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Could Xbox One be Microsoft’s last video games console?

by William Schwartz on September 4, 2013


xbox-one

Analysts are seeing a potential scenario for Microsoft’s Xbox One, where it could be the last video games console that the company ever makes. A combination of Steve Ballmer leaving the company, a potential shift in philosophy for Microsoft as a whole, and the damage already done to the brand through marketing mishaps earlier this year, has business insiders conflicted on whether or not the Xbox brand will continue to be a staple of the games business.

The strategy for Xbox One clearly looks like it will not be a grand success…

When companies change leadership, it’s usually because the previous leader was steering them in a direction that shareholders did not like. With Microsoft, the Xbox has always been a wierd business. It gives then an in with tech-saavy consumers through the video game medium. It allows them to sell digital goods to these consumers in places where Apple and Google can’t reach them. But if the Xbox One isn’t a huge success will Microsoft abandon ship?

According to David Cole’s recent comments to GI, this is in fact a possibility. Cole an analyst for DFC Intelligence told the publication that he thinks its a possibility that the Xbox One represents Microsoft’s final push on the console front.

“I think this could be a possibility. We have always wondered how long Microsoft would stay with the game hardware business,” the analyst remarked. “Their strategy for Xbox One clearly looks like it will not be a success on a grand scale. So I think that the Xbox One could represent the last of Microsoft in video game hardware.”

Obviously this is one analyst’s view, and can’t be taken as gospel. In fact, Billy Pidgeon believes that there’s a lot more to story behind Xbox One than simple hardware sales. Pidgeon believes that if Microsoft were to abandon the Xbox brand, it would effectively be abandoning consumer entertainment and software markets, which would put them right back to selling enterprise software. Apple didn’t see its massive gains in the last few years due to its catering to big businesses. It got there by selling iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

Whether or not the Xbox One will mark the last console Microsoft ever releases is anyone’s guess. It doesn’t seem like Microsoft is ready to pack up the tent and move to something else. They’ve certainly shown an earnest effort in righting public perception on the Xbox One, and the feature set from a multi-media standpoint is compelling. Whether it resonates with consumers this holiday season and beyond is where the real answer is, and we won’t be able to know those answers until sometime after the recently announced November 22nd release.

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  • Facts First

    If you ever wanted proof that this site is a biased pos. READ THIS LIES HERE

    • Guest

      You deserve to be publicly humiliated and beaten.

    • Dave

      biased? because they are asking a question? You’re embarrassing yourself.

    • Boz

      You have gone full….. well hope you get the jest of it.

  • Crapgamer

    What the heck is this? The Xbox One will do well, it definitely wont be their last console, but it’ll be the last console that takes physical discs. I expect all the next gen consoles in 6-7 years to be more like the Xbox One was supposed to be, more Steam like and less of what we consider a console right now. Microsoft has a lot of recognizably with the “Xbox” brand, including music, TV and gaming. No way they give that up.

    • Mark Danger Hopps

      said on another article recently that i think this will probably be the last gen for consoles full stop.

      over the next 4 or 5 years i think the steam box will be a total game changer and IF Sony and M$ are still in the game they will no doubt develop upgradeable “steam” like boxes.

      That’s what i think anyway, and to be honest i think myself and the majority of posters on here could do a better job than the majority of “annalists” out there…

      • jaskdavis

        I can see that, remember the Ram Packs you had to buy for N64 games, It gave you 8mb of RAM instead of 4mb, No were at 8gb lol

        • Mark Danger Hopps

          I wouldn’t know i never owned a Nintendo system! I was all about the sega’s back in the day

          • jaskdavis

            True, well you could upgrade the RAM lol. I miss my Genesis and Dreamcast :/

    • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

      well weenerstation fanboys have what we call an “inferiority complex”, its why they troll the comments and can’t stop thinking about xbox

      sad really

  • RoadShow

    I don’t see this being their last console. Xbox has unfortunately…due to many blind gamers, game retailers and game websites made a very well established name for themselves.

