Xbox One: From Zero to Must-Have in One Year

How did Microsoft seemingly turn everything around? Surprisingly enough, with games.

Posted By | On 21st, Jul. 2014 Under Article, Editorials

From the very beginning, no one could have faulted Microsoft for wanting to try something different with its next console. Digital streaming and downloads are on the rise, as are platforms which provide stellar deals on an almost daily basis. Multiplayer gaming peaked and has never stopped growing, and it helps that your console is hope to some of the best shooters ever made. Netflix and Hulu are also growing at an astronomical rate and the days of physical rental and retail for movies are dead. From the very beginning, Microsoft wanted to do something special with its Xbox One console.

Don Mattrick

"It eventually came as no surprise that Microsoft eliminated many of the controversial aspects of its console due to overwhelming feedback from players."

It didn’t take long for everything to go horribly wrong.

From the second it revealed its Xbox One in May 2013, Microsoft seemingly made one bad decision after another. Limited sharing of used games among consumers, 24 hour authentication of one’s console, stricter guidelines for indie developers which translated “Sign with us/some other big name or go somewhere else”, a heavy focus on TV and content streaming, a tendency to fall back on the Call of Duty name but featuring one of the worst titles ever in the franchise as the focal point, the arrogance of Don Mattrick proclaiming those who didn’t have an internet connection should buy an Xbox 360, the mandatory bundling of Kinect which added an additional $100 to the console’s price, the always-on nature of the motion camera which coincided with revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) had been spying on citizens throughout the world through Microsoft, Google, smartphones, you name it…the list literally goes on.

Despite a relatively decent showing at E3 2013, it didn’t help that Microsoft was still pushing for TV content, Kinect and a higher price tag along with so many of its controversial practices. The entire public message of the Xbox One – that it would attempt to be Steam for consoles – never materialized. Microsoft was struggling to maintain a cohesive front of features like Cloud computing and its Family Sharing policy. It was a PR nightmare of epic proportions.

It eventually came as no surprise that Microsoft eliminated many of the controversial aspects of its console due to overwhelmingly negative feedback from players. It announced ID@Xbox to give indie developers a fair shake and has since relaxed its launch parity clause that prohibited games from appearing on PlayStation consoles and PC before the Xbox One. It bumped up the power of the console. It started to slowly but surely come back to the games that defined the Xbox generation, with Don Mattrick leaving and a more subdued focus on TV content.

sunset overdrive

"Microsoft could be criticized for a ton of things but at E3 2014, it promised - and delivered - nothing but games."

How did the Xbox One become perhaps the best possible Holiday 2014 console in such a short time?

Before people disagree with that claim, it’s worth noting that the PlayStation 4 has The Last of Us: Remastered, LittleBigPlanet 3 and DriveClub. That’s already a pretty stellar line-up but let’s face it – one of those is a remake of a game that is a year old and has simply been created to cater to that subset of players on the PS4 who didn’t play the PS3 version (Naughty Dog said so themselves).

Many of the big name indie exclusives like Volume, No Man’s Sky, Hotline Miami 2, The Witness and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture don’t even have release dates. Sure there’s inFamous: Second Son DLC coming up but you won’t be getting The Last Guardian any time soon. The Order: 1886, Bloodborne and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End won’t be arriving till 2015. Even the Ratchet and Clank PS4 remaster won’t be out till 2015 and is more or less just meant to plug the movie.

In comparison, the Xbox One has Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Project Spark, the Fable Legends beta and a heaping helping of indie titles incoming like Cuphead, Inside and Ori and The Blind Forest incoming.  You could argue that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is just a remake – except this remake contains four games with revamped visuals, all the multiplayer maps, tons of enhancements and new additions, access to the Halo: Nightfall series and access to the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta. Microsoft could be criticized for a ton of things but at E3 2014, it promised – and delivered – nothing but games.

Xbox Originals

"There’s still a ways to go before the Holiday season though. Sony apparently has much to share at Gamescom and you can bet Microsoft won’t be far behind."

