased. The store said that Sony only sent a handful of consoles and didn't have any replacements (and weren't expecting any for a while). So, I simply returned it.

    I had planned to buy both the PS4 and the Xbox One. Now, I am somewhat sure that I will stick with the Xbox One. I just prefer some things with Xbox (e.g., Xbox Live experience, Kinect, Skype, cloud Windows integration, the Xbox controller, exclusive games, etc...), so I am happy with my decision.

    I suppose the thing that irks me is when fanboys almost spew ridicule on anyone who prefers the Xbox One over the PS4 (or vice versa). That borders on mindless fanaticism. BOTH consoles are great and offer both great gaming, alternatives to gaming and, most importantly, much-needed competition in the console industry. There is no need to view this like a "war" in which people must declare either corporate loyalty, allegiance or a "stand" when we can have and enjoy both.

    Make sense?

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 2:41 PM, WatDatQueenSay wrote:

    The reason why XBOX is failing is how buggy it is. On top of it, we have to pay $100 more for a BUGGY system.

    Microsoft needs to understand that they are going to loose their market if they continue to release expensive products, that are unfinished, and completely fool of bugs. Microsoft is failing to meet and exceed customer's expectations.

    They released this crap in November, their first patch was released in Feb. Once the patch was released, it did not resolve the major bugs that people were complaining about. In addition to, their patch added more bugs.

    Try running a game, and click on the XBOX button... the screen blacks out. The only way to fix that is to pull the plug and plug it back in.

    In mean time the TV surround is playing in 2 channel until they release a Surround BETA which doesn't give you true 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.

    Also, the bluray sound sometimes/most of the time goes out of sync.

    Lastly, XBOX promised us 3D but on release to no avail. Now they are saying they might do 3D. Therefore as of now, and probably forever since "Major whats his name" is not responding to the 3D issues, will never likely go into fruition. So NO 3D games or movies.

    One more thing, they claim 4K capability; however their display setting only goes up to 1080p.

    On the Surface (pun intended) XBOX is definitely a Microsoft product, "A lot broken promises."

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2014, at 5:34 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ WatDatQueenSay: The Xbox One is not failing. It has outsold the Xbox 360's release by 300% during the same initial time frame. It hasn't outsold Sony, but that doesn't equate to "failure" (except to someone like ignorant blogger Sam Mattera).

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 7:04 AM, rrjim1 wrote:

    The best looking game so far is Ryse, so tell me again how the PS4 is so much more powerful.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 9:51 AM, CriticKitten wrote:

    I love the vehement defense of the Xbone in here, it's hysterical.

    Let's be clear, the Xbone hasn't failed. Not at all. But they are definitely "losing" to the PS4 by any reasonable measure of the word, and this move to offer "free" copies of their biggest exclusive is most definitely a desperation move that would not be happening this early in the generation if Microsoft wasn't starting to sweat the PS4's sizeable unit lead.

    First, the PS4 is more powerful. This isn't debatable, it's established fact, so let's stop denying it. The benchmark tests have long since been done, and the PS4 came out ahead. The multi-platform games have been compared every single time, and the PS4 runs at equal or better specs to the Xbone on every single one, and as a result, the PS4 boasts a significantly larger 1080p library than the Xbone. Even the Xbone's best looking game, Ryse, only runs at an upscaled 900p, and it sacrifices gameplay significantly in order to do so as many reviewers have noted (weaker AI, less variety in enemy models, smaller zones, etc). And this game, Titanfall, which is supposed to "save" Microsoft and surpass Call of Duty, can't achieve 1080p or 60 FPS on its console version. Only on the PC version does it reach those specs.

    Second, the price tag has been a significant factor in the Xbone's failure to match its competitor. For those in need of a history lesson, think back to last gen when the roles reversed. The PS3 shot itself in the foot for retailing at the highest of the three consoles, and it was technically the strongest of the three in terms of raw hardware. The Xbone isn't as strong as the PS4 yet retails at a hundred bucks higher. Unless you're really attracted to the Xbone's exclusives, the average consumer would not buy it over a PS4. And the only reason it retails for more than a PS4 is because they doubled down on the Kinect and turned the console into more of an "entertainment system", which cost them dedicated disc drive space that can't be used for gaming, and jacks up the hardware costs. And while the jury is still out on whether that investment will pay off, a quick look at the roster of 360 games which dedicated themselves to Kinect shows that the games which use the device are almost always generally inferior than ones which do not. Which is probably why the new device focuses primarily on voice commands rather than movement.

    Third, the Xbox division is in serious financial trouble. They've lost Microsoft over $3 billion over the course of their first ten years of service (only becoming profitable after the first 3-5 years of straight losses), and the 2013 fiscal year sees Microsoft losing another $1 billion *purely* because of the new console. There are investors clamoring to get Microsoft to sell the Xbox division off. Ergo, even if Microsoft were ahead of Sony in terms of units, they still desperately need this game to succeed, because selling multiple $60 games to their new adopter is the only way that they can start to make their money back. Sony, too, is in serious financial hot water, but not specifically with their Playstation division, which is one of the few divisions still making them money. So they can afford to sell or close other divisions while retaining their Playstation brand. Microsoft, on the other hand, is hedging its bets against Titanfall, and if it should falter, then Microsoft is in trouble. And the stats suggest it might: the game had 2 million people testing it in beta, but the majority of them were 360 or PC players, not Xbone users (which is what MS needs most).

    The writer of this article does make several errors, but his general "point" is spot-on: Microsoft needs this game to succeed, because it means very bad things for them if it doesn't. They are not in great financial standing, and their investors are trying to ram the doors down. If Titanfall doesn't pull off Halo numbers on the Xbone, expect to see even more news about investors insisting on a sale. And Microsoft may just have to relent to those demands. Because if they can't push units with their biggest exclusive, then they're in big trouble. Even Nintendo's Wii U console, which is doing *awful*, managed to increase its sales significantly after pushing out its first big exclusive. If MS can't do it, but Nintendo can do it with a fledgling console, then MS is in more trouble than any of the white knights here would care to admit.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2014, at 3:29 PM, chrismireya wrote:

    @ critickitten: Is that you, Sam?

    In a nutshell: Absolute rubbish.

    There is not a "war." No one is "losing" anything. The only thing is that Sony is currently selling more consoles that Microsoft. Period. Both consoles are selling EXCEPTIONALLY well. Sony just happens to be selling better to "core" gamers who are often the first to upgrade.

    The writer of this "article" is not even a real journalist. He writes the most asinine ideas -- based upon silly opinions and whimsical assumptions -- and tries to pass it off as an analytic article.

    BTW, to claim that the Xbox is in "serious financial trouble" is proof positive that you have absolute NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

    It is almost laughable. There are some armchair analysts with pea brains willing to claim anything in blind allegiance to their Sony console.

    Get an education. Maybe, one day, you can replace Sam at Motley Fool. I have a suspicion that he will be unemployed soon (given the absolutely stupid nature of his "articles") that are serving only to excite the glee of a handful of petulant fanboys and no one else. Such nonsense is destroying the credibility of Motley Fool.

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