How Important Is Titanfall for Microsoft's Xbox One?

Source: xbox.com

The Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Xbox One has been getting trounced by the PlayStation 4 from Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) . While the most recent round of the console wars is currently at a very early stage, the momentum advantage enjoyed by the PlayStation 4 is substantial enough that many have already declared a decisive victory for Sony. A recent statement from the company indicates that the PlayStation 4 had sold more than 6 million units as of March 2. Xbox One's worldwide sales are estimated to be around 4 million units. With Microsoft's console looking to be a non-factor in Japan and PlayStation 4 outperforming it in every major territory, Sony looks to be in good position to continue this trend. That's not the whole story, however.

The Xbox One could very well offer a better software lineup than Sony's system in 2014. Of the One's upcoming games, none have received the level of hype and anticipation currently swirling around Titanfall from publisher Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA  ) . Exclusive games have become increasingly rare among the industry's rising development costs, but are still certain to be a driving factor in console adoption. Given that PlayStation 4's considerable hardware advantage all but assures the system will receive graphically superior versions of multi-platform games, the importance of exclusives offers Microsoft a fighting chance. Can Titanfall help to reverse Xbox One's fortunes?

A game of titanic importance
The March release of Titanfall marks the debut of the first exclusive game with generation-defining potential. The fact that the game will also arrive on the Xbox 360 (as well as PC) highlights the reality of diminishing graphical returns in the console space, but Microsoft's marketing machine guarantees that the title will primarily be viewed as an Xbox One game. Sony's Killzone: Shadow Fall may have sold more than 2 million copies and be a better graphical showcase, but Titanfall is undeniably the more important release.

Microsoft's previous consoles were largely defined by their strong lineups of games in the first and third person shooter genres. The "Halo" series famously carried the original Xbox to market relevance and proved fundamental in defining the Xbox brand. Now, Microsoft's newest system desperately needs its "Halo" moment.

A controlling stake 

Source: xbox.com

Respawn Entertainment, the developer of Titanfall, is said to have played a notable role in the shaping of the Xbox One. A recent system update that reworks the Xbox One controller's sensitivity was carried out with Respawn's guidance in order to improve the Titanfall experience. The title will launch alongside an Xbox One bundle that includes a digital version of the game at no additional cost. With PlayStation 4 outselling the One in key territories like North America and the UK, Titanfall's debut represents Microsoft's first real chance to change the winds of the console wars.

Microsoft's smartest move in this console cycle?
EA's high-flying first person shooter wasn't always planned as a platform exclusive. Microsoft approached the publisher with the possibility of a deal and EA's projections for how hardware market share would play out made the arrangement even more attractive. If the series is to stay exclusive to Microsoft's platforms, the move would almost certainly limit its growth potential. There's talk that a Titanfall sequel could land on Sony's PlayStation 4. If the first installment proves to be a massive hit, Microsoft would be wise to provide the necessary incentives to ensure that the series does not grace Sony platforms. A graphically superior PS4 version of Titanfall 2 could arrive in as little as two years and would eliminate one of the defining reasons to purchase an Xbox One.

Source: xbox.com

The keys to improving Xbox One's value proposition 
Microsoft has erred in putting forth a console with weaker hardware than PlayStation 4 at a higher price. With the promise of Xbox One's TV integration and cloud infrastructure being slow to materialize, the focus once again shifts to games. Lucky for Microsoft, the PS4's currently announced 2014 lineup doesn't look particularly strong. A price drop for the Xbox One could see the two consoles on much more even footing by the end of the year. Even if a price reduction were to occur in time for 2014's holiday sales period, the One's future is largely dependent on Titanfall being a massive success. 

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Read/Post Comments (18) | Recommend This Article (4)

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  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 8:05 AM, majormayhem70 wrote:

    That controller is wicked!!!

    Titanfall is very important to the Xbox One and I believe it will sell some consoles. A price drop on the X1 will be necessary in the near future though for the console to really become competitive with the PS4. I own both consoles, but I honestly find myself more impressed by the X1. Both consoles show pretty graphics. The PS4 prettier than the X1 in that department. But I've been gaming for over 20 years, so I'm looking for something more than your typical gaming set up, and thats where The X1 comes in offering much more than typical. It's quite an impressive machine, and with continued support (had a major update for the X1 this week) the experience will only continue to get better.