This renewed focus is seemingly company-wide as well. The Xbox Entertainment division is dead and will simply be rolling out whatever content was planned in the coming months like the Quantum Break and Halo TV shows. Kinect is now uncoupled from the Xbox One and will retail separately with a reduced focus on motion controller games.

Microsoft is seemingly relearning how to be a major player in the games industry and even with the wide margin the PS4 has in terms of sales, it’s reaping bigger commercial benefits because of it.

There’s still a ways to go before the Holiday season though. Sony apparently has much to share at Gamescom and you can bet Microsoft won’t be far behind. The console war is an ever-evolving one and it’s simply amazing that Microsoft went from a planned albeit controversial strategy to eating humble pie and catering to whatever the gamers wanted (and then making them want things they didn’t know they’d want). Whichever way you look at it, the next 11 months till E3 2015 are going to be very, very interesting.

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  • Sticky Notes

    From that list Microsoft only has MCC and FH2. The other two titles wont sell. And you are forgetting that the incredible slew of multiplats coming in October alone. Almost all are expected to be superior on the PS4. They outweigh the exclusives 10:1

    The reason why the Xbox keeps getting smashed is because people think exclusive lineups matter. That is only true for Nintendo. The best selling game of the year is a multiplat. Those are the games with the biggest budgets and the largest advertising campaigns. Until you start to respect the fact that the industry’s backbone is third party studios, you will have to sit and watch in disbelief as the Xbox One gets smashed over and over again.

    A lot of sites build up games like TLOU and Halo like they are game changers. They are not. They are nice additions but the meat of a console is its complete catalog.

    • XboxGamer33

      Do you really believe 80% of the consumers go online and look up resolution? If that was what sold consoles don’t you think the PS3 would have never caught up to the Xbox in sales? I mean cmon be serious… Multiplats areon both platforms. People buy consoles based on price (mainly), which ones friends/relatives are buying, and to some extent exclusives. Halo is a multi billion dollar franchise that sells. It already is out preordering every multiplat in October. To say that adding variety to established exclusives don’t matter to sales is ignorance

    • Sticky Notes

      Halo is one game; it will mostly attract people who have already purchased the system. It will sell well. I accept that. But 80% of consumers probably know which system is the better deal for their money. In the US, consumers usually go for the best value for their money. Its how we as consumers keep corporations in check. No one has to buy an Xbox One just because it exists, Same with PlayStation. Therefore, each are responsible for giving a value proposition.

      Everyone know that the PS4 is the more powerful console. People don’t feel right knowing that they purposely got the weaker console for any reason. The Xbox 360 did better last gen for those reasons. Good value and performance for the price.

    • XboxGamer33

      You believe that most casual consumers went out to buy the PS4 because of performance? I find that hard to believe as I know quite a few of my younger cousins went to buy it because my aunts said it was cheaper and that’s what most of their friends are getting.

      Also, considering value for your money. I understand what you’re saying, but what really would you consider value for your money? Xbox is known for having superior multiplayer, it is the shooters console. The graphical difference is closing as in real time performance the PS4 really isn’t that much more powerful (not the 50% more of a 30%). It all depends on tastes. I think what will sell is where peoples friends are going. That’s why I got an X1, to play Halo is my clan and Gears with my buddies.

  • HisDivineOrder

    So Morza Forza, Morza Haloz, Morza Fablez, and indies that are mostly coming to PS4? And you think that’s a world-shattering lineup compared to the PS4’s three games plus indies? Project Spark isn’t setting the world on fire at all. Sunset Overdrive is getting rave comments from people discussing its ARTSTYLE and not its gameplay for a reason. And The Last of Us is a GOTY and the highest reviewed game from last year. Whereas Halo Collection is literally just more of the same Halo that the Xbox fanatics have already played plus a beta.

    I think you should not underestimate the possibility that Destiny will still be gobbling up a lot of those fanatics’ time and that since the PS4 version is shaping up to be the place to play Destiny, a lot of those guys are going to own a white PS4 by the time Halo Collection shows up.

