“Sony has a more varied lineup.”
There is little doubt that the Xbox One X is going to be a very powerful console- but a system is as good as its games only, and while the Xbox One is getting a lot of third party games, many of which might even utilize its extra power to some degree, there are no exclusive showcases for the system that might compel a fence sitter to spend money on it. In fact, next to the exclusive lineup of PS4, Nintendo Switch, or even other Xbox systems, the Xbox One’s upcoming lineup of exclusives is paltry– Forza 7, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, Crackdown 3, and not much else.
Could this lack of meaningful exclusives hurt the Xbox One X’s prospects on the market? In a chat with Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, we decided to ask him that question. ‘State of Decay is another zombie game, like Days Gone, but I think the difference is that game looks like it will have some humor to it- it might do well, that looks okay. I think Forza is a great racing game, but so is Gran Turismo, so it’s not a real differentiator. I have never heard anyone say, “Oh, I bought a console because of its racing game.” You just expect a high quality racing game to go with your console. Sea of Thieves I think looks stupid… so I don’t think the announced lineup looks as appealing as PlayStation,” Pachter mused.
“That said, I think exclusives only make a difference to about a fifth of the market, 20%. Sony is outselling Microsoft literally two to one, mostly because they screwed up so badly with PS3, but done such a great job with PS1 and PS2, they’re winning back that audience. So guys outside the US- they are not outselling Xbox 2:1 in the US, it’s probably closer to 11:10- but guys outside the US, they were PlayStation and PS2 owners, and they’re coming back home to PS4 this time. So I think that‘s the biggest differentiators, these guys were PlayStation households. Sony just has a huge advantage everywhere in the world. ”
Nonetheless, he went on to argue that PlayStation’s lineup of exclusives is far more diverse than the lineup of exclusives on the Xbox One. “The other thing you need to remember is, most of Microsoft’s games are shooter games- which are hardcore, they tend to appeal to only one segment of the market. Sony has a more varied lineup, it might be as hardcore, but it’s not shooter centric. They appeal to RPG fans, JRPG fans, and so on.”
I do agree with the larger sentiment- exclusives appeal to a significant segment of the market, but not the majority. Nonetheless, for the segment of the market they do appeal to, it’s clear that Xbox’s lineup is not as appealing as its competition’s is.