    Hardcore gamers like myself, enter the gaming arena early. We are the initial buyers, but it is the casual gamers that actually set the stage as to which console is "Boss". Microsoft doesn't have to match the PS4's price, but drop the X1's price $40 dollars north of it and then allow the X1's features to show why the price difference is there.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 8:06 AM, hisradness wrote:

    Titanfall will satisfy a niche of XBox 1 customers. There will be a slim percentage of customers that return it promptly, those being the consumers that just buy the next hot item without doing any research on the product. The lack of a campaign mode will hurt Titanfall, that alone limits its appeal. I see it as unlikely that Titanfall will truly impact XBox 1 sells.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 8:16 AM, BuddhaDude wrote:

    @majormayhem70

    You're far off the mark. Any core console gamer knows to hold off from buying an initial release due to the potential of hardware failure. I will wait until next year at the earliest to purchase a PS4 just because I like the exclusives lined up for it in the future. Also, as this article brought up, EA is taking a chance by limiting their sales to Microsoft and the pc market. I would not be surprised if EA backtracks and release not only 2, but the original Titanfall for the PS4 just as they did with Mass Effect, another big hit exclusive for the Xbox 360.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 8:55 AM, rrjim1 wrote:

    @Buddha, If everyone held off buying a console for a year there wouldn't be any consoles to purchase. I have purchased consoles at launch starting with the Colecovision, never had a hardware problem.

    Sony had there chance is have Titanfall on the PS4, they didn't have the hardware (servers) to handle it, MS did.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 9:17 AM, moopert wrote:

    Another humdrum FPS game. No attempts to even come up with a story mode to make me care about it. Noone in their right mind who owns a 360 should buy an Xbox One just for it.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 9:53 AM, JJ82 wrote:

    Titanfall is overhyped and the fact MS is relying so much on it shows how bad off the One is right now.

    Its a niche game, not only is it a FPS, its a multiplayer only FPS. The lack of a base game will hurt its sales since it isn't an established IP yet and lacks a fanbase that knows its gameplay.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 10:01 AM, AbstractLogic0 wrote:

    Looking forward to playing it. XBOX Go to Titanfall!

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 10:11 AM, AbstractLogic0 wrote:

    Just read the posts. lol Sony Ponies crack me up. Spending their time reading about games they have already decided they don't want. Sony ponies are sad sad ponies. *frowning pony*

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 10:34 AM, TheWatcher wrote:

    TitanFall isn't going to help M$ that much.The price tag alone is an issue.They can buy the more powerful system for $100 less and not obligated to buy a camera for it.

  • Report this Comment On March 08, 2014, at 10:53 AM, Finuve wrote:

    err you say exclusive immediately followed by mentioning what other systems its on

    I played the beta on PC, the AI minions kill the game, it shoulda been more real players and none of the stupid AI. I wont be buying it, but even if it was an sbsolute masterpiece I have a PC, why would I get an Xbox one for it

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 5:28 AM, EddieEsco wrote:

    lol, Xboners need to quit calling this an exclusive.

    I am getting this on 360, therefore it is not a XB1 exclusive.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 6:02 PM, Tllypj195 wrote:

    Can anyone tell me how to get rid of Motley Fool on my yahoo news feed? This site is incredibly annoying and there are constant articles about the doom of Gamestop, The Death of Xbox and Nintendo, Sony's victory and their death, it's BEYOND annoying

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 7:14 PM, Cerberus82 wrote:

    If I can't turn on the game and play on single player mode it isn't worth purchasing. I've never been a fan of online multi-player games. I would much rather immerse myself in the story/game than hearing a bunch of idiots re-spawning, shooting, killing and re-spawning.

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 9:55 PM, risingforce86 wrote:

    This guy is a friggin idiot! Cross platform games are made to look exactly the same on both consoles.. Only exclusive games will look a bit better. The Titanfall hype is nothing compared to when Halo 5 comes out..

  • Report this Comment On March 09, 2014, at 11:34 PM, meathead2001 wrote:

    I proudly own a pc, therefore I will not be getting an xbox1.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 1:26 AM, taker36 wrote:

    I own several pc's but don't buy games for them that's what they make consoles for..oh and if there is a titanfall 2 I wouldn't look for it before late 2015 ..or later..and if you buy the 60 version respawn didn't make it look it up they only made pc and X1 versions

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 3:08 AM, Gamingsince75 wrote:

    Got to love Sony fanboys. Simple concept yet they cannot grasp it. MS exclusive means exclusive to MS. That includes 360,X1 and also the PC. I know you kids don't know who makes Windows cause you don't deal with anything that isn't Sony (explains why you know so little and get so hyped over their games that don't do anything that hasn't already been done.

    Loving this comments though." I won't support MS I will get it for Windows." "MS is in trouble banking on one exclusive." and what does the PS4 have besides Infamous coming soon? Guess Sony is in trouble too right?

    My favorite is this one "I own several pc's but don't buy games for them that's what they make consoles for " Yeah and I own a Ferrari but choose to drive a 2010 Accord. Lmao yeah right. I mean why would you want the best graphics, options, controls, at a cheaper price with free online when you can buy a platform that uses way outdated tech and higher fees.

  • Report this Comment On March 10, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Jocaju1 wrote:

    The thing with MS is throw money at third parties for exclusives, Ryse made by third party, Dead Rising 3 also and now Titanfall. The truth is, most people that are buying Titanfall already have an XOne. Sure, it will move some console, but it won't be even close to 1 million consoles.

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