The Xbox One Has Lost This Generation to Switch and PS4

first_imgStay on target SCUF Prestige Falls Short of Being a Must-Have Premium ControllerOrigin PC Ends Console Wars With PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Combo Case This generation hasn’t exactly been great for the Xbox One. Right from the start, it has waged a losing battle against its direct competitor: Sony’s PlayStation 4. Now, Microsoft’s console faces a war on two fronts thanks to the Nintendo Switch. With the PS4’s dominance and Switch’s rising popularity, the Xbox One is in true danger of losing its #2 position. In fact, if things continue along their current trajectory, the Xbox One will undoubtedly end up in third place by generation’s end.I realize hearing this isn’t something Xbox fans (and especially fanboys) will take lightly. However, given all of the evidence available, it’s the only logical outcome. Anything can happen in the next few years. However, with the way things are going, there is no scenario where Xbox One can manage to get ahead. This is due to several important factors I’ll outline below.Thanks to a reveal event focusing more on media than games, a draconian DRM policy, and a $500 price tag, Xbox One failed to meet the initial success of its predecessor, the Xbox 360. Things improved for Xbox One over time when Microsoft (wisely) dropped the Kinect peripheral, ditched the DRM, lowered the price, and brought Phil Spencer in to run the Xbox division. Still, this wasn’t enough for Xbox One to close the sizeable gap between it and PlayStation 4. The Xbox One isn’t a bad system. Far from it. Unfortunately, it has never been able to overcome its early blunders. A current lack of big-name first-party titles has only exacerbated the problem.A few weeks ago, it was reported that Xbox One has sold roughly 35 million systems worldwide. This number is an estimate. Unlike Sony or Nintendo, Microsoft doesn’t disclose sales numbers for its console. While 35 million sounds like a large number, it actually isn’t, at least compared to PlayStation 4’s 76 million. Sony sells two PS4s for every Xbox One sold by Microsoft. This 2-to-1 gap has remained consistent throughout the generation and it’s only getting wider. PS4 is absolutely destroying Xbox One. There is no conceivable way it will ever catch up, let alone overcome it.Then there’s Switch. Nintendo’s console/handheld hybrid sold 14 million units in less than a year. If Switch continues selling like this, it will surely move 25 million units (or more) by the end of 2018. New installments of Pokemon and Metroid, and Super Smash Bros., will certainly send units flying off store shelves. Going by current sales, it’s easy to see Switch selling 40, 45, maybe even 50 million units by the end of 2019. It’s possible these projections are actually conservative. If we’ve learned anything, it’s to never underestimate the demand for Switch.It’s also important to keep in mind that Switch is the newer of the two consoles. It certainly doesn’t have the horsepower of PS4 and Xbox One, but those systems are seeing their twilight years. Conversely, the Switch still has many good years in front of it. As amazing as 2017 was for Switch, it has yet to truly hit its stride. Like I said, even stating the system will sell 50 million by next year is playing it safe. Unless Nintendo runs into manufacturing problems like last year, there’s nothing stopping the momentum of the console. It’s off to a nice sprint now, but expect it to transition to a full gallop sooner rather than later.Projecting Xbox One’s numbers is trickier. We know it has sold 35 million units since November 2013. If we round that number out to 36 million, that’s nine million consoles sold per year. Xbox One may sell another nine million in 2018, bringing it up to around 45 million. Console exclusives like Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, and the annual Forza installment could help bolster this number in 2018. Again, it is hard to say since Microsoft doesn’t give out sales numbers for the system.Discussion when a generation “ends” isn’t exactly easy either. Based on current reports/rumors, Sony will launch PlayStation 5 in late 2019. This would signal the official start of the ninth generation of consoles. However, it would not mean the end of the eight. After all, both Sony and Microsoft continued to produce the PS3 and Xbox 360 well into this generation. Going off how long it took Sony and Microsoft to end production of their last-gen systems, it’s likely we’ll see the end of this gen around 2022-2023.As reported by GamesIndustryBiz, analysis from IHS Markit predicts consumers will spend more on Nintendo services than Microsoft (Xbox One) this year. Consumers spent $10 billion on Xbox services in 2018. They spent $8 billion on Nintendo. Nintendo’s sales include Switch, SNES Classic Edition, 3DS, and games (both physical and digital). IHS Markit predicts spending on Nintendo products and services to go over $11 billion this year, while spending on Xbox’s services will dip to $9 billion. The analysts believe Switch will detract consumers from spending on Xbox One and PS4 since those consoles are nearing their end. Switch’s eventual online service should help bolster money spent on Nintendo. Consumers spent over $20 billion on PlayStation products in 2017. Analysts expect this number to drop in 2018, but not significantly.Given everything I’ve outlined, it’s hard to see Xbox One beating Switch or PS4 in the next four/five years. The PS4 is now the name most think of when it comes to gaming. Its #1 place is all but secure, even after the PlayStation 5 gets announced. Switch will continue selling well. It may not catch up to PS4, which will doubtless sell over 100 million by generation’s end. With that said, Switch could pull off an upset and eventually arrive in first place. Microsoft has the Xbox One X, but by the time the more powerful PlayStation 5 hits, the system’s power advantage will instantly evaporate. With a string of must-have exclusives, Xbox One could make a miraculous resurrection. Unfortunately, it would be too little to late for the system. For better or worse, the system has simply lost the console war.Though Xbox One won’t “win” this generation, it isn’t a complete failure of a system. It certainly pleases its core audience. Those who only play on Xbox One still have access to most of the games found on PS4, in addition to Xbox exclusives. On top of that, there are the upcoming Xbox One exclusives we talked about earlier. Let’s also not forget other great exclusives like Ori and the Blind Forest, Sunset Overdrive, Gears of War 4, Halo 5, and Forza Horizon 3 which are still available. If you’re happy with your Xbox One, then having it “beat” PS4 or Switch is unnecessary for your enjoyment. Don’t worry about sales numbers or what PlayStation fanboys say on Twitter. Just have fun with your console.Xbox One lost this generation, but there’s still hope for the brand during the next generation. With PS5 (possibly) dropping in 2019, it’s a safe bet the Xbox Two (or whatever confusing moniker they’ll give it) won’t be far behind. Microsoft will likely correct the mistakes made with Xbox One and build a system focused primarily on gaming and with a plethora of exclusives. It’s probably best for Microsoft to focus on their next system and let Sony and Nintendo duke it out. If they play their cards right, Microsoft’s next system could very well be as dominant as the Xbox 360. That’s a story for another day, however.last_img read more