Poor little Microsoft couldn't compete with Sony's moneyhats so they had no choice to spend $70 billion.
Poor little Microsoft couldn't complete with Sony's ~$1-3 billion individual studio purchases so they had no choice but to spend $70 billion.
Poor little Microsoft couldn't cope with Sony embarrassing them when it comes to game output so they had no choice but to spend $70 billion.
Let's all pour one out for Microsoft and Phil Spencer, they have been through so much, Sony has done so many horrible things to them that they've had no choice but to go in this direction.
May they find the strength to continue in the shadow of the mighty MEGA corporation that is Sony.
A harsh way to put it but, when you break things down, it does speak to a truth.
Nothing stopped Microsoft from doing more Rise of the Tomb Raider-style timed exclusives. If some journalists and gamers bitched, so what? Tell them to shut up and keep doing it until they have no choice but accept it. That's how most companies in this industry have gotten to where they are, even Sony and Nintendo.
The idea that MS's only answer to resolve weaknesses in their output, to some people, is that they HAD to buy Zenimax let alone ABK, is a lie. When Sony were in even worst straits with the PS3, and MS had a lockdown on content in some ways even more strict than Sony did with any 3P for PS4, what did Sony do? They invested in their 1P content and 3P exclusives. It took a few years to start seeing the payoff, during which they just took the licks as they came. But they stayed the course, and zeroed in on appealing to hardcore/core gamers.
Initial efforts like Demon's Souls eventually helped build up to Uncharted 2, to GT6, and to TLOU. They earned back a lot of goodwill due to that, and they also happened to benefit from the Wii market basically crashing after 2010 and Microsoft abandoning hardcore/core gamers (in terms of 1P games) and chasing Kinect instead. In both Microsoft & Nintendo's cases, they forgot to keep hardcore & core gamers satisfied with 1P content and that's why they struggled so much with XBO & Wii U. The PS3 may not have fully benefited from Sony's 1P focus on hardcore/core gamers in the back half of 7th-gen, but since they kept that focus going into PS4, that
system would see the benefit.
I feel like Microsoft realize this and are trying to get chess pieces set up to try replicating that 2009 - 2013 Sony PS3 strategy for Series X and S, but I genuinely don't think they can do it. The main reason being because gaming-wise, they are not focused enough on the type of games that would really galvanize hardcore/core gamers in terms of 1P AAA content. Even in terms of 1P AA content, it's still a big unknown. That's why games like Starfield, RedFall, Avowed, Everwild and Perfect Dark have
to hit and hit hard
, because any doubts on this front have to be eliminated within the next 2-3 years.
But it's also entirely possible Microsoft decide to zero in on the casual/mainstream market and going hard with services via big mobile GamePass xCloud push and curating content to satisfy that side of the market and grow their presence in it. I know Sony also have plans to grow in the mobile sector, but since they've already proven they can cultivate strong 1P & 3P AAA and AA output for the hardcore/core audiences, branching out their focus can be done with minimum to no impact on continuing to placate the core of the fanbase. Microsoft have not proven this capability at large since the middle of the 360 gen and that's been well over 10 years ago.
All that said, they could've started this approach, fixing up weaknesses WRT 1P and exclusives content, years ago. They could've continued with stuff like getting Dead Rising 4 as a timed exclusive, NOT cancelling Scalebound, NOT cancelling Phantom Dust, delaying & polishing ReCore, doing some Quantum Break expansion content, co-funded a Halo side game with a 3P dev as some over-the-shoulder third-person type of action/adventure shooter (maybe as a Halo prequel), got a Killer Instinct 2 ready for Series S & X launch, actually stay committed to VR on Xbox, NOT pass on the chance to work with Marvel IP, etc.
A lot of people like to point to and blame Sony & PS4 as the reason for the state of the Xbox brand's relative position of weakness, instead of doing the smart thing, looking at all of Microsoft's mistakes, and laying the blame on the company that botched or passed up on multiple opportunities to do better. I love
'90s Sega, from the MegaDrive to (especially) the Saturn to Dreamcast to their 3D arcade games, but some of the hardheaded Xbox fans who blame Sony all the time today, remind me of hardheaded Sega fans who blame Sony for Sega's commercial failures in the '90s, when anyone who can do some basic research would see that it was Sega's own befuddling decisions that hurt their chances the most.
I admit it did seem out of character for you since I view you as one of the more reasonable people on here
Yeah, I gotta put some hot chick back for my avatar so people know I'm not mocking ResetERA users (for the time being). It is funny seeing who falls for it tho, NGL