    I don’t want to see xbox go away, I want to see them put in their place. The reaction to the announcement and E3 was exactly what I wanted to see about RROD, past scams & horrid policies & 360 hardware. M$ just needs to apologize for all the wrong they have done and promise to change their ways then follow through.

    • Facts First

      I put your mom in here place…a cage.

      • Facts First

        Then I posted it to Twitter @FactsFisting

        • RoadShow

          Mamma

          • jaskdavis

            SHES ANGRY!!!

          • GK15

            Lol!

  • killergreen

    Well Microsoft likes to brag about their XBox One being “THE ALL IN ONE” so why would they make another one. lol

    • N1CKY

      Technology will evolve within that period. Like it has now.

  • Blarg

    What nonsense.

  • GK15

    Many people have been predicting the “death” of consoles for quiet some time. With the emergence of tablets and smartphones, a lot of analysts think that consoles will phase out.

    This is EXACTLY why I have liked the XB1’s strategy from the beginning. Having one consoles that does everything will make it much more relevant in the big picture. Cable boxes are still very relevant. A partnership with Time Warner or other companies would be excellent. Imagine if you could get an XB1 from a cable company for $99 or $199 with a 2 year subscription? That would help both companies and keep game consoles relevant.

    And before anyone starts jumping the gun and saying saying that a games console shouldn’t do anymore than it already does, I say you have no imagination. Your phone used to just make calls, now it does everything. It still makes phone calls just as well as it used to. Why not games consoles? No reason why we can’t have an awesome console that does everything and still has awesome games.

    Contrary to that analyst, I think the long term strategy for XB1 will keep them relevant for a very long time.

    • Jahnny b

      By that logic, directv could open a streaming service and put both sony and M$ out of business.

      I dont see consoles phasing out. I see them adapting. I think next gen we will see consoles be even more like PCs by having removable/upradable parts that will be made by sony:M$ specifically for their consoles use. Streaming would probably be done on both.

      But if it happens ts way, i expect a huge price drop in consoles and game prices.

      • GK15

        Tbh, if Direct TV could offer the games, services and communities that Xbox or PS do, they would have a good shot of putting them out of the business. There are too many barriers to entry for them though. It wouldn’t be feasible.

        Much easier for either MS or Sony to add cable and other features to their already established consoles and ecosystems. But yes, that is the logic I am using.

        • Jahnny b

          The only problem here is businesses like directv, have established themselves in the TV world. By that i mean they have contracts to certain channels and stations like hbo, cinemax, the nfl network…… Even amc for certain companies and areas. I dont think it would be possible for M$ or sony to give the quality of tv that tv businesses offer.

          • GK15

            I’m not saying the MS becomes a cable provider. I’m saying that MS PARTNERS with cable providers. The cable providers like Time Warner, Comcast, RCN, etc. You can buy an XB1 from them for like $199 or $299 with a 2 or 3 year contract or something like that. It’s the exact same thing you do with your cell phone. It’s how you’re able to buy a $600 iPhone for $200. It wouldn’t disrupt their other contracts at all.

            And before you say that this is just another way for greedy M$ to get more money out of people, I say stop and think. Millions of like me already pay for cable right? Now it’s just another way for people to get a cheaper XB1. It also helps the cable companies because some people are starting to drop cable in favor of services like Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, etc. It’s just good business practice.

          • Jahnny b

            Im sorry i just dont see this working out. When you buy a cable contract, your given a free cable box, why would i pay for a contracted xbox. What if in a few months i change cable service, does the xbox stop working? Do i have to send it back?do iget an upgrade every 1-2 years?

            This isnt me being a biased fanboi either, sony would not be successful doing this either.

            The things you can do with your phone these days is more practicle to join together. But given the choice would you rather use a great dslr camera or your phone, your phone to browse the internet or a laptop, a real radio or streaming….

