Xbox One X’s Early Success Is Impressive – But Its Long Term Future Remains Uncertain For Now

All eyes are now on Microsoft to see if they can maintain this strong early momentum.

Posted By | On 26th, Aug. 2017 Under Article, Editorials | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The Xbox One X’s early success has been a legitimate shock and a pleasant surprise to many- myself included. Whereas I have wanted Microsoft to pull back from their currently deteriorating state for a while now, I legitimately did not imagine that the Xbox One X would be able to start what hopefully looks like a reversal of momentum for them.

This is not a knock on the Xbox One X itself, of course- I have repeatedly expressed admiration for its hardware, and it is clear that it is one of the most finely engineered pieces of hardware the gaming industry has ever seen. However, it is hugely expensive- $500- and history has shown us that consoles that expensive simply do not sell. It is also simply an upgrade to an existing console, rather than being an all new one with new features and games that might compel users and prospective customers to spend that kind of money on it. Finally, and this is the important part, the state of exclusive games on the Xbox One is terrible at the moment.

But, ultimately, as we see, the Xbox One X is off to a great start. Pre-orders for the system sold out within days, projections for the holidays are high, and Microsoft claims the Xbox One X is the fastest pre-ordered Xbox system ever. All of this is well deserved success, and Microsoft deserves props for that.

"The Xbox One X is off to a great start. Pre-orders for the system sold out within days, projections for the holidays are high, and Microsoft claims the Xbox One X is the fastest pre-ordered Xbox system ever. All of this is well deserved success, and Microsoft deserves props for that."

Except- and you knew there was an except coming- early success is just that, early success. It is in no way indicative of long term prospects, because every single new console ever has done extremely well at first, and it is only later that trends begin to solidify around them. The Wii U and the PS Vita both had extremely strong launches (selling 3 million and 2 million in their first month worldwide respectively), and we can see where both systems ended up in the long run. The Dreamcast had a record breaking (literally, it broke all entertainment industry records) back in 1999, and it lasted a couple of years after that. To use less extreme examples, the N64 created all manner of records upon launch back in the day- and while successful, it ended up falling far short of its competition, predecessors, and what those early numbers had suggested. In the Xbox One line alone, we have the Xbox One S, which sold exceptionally well around launch last year, before the Xbox One’s sales slumped to their lowest point ever this year.

Early successes, therefore, mean nothing. The Xbox One X is doing well now, as it should- but it has had a year of hype and solid marketing from Microsoft, and Xbox fans and diehards are going to pick it up around launch no matter what. The question here is, will the One X join the ranks of the N64 and Xbox One S, or even Wii U and PS Vita, and fizzle out after its early success? Or will it be able to sustain its success beyond the launch and manage to solidify it into a long term trend, like the PS4 or, more recently, Switch?

A lot of this comes down to Microsoft, in the end- we know that the company does not expect it to be a mass market driver, which is fine. But they do expect and want it to sell at least some. Too much R&D went into the console for them to not want returns. All of which is to say, the most obvious and easiest way to ensure it maintains sales momentum would be to drop its price- but I don’t think Microsoft will do that right away, and certainly not as a response to low sales. Plus, that’s a bandaid solution anyway.

"The Xbox One X’s early success shows us people still care for the Xbox brand- that’s good news no matter how you slice it. Now it is on Microsoft to ensure that they continue caring."

The best way to ensure consistent sales for any gaming hardware in the long run is software support- as long as Microsoft brings out great exclusives for the Xbox One family, people will buy Xbox One systems. A lot of those people may opt for the cheaper Xbox One S- but some of them will opt for the Xbox One X, and the current proportion of sales should be maintained, give or take a bit.

We’re back to the chief problem, the crux of the issue I have with Microsoft- they are not focusing on the games enough. They are not focusing on exclusives enough. They are not investing in gaming with actual games. And this is ultimately at the root of the problems the Xbox brand has been having over the last few years.

I can only hope that the success of the Xbox One X spurs Microsoft into putting some money back into gaming, and begin working on new games. The Xbox One X’s early success shows us people still care for the Xbox brand- that’s good news no matter how you slice it.

Now it is on Microsoft to ensure that they continue caring.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to GamingBolt as an organization.

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  • Luke Skywalker

    i don’t think the premise of your article was ever in question as the company has said multiple times that they expect to sell more f the regular xbox one than the x. and at that price point i agree with them

    • chaz

      This point is brought up and addressed in the article

  • Smart guy

    They’ll do just fine. Keep it up MS!

  • Dafuq Iswrong

    What success? Do you guys even check the facts before you report anything? Do you have numbers to back up your claims? You guys look like CNN.

    • chaz

      It’s literally linked in the article

    • SorrowW0lf

      Well let’s see, all the Microsoft haters have been asking, “Who would pay $500 for a mid generation console?” And since all the preorders, from Amazon, and the other retailers, sold out in a week, it’s safe to say the answer to that question, is quite a few.

      Now before you say, but preorders don’t equate to a sale, just, stop. It’s not like a game preorder that gets you a beta access or anything. And even though Amazon offers no money down, Gamestop was $100 down, and some others, had full price needed for preorder.