    Must have? You write an article that sounds a LOT like an ad.

    • XboxGamer33

      Like I said below Halo:MCC is out preordering every multiplat this year aside from Destiny. You make the assumption that Destiny is the place to play on PS4 when no one has even seen the X1 version and considering Bungie has a larger fan base on Xbox, then I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions.

      Finally using TLoU is just old news now. It’s a good game, but fans hype it up like it’s God. Personally GTAV and BioShock were better games to me, my friend even returned his TLoU copy on PS3 because aside from story the gameplay was boring. The remastered version adds really nothing new besides a prettier game that was already pretty to begin with. That’s just my take on it.

    • Not_true

      All 3 consoles have good games and have their pluses and minuses. It’s only fanboys mindlessly trashing one or the other.

      Halo collection is going to move some big software numbers.

  • Lacerz

    Want to know why the PS4 is the go to console for gamers? Games. Take a look:

    • Lacerz

    • Lacerz

      The multiplats are the same, each has their exclusives, but Sony has more games, which gamers want for their new systems… something to play.

    • derpburp

      Sony definitely is “shoveling” those Indies. I do enjoy the fact that the majority of the Indies that are worth playing are all coming to Xbox. Games like outlast and now contrast. Games people thought were staying on the ps4 are all headed to Xbox one.

    • Lacerz

      I think it’s a good thing that those indies are going to the Xbox One. Just as Oddworld and No Man’s Sky will be making the move there eventually. Console exclusivity for an independent developer isn’t financially viable. thatgamecompany made some really great games, but their ties to Sony kept them from making as much as they should have. Now they can develop for multiple platforms which is a plus for them and gamers.

  • Charles – The Great and Powerf

    They eliminated nothing. They reprioritized thier development based on customer feedback. Stop talking lame yo.

  • Michael Norris

    Gamingbolt,you guys and nothing more then MS fanboys trying your best to sell the console to whoever clicks on your site.Most of the games you mention are not out yet.Also, it’s too early to hedge your bet on Sunset OD just because Insomniac has not been doing their best work since the early Ps3 days.I get it MS must be paying you guys for the write up but it’s just shameless.Next year is Sony’s year just remember that.

    • Kamille

      they are only fanboys of click-bait. They write anything they think will bring them more clicks.

    • Sticky Notes

      They aren’t really MS fanboys, they are click bait fanboys though lol.

    • ineedgames

      Better then Dual Shockers where they hype Every PS4 game so much that they deserve a score of 11/10.

  • Guest

    Oh boy, the Sony losers at real life are crying again now. They’re too poor to buy multiple devices.

    • Lacerz

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I purchased two PS4s since my digital library can be played on both at the same time. Plus, there’s no reason to purchase a Xbox One since all of it’s games, except Forza, are available on the PC.

    • ineedgames

      I can get almost every PS4 game on PC, PS3 and PSvita, Why? because they port every game onto it including the most Anticipated PS4 exclusive shooter Planet Side2

    • Lacerz

      That’s the case for the Xbox as well. The AAA games you can only play on the PS4 are Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall and inFamous: Second Son. The AAA games only available on the X1 are Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Killer Instinct. Everything else is available on last gen or PC, although the PS4 offers more of those cross platform/generation titles.

    • fordgtguy

      I can play my digital library on two Xbox Ones at the same time too.

      All it requires is two profiles per Xbox and because of gold share now it also shares a single gold account across two Xbox Ones also. It also shares all season passes, DLC and any other digital content owned on either account.

      What’s your point now?

      RYSE? Not on PC.
      Killer Instinct? Not on PC.
      Zoo Tycoon? Not on PC.
      Crimson Dragon? Not on PC.
      Kinect Sports Rivals? Not on PC.
      Forza Motorsport 5? Not on PC.
      Forza Horizon 2? Not on PC.
      Halo MCC? Not on PC.
      Halo 5? Not on PC.
      Quantum Break? Not on PC.
      Sunset Overdrive? Not on PC.
      Fable Legends? Not on PC.
      Scalebound? Not on PC.
      Phantom Dust? Not on PC.

