I think I'm not the only one who was disappointed at Microsoft for the recent Xbox event on July 23rd. These events have driven me to seek for answer of why would a Company as huge as Microsoft let their users down. I'll be presenting you with some opinions and issues that I've found in my quest searching for the reasoning behind.
In the following content I'll be showing you the past, present, future and some recommendation Microsoft should take to make everybody happy in my opinion, I also would like to listen to your opinion about this topic in the discussion section.
In order to understand the current state and why Microsoft have been taking the latest decisions, we need to take a look back and see why is the Xbox so popular from the beginning.
Back in the golden days Microsoft with the Xbox 360 have a lot of different exclusive games and was killing it, in the industry. All pro gamers must have an Xbox 360 and Halo 3 was the biggest game of the generation. This comes with no surprise since the Xbox 360 was the brand of power and games at the moment.
Back then you can brag about how PS3 players did not have Halo 3 and I think this is why the Xbox 360 won the battle against PS3. Their exclusive games, the more you have the more likely a gamer choose your console (Something Sony is currently doing).
Fast forward a few years and Xbox One is in the scene fighting against PS4 (We all know how that battle went :c). It seems like Microsoft was doing mistake after mistake and losing before even started. This was a very dark era for Xbox and Microsoft but the biggest error was the games... or the lack of them. Microsoft has focus in only 3 AAA Games and left everything else outside and ruining their AAA games with micro-transactions and old repetitive gameplay.
Microsoft changed a the end of the current generation where they discovered a lot about what their users wanted and listened to them. They purchased more studios bringing new games and allowed those studios to make great games like Hellblade 2 and therefore have some reason to get an Xbox One.
A new discover Microsoft did was Game Pass. It's a Netflix like subscription but with games. This new service was great not only for Microsoft but to us too, the gamers. Microsoft have a monthly income and users have a huge library to choose from. Any game along side exclusive AAA games where right there all the time.
This new service was expanded to the PC later and in my opinion the arrive of new services like xCloud or Smart Delivery soon will change all Microsoft's plans for the new console's generations.
Now with the information given we can discuss the future of Xbox and why Microsoft seems to be failing but... actually it might be the best for everybody and why in the long run Microsoft would surpass PlayStation and Sony.
We have already heard about Xbox Series X not having any exclusive games at launch and I bet it won't have any at all. With all the games in their Windows Store you could play them in any PC. They do not seem very into the idea of having the best console and have the best exclusive games like Sony is doing right now. So what is the plan they have?
In my own thoughts I think they are not interested in Xbox any more. They want users to use their Game Pass service that is a success and get even more money they can do from selling consoles. Currently there's rumors that Microsoft will be removing Xbox Live Gold and make free the internet in the Xbox (As it should be). This with the new view of Microsoft and the recent changes like porting games to PC and Steam you might think there's not reason to buy a new Xbox and you're right. If you have a good PC just stick with a PS5 and Steam or Windows Store games.
So, why would Microsoft do something if they knew will kill their console. The reason is Game Pass, would you subscribe to Game Pass in PC to play Angry birds? Most likely no, but to play Halo MCC? definitely yes! They know Game Pass is the future and they will go as far as make their exclusive game available in PC only to achieve more users in the service. So... is this a win for Microsoft? They seem to be loosing their fan base to PS5 just because Xbox Series X does not have exclusives. In the eyes of Microsoft they are winning since they don't care if you play in an Xbox or PC they want that you play using their Game Pass service and the more gamers they have the best.
So why Microsoft might surpass Sony and PlayStation? Because they are changing their platform from console to service with the Game Pass and xCloud and you can see it already, a lot of PS4 gamers have the idea of buying a PS5 and Game Pass on their PC and slowly growing the market for Game Pass. Not only that but Microsoft has also focus heavily in backwards compatibility to ensure past games are available in future devices and therefore have an even bigger game collection to choose from. Rather to have to turn on your old console, you can play the game in your computer with Game Pass or with xCloud in your phone.
In the future some gamers will have to choose between Game Pass and PlayStation Plus due to low budget and both will be very expensive. If you would ask me I rather pay for a Game Pass with more of 100 games on PC than Sony just to play online. Some user definitely will choose this and when Sony realizes this, will a little late for them to change their strategy.
Additional questions you may have is why would Microsoft build a console if they are switching to Game Pass? that's a very easy question, if we go back a little bit we can see the backlash Microsoft got from Xbox One always online and this new service does not allow (currently) to play offline. Other ideas is a response to those gamers that cannot afford a gaming PC or do not have an internet connection showing that Xbox Series X is the most powerful and will provide the best experience gaming offline.
The best option for the next generation if you can afford it is to have a PS5 and continue using your current Xbox One or PC with Game Pass. Having the best of the two worlds, new incoming Xbox or Windows exclusive games like Halo Infinite along side PS5 exclusives like Demon Souls or Spider-Man: Miles Morales.