Xbox is going to win the console war without even selling any games
Game Pass and Bethesda exclusivity will help shape the future of Xbox gaming.
Microsoft has made some pretty huge decisions since the release of the Xbox Series X|S last year. The new consoles released alongside the PlayStation 5 from Sony and they look to continue the decades-long console war that the two companies have been having since the release of the original Xbox in 2001.
PlayStation has certainly seen its share of success since its release near the end of next year. We recently reported that the PS5 is the fastest-selling console in gaming history. However, like most of the tech industry, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S have been plagued by a shortage of electronic materials, and it is nearly impossible to find one anywhere today.
These shortages won’t last forever though. Eventually, there will be enough electronics to supply the growing demand of these consoles, and Microsoft is marketing the hell out of its product, and setting itself up in a good position to be the dominating gaming force in the market.
Xbox Game Pass will change the way gamers experience games for the first time
Xbox has been throwing a lot of resources towards its Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions. For those that don’t know, Game Pass offers a program where users have unlimited access to a growing library of games for a monthly subscription fee.
Since its inception in 2017, Game Pass has evolved, allowing more and more titles into the program. Just recently it was announced that the highly anticipated action RPG-shooter game Outriders will be available on Game Pass as soon as the game releases on April 1.
The constant addition of new games like this will make Game Pass more attractive to people who like to experience a large variety of new games without having to fork out full price every time. Having this type of service available on a console will automatically make it appealing.
In addition to constantly updating the library and even offering new games on release, Xbox recently announced that a plethora of Bethesda games will be available as part of the Game Pass subscription. Some of the 20 Bethesda titles being added to the platform include The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout: 76. These games are classics and having them all available in one place is extremely convenient.
Microsoft’s Bethesda acquisition is great for Xbox
Speaking of Bethesda, you may have heard recently that Microsoft has acquired the company, which is one of the biggest video game studios in the entire industry. Bethesda is comprised of eight different gaming studios that are responsible for some of the most successful games of recent years. The Dishonored series, The Elder Scrolls series, and the Wolfenstein series are just a few of the titles that are produced by studios under the Bethesda name.
None of these titles have had Xbox exclusivity in the past, but this could all change after the acquisition. Though Microsoft has said that it will be honoring any existing contracts that offer timed exclusivity to PlayStation, the company has not ruled out the idea that some future games will be exclusives. In fact, Phil Spencer, the head executive at Xbox said in a recent roundtable about the Bethesda acquisition that Xbox looks to offer “great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists.”
This type of exclusivity could be quite disastrous for PlayStation. Though they do have contracts giving them access to a few new titles coming from Bethesda, there’s nothing that guarantees PlayStation access to future games from these previously successful franchises. PlayStation users that love these franchises will be forced to get an Xbox (or possibly Game Pass on PC), and with the availability of Game Pass, they’d have instant access to a massive library of their favorite titles.
Xbox compatibility is the icing on the cake
Microsoft has positioned the Xbox Series X|S to be completely compatible with PC gaming. There is an Xbox interface for Windows, and Game Pass is also available to PC gamers. With lead executives at both Microsoft and Bethesda wanting to focus on platforms where Game Pass exists, the future looks bright for both Xbox and PC gamers.
Personally, I am a PC gamer. I don’t currently own a console, but if I was looking to buy one now, I would have a rather difficult time. PlayStation does currently have a slight lead in terms of exclusive titles in my opinion, with games like Spiderman and God of War, but that is about the only advantage the console has for me, personally. The Xbox has Game Pass, which I can also utilize on my PC. Additionally, the Xbox Series X|S has a controller that I can easily and flawlessly use on my computer.
While this may not seem like a major benefit, having these compatibility options could make a world of difference for users. Most people, like myself, want the transition from PC to console to be a fairly seamless one. I could see myself playing a first-person shooter title like Wolfenstein at my desk on my PC and then quickly moving to a more casual experience like Skyrim on my Xbox in the living room on the couch.
This generation’s console war has just begun
The new generation consoles were only released at the end of last year, and it has certainly been an interesting journey for them both. Hopefully we will see the supply of the consoles become more stabilized soon. Once that happens, then we will really be able to see how the consoles perform against each other.
Though PlayStation may have the early lead in sales so far, I look for the Xbox Series X|S to bounce back pretty hard. The addition of Bethesda to the Microsoft brand will be huge for the console, and Xbox Game Pass is changing the way that consumers experience games. Whatever happens, Microsoft is definitely putting all of its cards on the table, and it is certain to be an exciting year for gamers around the world.
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