    • Mark

      Wow………….I didn’t know all those were actual X1 exclusives! Lol. To me, people arguing over X1 and PS4, it feels like SNES vs Genesis! I think the author of this article is excited about the X1’s lineup, THIS FALL, not necessarily for time immemorial lol. People go nuts over this “war”, all in their head. Only MS and Sony’s fighting for ur money.

    • d0x360

      Its way worse than snes vs genesis. Back then we were fanboys for one but we were civil and saw merit in each. Now everyone acts like a bunch of retarded children. Meanwhile gamers who have some maturity own all the platforms and enjoy them for their benefits. Gamers… Real gamers don’t give a damn what platform they play they just play.

    • Not_true

      You were lying and wrong about The Last of Us Remastered solid 60 fps framerate even after I corrected you multiple times.

    • Lacerz

      8 of those titles aren’t on any system at the moment, unless you’ve found a way to transport to the future and bring those games back with you. Kinect Sports? Really? Zoo Tycoon is available on the 360. Killer Instinct and Crimson dragon… meh, but you can claim ’em. Ryse was supposed to come to the PC, but its poor showing on the Xbox One pretty much killed Crytek and any hopes of a sequel.

      As for playing digital games at the same time, you can not on Xbox. Sorry. That was a part of Microsoft’s Family Sharing plan that they killed when people complained about the 24 hour check-in. Other users can use your Xbox Live Gold to play online, and they can play your games so long as you’re logged in, but once you log out, they can’t access your games.

      On the PS4, you designate one console as the main console and anyone playing on the main console has the benefit of your PS Plus AND can play your digital library, whether you’re logged on on that system or not. You can then log into a different PS4 and multiplay with them on the same game.

      Microsoft has stated that they’re considering implementing the Family Sharing program, but for now, it doesn’t exist.

    • andy

      Err over half of those games AREN’T ON ANYTHING idiot.
      Getting back on topic, the 360 was a NEVER purchase for me in 9 years. Xbone is 10 times that in this case.
      The only good thing is all the changes they brought to Live (in the last 2 months) that has made it actually worth something for the first time in 13 years.
      You do all know that May 2014 was the bOne year Anniversary of the Xbone disaster right? Do you have any idea how much Gold Subs that were let to expire in that whole 12 months? Of course Microsoft did well to keep this under wraps. THAT is why the changes were brought to Live the past 2 months.

    • vcarvega

      Some of those are pretty bad games, others are completely unknown quantities. But your point stands… the X1 does have quite a few exclusives not available on PC.

      Zoo Tycoon is on PC however.

    • d0x360

      I buy one game and then play multiplayer on 2 different xboxes at the same time all the time. Last I checked my ps4 wouldn’t let me do that.

      As for exclusives being all on PC…uh no. Just cause dead rising is being ported doesn’t mean everything is there friend.

      Own both. If your an actual gamer not owning both is stupid. You miss out on tons of great stuff. Not only games.

  • Good and honest article. Gamers should realize by now that both consoles doing well is great for the gaming industry as a whole. I mean whatever happen to just enjoying the games you prefer on the console you prefer without having haters constantly trying to convince people that their personal preference is better than others. Gamers game it doesn’t matter what platform they chose and those who own both are the true gamers who are not missing a thing out of spite.

    • Not_true

      All 3 consoles have good games and have their pluses and minuses. It’s only fanboys mindlessly trashing one or the other.

    • Exactly. These consoles are stellar and have been killing last Gen launch sales. I can’t wait to see what’s coming for all gamers to enjoy.

    • Guest

      You do know you are talking to Extreme Derp, the PS fanboy that was spamming all of the internet with Pro PS Bull and multiple accounts? He deleted a couple accounts a week or two ago, but he was already too late when a group on Reddit caught wind of his crap.
      The TOR group that was hunting him for his BS is already on to him and knows who he is. He’s know being a hypocrite and trying to make people think that he likes everything when we all know the truth.

