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Xbox One is in Serious Trouble

Microsoft is fighting an uphill battle, and it’s losing.

On the proverbial eve of the dawn of Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s “most powerful console ever built,” consumers are faced with an increasingly easier decision to buy a Playstation 4 or the impending Nintendo Switch. Indeed, why would the consumer drop $375 Canadian Dollars ($300 USD) on a system that has virtually no games slated for 2017 and beyond. I’d like to take a look at what we know for Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo (exclusives) to illustrate just how dire the situation could be for Xbox One (The major titles, I put in bold to help paint the picture).

Xbox:

  • Halo Wars 2 – February
  • Voodoo Vince Remastered – Before E3
  • Phantom Dust – Before E3
  • Crackdown 3 – TBD 2017
  • Sea of Thieves – TBD 2017
  • State of Decay 2 – TBD 2017
  • Ashen – TBD
  • Cuphead – TBD 2017
  • Tacoma – TBD
Halo Wars 2 is a step in the right direction – but it cannot carry 2017 on its own.

Nintendo:

  • Nintendo Switch NEW CONSOLE – March 3rd
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – March 3rd
  • 1-2-Switch – March 3rd
  • Super Bomberman R – March 3rd
  • Has Been Heroes – March 2017
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – April 28th
  • ARMS – Spring 2017
  • Splatoon 2 – Summer 2017
  • Super Mario Odyssey – Holiday 2017
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – TBD 2017
  • Fire Emblem Warriors – TBD
  • Fire Emblem (working title) – TBD
  • Project Octopath Traveler – TBD
This WILL be one of the biggest games of the year.

Playstation:

  • Gravity Rush 2 – January
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – January
  • Tales of Berseria – January
  • Yakuza Zero – January
  • Nioh – February
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn – February
  • Nier: Automata – February
  • MLB The Show 17 – March
  • Persona 5 – April
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – June
  • Yakuza 6 – Q2 2017
  • Shenmue 3 – December 2017
  • Gran Turismo Sport – TBD 2017
  • Hot Shots Golf – TBD 2017
  • PaRappa the Rapper Remastered – TBD 2017
  • Patapon Remastered – TBD 2017
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – TBD 2017
  • Days Gone – TBD
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake – TBD
  • God of War – TBD
  • The Last of Us: Part II – TBD
  • Knack 2 – TBD
  • Spiderman – TBD
  • Death Stranding – TBD
  • Detroit: Beyond Human – TBD
One of the most promising new IP’s to come out in a long time.

Is Xbox saving all of its firepower for E3? I sure hope so, because looking at what the competition has to offer and what Xbox has announced, they are the clear #3. Nintendo Switch well sell 2-3 million units in it’s first month, along with a similar amount of copies of 1-2-Switch and Zelda. Horizon: Zero Dawn is a Sony mega-exclusive that has been marketed well and will sell plenty of copies (it’s also receiving rave reviews and praise). Nioh released to exceptionally high critical acclaim as well. Halo Wars  2 is getting around an 8 on Metacritic right now, which is about what the first game got. Not bad by any stretch, but it’s not setting the world on fire either.

Now, you could also just as easily say that Xbox isn’t showing its full hand yet. If you look at all of the far-away releases that both Nintendo and Playstation announced already compared to Microsoft, its a stark contrast. On that same notion, you have to assume that both the Switch and PS4 will have their own surprises to announce at E3. Therefore, Xbox is already behind when it comes to what’s announced. Or maybe, Xbox just doesn’t have as much in development as Nintendo and Sony. That would be the worst case scenario. But look at what Nintendo and Playstation have confirmed for this year compared to Xbox. It’s not even close – and we can’t be certain that Crackdown, Sea of Thieves, or State of Decay will come out this year – or at all- either. The lineup wasn’t much stronger with the recently cancelled Scalebound. We know Halo 6/Gears 5 is in the works as well as a new Forza Motorsport game this year, but Halo won’t be out until at least 2018, and Gears in 2019. But Xbox cannot rest on its pillars and hope to come back from this mind share deficit they have.

The evidence is clear, if you’re a gamer in 2017, why would you buy an Xbox One? That’s the question Microsoft needs to answer, and it needs to be more than a supercharged console. What exactly does it need to accomplish? See my dueling post Project Scorpio: What does it need to do to Succeed?  to find out.

Tony (XBL: Mk Anthony)


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