“Xbox One S will be the market leader for us.”
There are many Xbox fans who expect the Xbox One X to turn Microsoft’s fortunes around, and help them reclaim some of the ground they have lost to Sony and Nintendo over the last few years. What they do not understand is that it is all but impossible for a $500 console to do that- all precedence is stacked against this ever happening. While the Xbox One X has strong pre-order numbers thanks to early adopter enthusiasm, it is hugely unlikely sales of the device can keep up with a mass market product like the PS4 or Nintendo Switch.
Speaking to Gamespot at the Brazil Game Show, Xbox boss Phil Spencer admitted this himself, stating that the Xbox One S would be the mass market mover for Microsoft this generation, not the One X.
“Xbox One S will be the market leader for us. It’s the more affordable console. It plays all the same games,” Spencer said. “It will be the console that sells.”
The Xbox One X, much like the Elite controller, will be for a subset of users who want the very best they can get- but that subset is, by definition, not everyone.
“Whether you’re on a 1080p TV or a 4K TV, you’re going to have a great experience. But it’s not for everybody. It’s like when we built the Xbox One Elite controller, we didn’t try to say to everybody, ‘If you need an extra controller, go buy the Elite controller.’ We sold a ton of those controllers. We know in the gaming segment, there are a lot of people who play games casually and there’s also people where gaming is their number one hobby,” he said.
This is something I have long said, and it is good to see Microsoft has the business sense to not expect a $500 console to take the world by storm. The worrying thing here is only that the Xbox One S has failed to make much headway- if Microsoft expects it to be the mass market device for it, we can only hope that its performance increases and improves over time.