            Joining consoles and tv providers just doesnt seem like a working scenario. The only thing they have in common is they use a “box” that doesnt mean they should be joined together.

          • GK15

            Well I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

            It’s like your cell phone plan. You pay a subsidized price for the cell phone and in turn, you agree to keep the cell phone provider for X amount of years. 2 years is usually the standard.

            With how closely the XB1 is working with your cable box already, I don’t see any reason why MS and cable companies can’t do something similar. Instead of paying $500 for an XB1 from Best Buy and also having cable separately, why not buy an XB1 from the cable company for less and agree to keep that cable company (i.e. sign a contract) for X amount of years.

            If you cancel your plan or switch providers before your contract is up, you will keep the Xbox, return the cable box and pay a fee for breach of contract. Same thing happens if you switch your cell phone provider before the contract is up. That is how breach of contracts work.

            I haven’t changed my cable provider in years and I don’t know of anyone that just changes cable providers every couple of months. However, if you can get an XB1 for $200 or $300 by switching from RCN to Verizon Fios because Verizon Fios is offering this, is that not an incentive for you to switch over? Win-Win. Like I said, with XB1 offering much in the way of cable services already, a partnership doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility.

            I’m sorry you can’t see how this would work. Technology is constantly evolving and things change and evolve in order to stay relevant. To answer your question, I prefer to use the camera in my phone as it’s 8 megapixels and almost as good a real camera anyway. I don’t carry a separate MP3 player either. I like having one device that does everything.

            I’m not saying that this will happen tomorrow. Many things have to happen for MS and cable providers to come into a mutual agreement, but it’s seems like a very feasible model. It’s also similar to the $99 Xbox 360 with a subscription that MS was offering a few years ago.

          • Drewidian

            Wow you guys have just had the same debate I’ve had for the past 2 years in forums like this (just check my history). I completely agree with you GK15, but I’ll add to your argument the comments by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas who said that Hollywood has to find other means for gaining income. People are just not buying DVDs and Blue Ray disks as a combination of streaming subscription services makes buying them almost irrelevant. To that end I see them trying to not only get into the gaming industry, but to bring live tv back to the living room. How will they do this? By using a device like the XBox One with interactive services for Sports, game shows, and News.

            Why is live TV important? Advertising. With more and more people going with On Demand streaming services and DVRs its getting harder for TV Networks and Stations to justify advertising pricing and services. In addition, those advertising dollars are being split more between the web and traditional services, making the competition that much more difficult. Studios that produce the shows need live viewers so they can justify their production costs to the networks and affiliates.

            How do they attract live TV viewers back to the living room? I think its through cross overs between TV shows and games. Defiance is the first game to have the TV show influence what is happening in a game and vice versa, but I can easily imagine the Halo TV show being influenced by the HALO 4/5 game as well. Imagine if a gamer won a tournament and their Gamer Tag or even avatar showed up in the TV series? They could even randomly pick people who played that week show up as a supporting character. Imagine being permanently immortalized in the TV show. How many Star Wars or Star Trek fans would like to end up in the credits or have their name show up on a PADD list on the show?

            And for your moms and pops out, how would they like to play along with Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, or the Price is Right? How about choosing a challenge for a Survivor contestant or even choosing who will fight in a MMA match? There’s even the possibility of sending questions for live interviews on your favorite News program. Imagine getting a chance to ask the President a question or even your favorite celebrity. There’s tons of possibilities.

            All of this requires a LIVE TV connection which these Cable and Satellite companies already have in place. There’s no need for a streaming infrastructure to run along side of your existing TV broadcast system. Even if they are migrating to IPTV it gives them time to transition to that new infrastructure and not have to flip it on for entire markets.

            It also means that bandwidth won’t be consumed for anything but the data that has to get back to the studio. Buffering is the bane of live TV. When you have 30 seconds to a minute to pose a question, get responses, and then get the answer to the producer, buffering and low bandwidth makes it impractical. Using the existing infrastructure means it works that much better.

