“Microsoft has had plenty of opportunities to unload their games business in recent years and hasn’t.”
Without necessarily getting into larger questions of whether or not Microsofts future in the console market is ‘doomed’, there are certain undeniable facts that I am sure we can all agree on- at the present, the Xbox is lagging behind PlayStation and Nintendo; and Microsoft as a company is moving towards services as a platform, and Xbox is moving towards that with them.
So, is there a possibility that the Xbox One X is the last true Xbox console? Maybe the next Xbox will be a services based platform, much like Steam? Not according to what Lewis Ward, IDC’s Research Director, Gaming and VR/AR said. In an exclusive interview with GamingBolt, he said Xbox continues to be of importance to Microsoft.
“No, Microsoft has had plenty of opportunities to unload their games business in recent years and hasn’t, and of course selling at a low point doesn’t make much sense regardless,” he said. “If anything, Microsoft has more tightly pulled gaming into its core DNA in the past year. Xbox boss Phil Spencer got a promotion in 3Q17 and is now part of the executive leadership team reporting to the CEO, for example.
“And as I said before, the company’s broader goal in the next several years is to make Windows 10 – on TV sets through Xbox One, on desktop PCs and at least Surface tablets – a unified gaming ecosystem across all these screens and on the back end with Azure. UWP apps are coming from all sorts of third party development teams, including business apps, and Microsoft wants to deliver storefront for all that content. Think of it as a Steam competitor and a business app storefront in one. Ripping games out of that mix doesn’t make much sense and I’ve never been one who’s thought Microsoft was close to unloading its Xbox assets.”
Now, to be fair, none of what he said necessarily negates or undermines the idea of Xbox transitioning fully to a services based future, as opposed to a console- and that seems to be a likely future, judging by trends. But if that ever happens is currently up in the air, and for now, the Xbox One and Xbox One X are consoles Microsoft has in the market, and will continue selling for the foreseeable future.