    • Vious

      lmaooooo, I didn’t know this

    • I know its Derp but the truth in his comment is what I’m agreeing with. I can’t deny the truth. If Derp has had a change of heart well I don’t know that but I appreciate your looking out for gamers. Some of us need an honest person to help them from being lied to.

  • ineedgames

    They should use the money that should of went into Microsoft entertainment studios into a new game or two, Maybe a Dynasty warrior type game where they have every Xbox character in it.

    • Vious

      I had read somewhere that the entertainment studio got 1B to work with along with the phil getting a 1B to work on games. now that the MES is closed i’m only guessing that Phill will also get that money too

    • ineedgames

      1B already went into game development when they announced it at E3 2013. Some of the Money that already went into Entertainment studios would have already been used for already in development Shows.
      Maybe they can invest the rest into some dedicated First party studios or maybe Capcom.

    • Vious

      so let me get this right, you think they’ve spent a billion dollars on games already?

    • ineedgames

      Well more like the word Invested.

  • brianc6234

    Must have? Are you serious? The Xbone is still garbage. There’s no reason to must have it.

    • Not_true

      It’s a decent console, it has good games. Not garbage at all, that’s just trolling.

  • rudero

    I just can not justify a purchase.
    I absolutely hate microsoft but I WAS EXCITED TO SEE THE REVEAL. Then the reveal. I am still trying to understand, but oh well.
    They never really innovated anything other than online of which, really is against the gamer in big picture. DLC, advertising, etc etc.
    Halo is played out and I really do not see how so many games get bashed for sequels but halo, gears, forza and, fable get the same passes as madden, cod, fifa etc.
    They did have games, but to microsoft, if they aren’t huge sellers, they give up then throw out a mainstay.
    I stood at display at best buy debating and really could not justify having either a less capable console for the exact same games every other year or a “$100.00” controller.
    I understand the fans. cool. Must have? Not according to the general consumer. I really believe they are stuck in the middle. Not enough fun to entice the kids, too mature of games for parent to buy the system for the kids, not as powerful as the competition at the exact price minus their only difference, the kinect of which, when the company itself ignores said peripheral, it is not really inviting.
    Tie all this up in big bow with their history of support for each console(or lack there of)and boom.
    Time and games will tell, but I really do not see a huge attention until next year when Halo 5 begins to show its self off, and there will be so much hype because every website in the world will be building it up, it better live up to the hype.
    Or they can just compete with nintendo for the living room?

  • Dangerousjo 1985

    Beautiful console and even better games coming for it buff said…

  • RA3030

    I can only speak for myself and as a original Xbox and Xbox 360 (4) owner I can say Microsoft no longer has anything I want or need? IMO greed finally killed them. Their games Halo, Fable, Forza are DLC packs from the original games with nothing new or at least like Call of Duty wash, rinse and repeat again and again. Sunset is a run of the mill shooter that like TitanFall will be boring after a few hours of game play IMO. Maybe years down the road when I’m bored with the Sony experience and the Xbox One price on Ebay is $150 and those games they have are in the $5 dollar bin I’ll jump on. Till then……..not interested in the least other than to see their ship sink.

    • JerkDaNERD7


  • vcarvega

    More like “From 2nd place to 2nd place in one year…” Sales have improved, but it’s still trailing in 2nd place everywhere. Just look at the best selling sections of sites like Amazon and Game Stop.

  • Georges

    How about you dont buy a console for a holiday but for the whole generation of games coming for it? real debate is the games you want to play with the console you want, not whether one console rushed a few more games (most of them you have no interest in) for Christmas.. End of the story

  • GK15

    Oh no he didn’t, lol

  • JerkDaNERD7

    Love how they axed XES…

    Whoever pitched that idea which would be Tellem herself I guess deserves to be ousted out of gaming completely. I love the trimming and focusing more on game as Satya had stated in his memo, putting Xbox in that position where it belongs.

    Being that the tides have shifted although Microsoft in a better position than Sony with the PS3, Microsoft swimming in Money will be forced to make some new IPs to drive console sells.

  • Not_true

    You are wrong and lying.


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