            There’s probably 10 more benefits to the way MS is doing this, but I’ll stop here as this post has already gotten Monstrously long. Good Posts and keep spreading the word.

          • Drewidian

            Oh I’ll add one other thing. NO ONE and I mean NO ONE I know of actually likes their DVR with perhaps the one exception being TiVO. By the Cable Companies adopting the XBox One, they can get out of the business of software updates, firmware revisions, and all of the support ills that come with providing advanced technologies. Many of these cable/satellite companies can make arrangements with local retailers to keep a stock of units and if the cable/satellite company needs a unit, they can just drop by the local Best Buy, Game Stop, hell Sears and pick one up.

            The other benefit to cable and satellite companies is that if it breaks for some reason, they just need to send it to MS for repair or warranty replacement. There’s no need to keep a huge stock of old models to replace old or bad units. Its a cost save for all of those cable companies. The logistics and support will just work out better for them since the XBox One will probably be around for another 10 years.

            I just wanted to add that since its another incentive for the Cable/Satellite industry to adopt the XBox One that most people wouldn’t think of.

          • GK15

            I’m a Consultant and could seriously imagine a team of people working for MS and coming up with a feasible business model for this and pitching a partnership to cable providers.

            I’ve come to realize that I want to get into the technology business though. Not really sure where to begin, maybe an equity research firm where I can focus on the tech sector. When I start my MBA program next semester, I will try to major in an area where that would be relevant.

          • Drewidian

            I hear you, I’m a senior network engineer that does systems integration and design for SANs, VMWare, HyperV, AD, FWs, and a dozen other technologies. It all depends on what you want to do. There are plenty of places to go and I’ve worked for a lot of fortune 500 companies out there. Getting your MBA will help. If you really are interested, look at those tech companies that are movers in the industry. There is always room for more I find and this industry keeps growing left and right. Find a company that does something you have an interest in and then contact their HR Department. Tell them you want to learn more about them and forward your resume’. Its a start but I’d network and arrange to meet key people for interviewing them as an MBA project you are working on. Not only will it impress them, they’ll remember you when you come looking for a position. Just my 2 cents.

          • GK15

            Thanks man, I’ll definitely look into it!

            Michael Pachter has the best job in the world imo. An analyst that focuses on tech and interactive entertainment. I’m 31, but have been looking for something that I would truly enjoy for a long time. Now that I have an idea, it’s a step in the right direction.

          • Drewidian

            OK.. One More…

            Could you imagine what would happen if MS and the cable providers went
            into all of the colleges and universities and said… “Hey… would you like an XBox with
            cable package we provide to all of your dorms?”. Schools could just
            add an extra $500 for tuition and every student would get an XBox to
            watch TV and play games. It also has access to Skydrive, Skype, and could be bundled with the Office 365 for every student and teacher. Add in a Surface or Windows tablet/laptop and you could do Smartglass/Miracast presentations in class.

            Now that would hit on so many levels.

          • GK15

            They were pitching it to businesses recently and saying that it was a legitimate business expense to write off. Sounds similar enough. There are many many possibilities with the XB1, it has just been mired in bad PR for the last few months.

            Instead of complaining about specs and which console is better, we should have been talking about the possibilities of what the tech can do. Glad to see that things are progressing! :)

          • GK15

            Dude you make some great points. A future like that looks very bright indeed. Kind of like when the iphone dropped in 2007, it changed everything. Kinect will play a big part in all of that also. Not necessarily for the games, but for voice commands, gestures, interactivity. Maybe some games too, who knows?

            This also explains MS’s comments that the XB1 could sell over 1 billion. Also why they are all in with Kinect and probably why they felt comfortable going with an online check in as if you get your Xbox from an ISP/cable provider you will almost certainly have the internet. Perhaps they were initially a little too forward with that, but it does put things into perspective a bit.