      Please explain why someone would preorder the X, without the intent to buy it. And don’t reply with dumb comments about scalpers, because scalper or not, it’s still a sale.

    • Mr Xrat

      There’s always going to be a few million Xgimps who’ll swallow anything they’re fed, and the scalpers who’ll sell them on for a markup. It’s hardly rocket science.

      The S did very well for a bit last year then flopped hard from January. Watch history repeat itself.

  • Sp4ctr0

    In last 4 years Digital Foundry checked every single game on PS4 and Xbox One. PS4 won because it was faster than original Xbox One from 2013.
    Now everything will change because games on Xbox X looks better than games on PS4 Pro (for full resolution open in new window – image source Digital Foundry)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9646dc84eebcf7748d2e58753e541634c0185589443a8563a4dd829bd8c709c6.jpg

  • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    They have now officially abandoned the original disaster known as the Xbox One, after just under 4 years. It will not be restocked after they’re all gone. Amazing. Who dares to still put their faith and trust in these people?

    • chaz

      ??? Console ‘models’ get discontinued and phased out all the time. Sony discontinued the OG PS4 last year, and the OG PS3 just a year after its release- that doesn’t mean anything, because new variants take their place, in this case the Xbox One S.

      Did you think this through?

    • Luke Skywalker

      @doggystyle805:disqus is an idiot, man. he’s a sony shill, a paid pony

    • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Thanks. I appreciate the honorable mention.

    • Luke Skywalker

      you’re welcome doggyshill

    • OldSocialist

      Nah, not bright enough to get paid for it. You can recognise the viral marketers by their constant repetition of key phrases across the web.

    • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Yes I did Chas. You know its great to hear from you, but we both know the Xbox One was a disaster. Kinect and all. They completely erased their vision for the first console w/Kinect and had a complete do over. Sony hasnt had to do that at all. Sure, they got rid of Linux on the PS3, but nothing as drastic as MS completely abandoning what they marketed their console on in order to play catch up with Sony.

    • 19davey81

      Wasn’t that the right thing to do since the original vision was so unpopular at launch? You’re criticising Microsoft for trying to repair the Xbox brand’s reputation which is their responsibility to do?

    • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Was it the right thing to do? You market the console as one thing and then do a total reversal on everything. That’s just as bad as forcing those stupid avatars on grown adults who bought an Xbox 360 as a gaming system. You don’t get to change the whole game after people have already given you their investment like that. You guys are consumer wimps.

    • It_Is_What_It_Is

      “Was it the right thing to do?” Do what the consumer likes more and thats what Microsoft did. Oh they could have stick to their guns and see if their vision worked out or not but that’s something they couldn’t wait for. Doing a reversal is not bad at all it just means you f*cked up and want to fix things.

    • Henri Le Rennet

      You complain about Microsoft’s original plan for the Xbox One, and drag it through the mud. Then you turn around and complain about them “abandoning” their vision and repairing their brand name. Also, if you could get past the always online, or the revised 24hr check in, you would see how their whole plan would’ve been beneficial for gamers. Once again, ahead of their time. When high speed internet access is more readily available throughout the world, their idea would be great. They wanted to introduce features that had to be completely scrapped to avoid piracy. Playing disc based games, without having to put the disc in every time to play it. Sharing games and Gold with up to 5 friends and family members. Would’ve been cool.

    • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      They wanted to dictate the future of console gaming. Period. They also wanted to end the sale of used games. The Xbox brand and its community can kiss my a ss.

    • Henri Le Rennet

      Buying used games from stores like GameStop is bad for the gaming industry. They pay you maybe $20 cash for a month old game, $27 if you take in store credit, and then they flip and sell your game for $55, because it’s still rather new. None of that profit goes back to the developers or publishers. If you really want to support the development of games, don’t buy used. I buy all my games digitally anyways, so it wouldn’t have affected me.

    • SorrowW0lf

      If all the games offered for the Xbox One, are still available on the S, and will run and look better on the X, what is your issue, with Microsoft discontinuing an inferior console? How does it show Microsoft to be untrustworthy, exactly?

      To me, it seems like a smart move. No one is going to buy the OG Xbox one over the S, and definitely not over the X, so why sell them?

    • It_Is_What_It_Is

      I don’t know what you are complaining about. It’s good the original Xbox One is being discontinued. The Xbox One S and Xbox One X will be the ones taking its place which is also their best course of action and as we have seen it is helping them more than if they had only kept the original Xbox One. That’s why people are buying their consoles.

  • LDS

    My best guess is, not everyone has preordered XX purely just to own the system. Not to mention the scorpio edition is a limited edition, there should be quite considerable number of people who preordered XX to sell it on ebay for $800 price tag or even higher.

    The XX’s value will likely to go above $499 after its initial launch due to the ram and gpu supply delay issues, you will have harder time than usual building a PC at an equivalent performance/dollar value. There’s even a chance MS could raise the MSRP due to the supply issues. So it could be a good chance for some folks out there to make some descent money by just placing an preorder earlier than others.

    Worst case scenario, if someone manages to turn XX into a mining machine by going around the bios, then you are all F’ed.

