Strauss Zelnick thinks Microsoft will work to close the gap with next gen.
Last gen with the Xbox 360, it seemed as if Microsoft was primed to become a dead heat competitor with Sony, but fumbles with the Xbox One allowed Sony to once again take the dominant position, and Nintendo has made a meteoric return to form with the Switch. While it’s hard to gauge exactly where the Xbox One is at since Microsoft has since stopped giving exact numbers, it’s not difficult to look at sales charts to see the system has lagged behind, especially compared to the 360’s reign. We’re now on the cusp of a new generation of consoles, and Microsoft is coming in with two systems: the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Will this time around be better for them? Only time will tell, but at the very least, one person sees potential for a better position.
In an interview with Protocol, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked about the potential for both Sony and Microsoft in next gen. He said he hoped both did well, for the better of the industry as a whole, and expressed being impressed with Microsoft’s aggressiveness in its launch. He seems to think Microsoft has put in the work to recover and sees potential for a better success this go around.
“So far it looks to me as though they’re both approaching this launch very aggressively. We’ve always worked happily with both parties. We would like to see both be very successful.
“In certain parts of the world, as you know, Sony had a preferred position last time around. I think Microsoft is working very, very hard to see that that’s not repeated. I think it will be a challenge in Asia, where Sony’s dominated. But if I had to guess, I think Microsoft is going to do very well.
“I think you’re going to see that [Sony] will be very aggressive on the content side and on the marketing side. They are going to focus, as they always do, on aiming at an advantage on the content side.
“But Microsoft’s trying to do the same thing; as you know, Microsoft has bought some studios. There’s a lot of stuff that they own and control. Perhaps they’ll do more of that. They have a great balance sheet.”
While Microsoft has pivoted more to software and subscription services in more recent years, namely their popular Game Pass program, selling consoles is still the primary way to get those subscriptions to people. It can be hard to imagine managing to go head to head with Sony, or Nintendo for that matter, once again, but stranger things have happened. The Xbox Series S and X will both launch on November 10th.