            Your imagination with this is great. If people thought that phones should just be phones or games consoles should just be games consoles, the future would be much less interesting. Also, games consoles would almost surely die out instead of evolving. There are so many possibilities with the XB1, honestly. I think it’s fantastic.

            Let’s be honest, Sony kept the status quo and gave us an excellent gaming device with the PS4. But it really is just an upgrade of the PS3/XB360. The only new things they added were a touch pad on the controller and the ability to take over your friends game, neither of which I have any interest in using. By contrast, MS and the XB1 gave us the ability to control your cable TV with Kinect, Skype people simply by telling it to call them, a partnership with the NFL, seamless switching between games, movies, music, internet and apps, and a possible future of a partnership with cable providers and TV interaction. AND it will game on par with the PS4.

            How can anyone deny that these things are fantastic and truly innovative and forward thinking? I’m really excited for the possibilities with this next gen, especially with the XB1.

          • GK15

            I also just looked this up, but Michael Pachter seems to agree.

            You heard it here first though!! :)

            (link coming soon)

    • Mattress

      Completely agree. The biggest selling point of Xbox One for my Fiancée? Skype in 1080p and the voice / motion controls. She is not a gamer so it was other features other than games that got her on board.

      The TV integration features will sell a lot of consoles in the long term if Microsoft can get deals going with TV providers. As you said, at a time when everyone is slowly moving to IPTV, this will help games machines become more mainstream in casual gaming households. But MS have to do the hard work and get good partnerships and deals available around the world.

      • GK15

        Exactly. Partnerships with TV providers would change the game completely.

  • RoadShow

    Saw this on Reddit. M$ hasn’t changed all generation. Pretty much the same thing my buddy was told when his Xbox RROD’d still under the 3 year warranty but after the 7th time.

    • GK15

      Still with the RROD?

      • RoadShow

        No this was about the latest update. It wouldn’t install. But the way they talked to him and disregarded everything he went through is the same :-)

        • GK15

          Gotcha. I’ve honestly never had anything like that ever happen to me, nor have any friends I know. I did get the RROD and was out of commish for about 10 days, but they fixed it and sent it back.

          I would ask to speak to a supervisor immediately if that happened. I think a PS3 update recently in June was bricking some consoles, so things happen unfortunately. Sony did issue an update a few days later that I think fixed it. I couldn’t imagine my console being bricked by an update though and MS not replacing it. Haven’t ever had any type of experience like that.

          • Mattress

            My 360 bricked outside the warranty period after 3-4 yrs use and they still replaced it. Easiest thing to do is go to higher ups and be polite but firm in your dealings with them. Oftentimes they’ll do everything they can (I mean most companies here) to keep you happy.

        • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

          cry moar

  • Toto

    If this is the last xbox what will silly fanboys like Facts First, IHATEHIPSTERSSS, Blarg…become?

    • AttorneyAtMusic

      It’s hard to even become something when you start with nothing :)

  • Sideways_1M

    Well, if it is MS only have one person to blame…themselves.

  • Mattress

    Highly doubt MS will leave the market.

    Ultimately the releases dates will mean very little. The continued success of Xbox and PS4 relies on them giving us more great games and services over the coming months / years. If they do – gaming on console will be just fine.

  • dave mcnair

    If consoles survive beyond this generation, most if not all the credit will go to Sony. Microsoft had their way we’d all be watching TV on our Nokias instead..

  • Jason

    Isn’t it a tad bit early to speculate on this being the last Xbox??? Really???

  • raine204

    Lol….just ..lol
    After reading that…it makes it sound that Microsoft is Butthurt that we….the consumers didn’t enjoy and loudly protested the direction (all anti-consumer/big-brother) direction they wanted to implement, and now that they’ve pretty much renamed themselves XboxONE80 on practically everything they wanted to do…
    The school yard bully got his nose bloodied and has their tail between their legs.

  • roozbeh, again

    not happing…

  • michael

    there has to be another xbox or somethin

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