    So for those who missed the chance to secure their system, oh well, too bad for you. It may take nearly 6 months or so for MS to resolve the supply issues considering where the supply market is going.

    • Mark

      Interesting

    • Luke Skywalker
    • Doggystyle ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Preach your sermon please.

    • CarrieTHanson

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    • Henri Le Rennet

      Name one time in recent generations where a console’s MSRP has gone up above the launch/preorder price. Your first paragraph makes sense, that’s something I do with special launch editions of consoles. When there’s money to be made, there’s money to be made. However, the rest of your comment is nonsense.

    • LDS

      I am only stating the possibilities. If youve been following up how rams price been skyrocketing and how AMDs porlaris cards are no where to be found at the right price lately, it would make sense. There is never a never.

    • It_Is_What_It_Is

      “I cant give you any instances”

      So apart from the ebay thing everything else is just put BS. Got it.

    • Dapsy

      meh…

  • Mark

    Ahaha. Of course we don’t know if sales will stay this way, c’mon brother. I expect it to drop by a nice chunk come January, but sustain competition wit PS4 due to the constant positive press about multiplats over Sony. Then it’ll fall right smack into console exclusives; CrackDown, State of Decay 2, Ori, Sea of Thieves etc, while the juggernaut God of War 4 comes to PS4……will be interesting next yr

    • Eddie Battikha

      Spider-Man is gonna wipe the floor in sales compared to Crackdown early 2018.

    • Mark

      I won’t disagree wit that!

  • DA-ROOSTER

    This is Gamingbolt admitting they were wrong about the Xbox One X lol,
    heck the early success of the X has taken all of the bias mainstream media by surprised

    Congratulations to Microsoft and the Xbox community for silencing the haters

    • Mr Xrat

      You’ve been quiet this week, Kirk. Figured out the comeback isn’t happening?

  • ProAssassin84

    Lmao. You literally have no idea how bad Sony has embarrassed Microsoft do you? You’re such a blind salty fan boy you ignore what is obvious.

    Enjoy your uncompromised checkerboard 4K.

    • Ocelot forgot his meds

      Lmao. You literally have no idea how bad MS has embarrassed Sony do you? You’re such a blind salty fan boy you ignore what is obvious.
      Enjoy no 4K.

  • Mr Xrat

    A “limited edition” selling out while still underperforming against the Pro and needing to use a linear game from 2015 to demonstrate that 1.8TF difference. Definition of early success is predictably low. What a shame.

  • Nathan Verbois

    Well, when a large portion of the media seems to relish spreading doom and gloom, either around Nintendo, or even more often, Xbox, it is easy to be surprised when either one does well, even if it seems obvious to the rest of us. The gaming media these days rarely seems to have any real idea how the majority of gamers feel or how the industry actually works.

    The Switch and the One X are succeeding for exactly the same reason that the PS4 has succeeded so well, by creating consoles that center purely around games and that cater to what their core fans want. Nintendo fans had been wanting the company to build some form of hybrid console for years, so that Nintendo could leverage their entire software lineup around a single hardware platform and when Nintendo finally did, they showed up to buy it in droves. Xbox fans have wanted Microsoft to build a super powerful box built with higher end gaming in mind that harkened back to the good old days of the very first Xbox, when it was by far the most powerful and easiest to develop for, and when they did, despite the initially higher price point, we’re showing up to buy it as fast we can.

    As for longevity, well, that’s always proven out in the software sold and developed. Switch has already sold enough to convince most third party publishers who had been sitting on the fence to now jump in, and well, the Xbox One X gets to leverage all of the same developers for the Xbox One. The system may not sell as fast as the original Xbox One, and certainly not as fast as the PS4, but it doesn’t need to, it just needs to sell a decent amount to keep the current slate of Xbox One developers, and since it is already nearing the PS4 Pro’s lifetime sales before it’s even released, that’s a very good sign it will do just fine. Also, it will become the de facto Xbox One in a few years anyway.

    All three manufacturers are doing just fine and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Sony has the clear lead by such a huge margin, so it doesn’t matter if the Pro is only marginally successful, Nintendo is on a roll, and MS is picking up steam again now that the One X is almost out. The market can easily sustain all three, so there’s nothing to worry about, regardless of which console you favor.

  • kee1haul

    This thing is going to compete with PS5.

    • andrewsqual

      PS5’s next gen GDDR6 architecture? Good luck with that.

      Just like the way Xbone and PS4 exclusive games are the exact same looking and aren’t a GENERATION apart at times lol?

  • andrewsqual

    What success? The Xbox One Day One Edition “sold out” a week after Gamescom 2013. 6 months later, you could STILL buy a Day One Edition in February 2014 in some stores.

    “XboneX is sold out” announced by Microsoft after 5 days means diddly squat. I can’t believe people would fall for this crap all over again.

  • Xbox haters: the X wont’ actually play well
    *X proceeds to wow developers, who sing its praises*

    Xbox haters: the X won’t actually sell well
    *X outsells PS4 Pro on Amazon, fastest presale of any Xbox to date*

    Xbox haters: the X won’t do well in the long run


 

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