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Xbox TV is dead – was it always going to be this way?

In many ways, it was always going to be this way. However, if we blamed manufacturers and developers for trying something new, we wouldn’t live in the golden age of gaming.

xbox one live tv
Image: Microsoft

It wasn’t that long ago that Microsoft’s hierarchy was attempting to take over peoples’ living rooms. According to The Verge, it was an audacious plan, and it seemed to have a lot going for it. Fast-forward eight years, and we’re reporting at KnowTechie that MS is giving up on Xbox TV after it disclosed that it will stop offering live TV listings.

It appears as if the strategy is dead in the water. However, this isn’t surprising to lots of gamers, pundits and journalists. If anything, it was expected because there never seemed to be a niche for the product. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

A Move Towards More In-Demand Services

At the time of the announcement, back in 2013, there was some excitement surrounding the potential release. By connecting your cable box to your Xbox, you could have a new world of entertainment. As Tech Radar reports, the former president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at MS was enthusiastic.   

Unfortunately for Don Mattrick, the strategy transformed into a pipe dream the more that technology advanced. Within five years, the biggest upgrade players wanted was flexibility with regards to geographical barriers. Gamers were used to mobile offerings that were eternally accessible and wanted the same from their console providers.  

In 2020, the Game Pass was born to complement the release of the Xbox Series X and Series S. Vulture highlights the best titles include the likes of Halo and The Witcher III, with Game Pass securing the rights for 20 Bethesda games, too. The release of the xCloud only strengthens the Xbox’s push towards different devices, showcasing why Xbox TV didn’t stand a chance.

Keeping up with the Joneses

It’s wrong to assume Sony and Microsoft dominate the gaming landscape. They don’t. Mobile games are the powerhouse as they are available on a wealth of devices – Bank My Cell says there are 5.26 billion people that own them, equating to around 66% of the world’s population.

The introduction of 4G and 5G software hasn’t helped console giants, either. Casino platforms have been especially profitable as a result of faster and more reliable internet connections as there are fewer obstacles in players’ paths. The same applies to payment methods also, with PayPal a valid option. As a result, relatively new providers have hit the market running by offering a range of services gamers desire, with Fruit Kings being at the top of the list due to their range of payment transactions and the size of the site’s gaming library.

Consoles can no longer sit back and make out that they aren’t competing with mobile platforms as it isn’t true. They know this and must channel resources into the same areas to avoid getting left behind, which is partly why Xbox TV didn’t take off.

xbox series x with a green glow
Image: KnowTechie

Fighting on too Many Fronts  

The mobile war isn’t the only battle Xbox is fighting. Aside from competing with Sony and Nintendo – the Xbox One was beaten by the PS4 and Nintendo Switch in 2020 according to Make Use Of – it also had to put up with streaming services.  

Not only do Netflix and Amazon Prime have plenty of resources, but they can focus them on a single goal. Microsoft is different because it’s more than a TV service. As a result, competing against the streaming masters that Reuters believes to share hundreds of millions of subscribers is tough. At some point, something had to give. Considering the brand known for gaming isn’t at the top of the gaming lists, it made sense that TV domination would have to take a back seat.

In many ways, it was always going to be this way. However, if we blamed manufacturers and developers for trying something new, we wouldn’t live in the golden age of gaming.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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