There was once a time when Xbox was the dream of every child and gaming was not cool without an Xbox at home. However, those moments belong to a different decade as the last ten years have quite clearly changed what you understand as gaming. That is why, in all probability, Microsoft left no stones un-turned in releasing the all new Xbox by using all the popularity stunts possible. The event was grand enough, but the 500 dollar price tag asked a pertinent question. Is the day for Xbox gone? Or are they truly numbered? Whatever be the case, the grandeur perhaps gave away the emptiness that surrounded the occasion.
Microsoft claimed to be a dream object for serious gamers, but is serious gaming even possible in today’s world? More importantly, what does the statistics say? The statistics hardly lies, and in this case, it points to an overwhelming percentage dedicated to mobile gaming. Mobile games share as much as 42 percent of the total revenue that gaming industry has generated. Staggering to say the least, it will soon cross the halfway mark and probably take over every other form of gaming in the next ten years.
Now, consoles have not been out of business, but they have hardly grown over the ages, with revenue percentage being fairly constant throughout the period. Console currently caters to a limited market while mobile is where the real potential is hiding. Since Microsoft has no mobile distribution or device to offer, may well be out of favour to tap the new age gamer in the coming decades. Surely, that is scary considering its impact on gaming.
Mobile is taking over every field
In the latest expo regarding electronic games, as many as 100 gaming companies from mobile and social media joined the stage, nearly a 43 percent increase from the last meet. Brands like Electronic Arts as well as Bethesda spoke at length regarding mobile gaming and Nintendo, another gaming giant, played its portable Switch console card to gain momentum. Gaming could give a company to seek new market opportunities, and Microsoft did have such chances.
However, they have not taken their chances and the bus may well be gone. So much so, mobile gaming is becoming the default form of gaming where the most games are played. Globally, the business rakes up 46.1 billion dollars with US contributing to nearly 7 billion. Given that every company is trying to arrive at the market with some idea or the other regarding mobile gaming, Microsoft remained focused on consoles and their particular features ideal for gamers. While it did please a certain section, such sections are elite gamers and they constitute a small number.
The big market lies elsewhere and even here, Sony is claiming the top spot with PlayStation as opposed to Microsoft’s Xbox one. PS sold 58 million units while Xbox sold nearly half the amount. Amidst all adversities, Microsoft’s pledge to continue fighting with Xbox has a particular reason that eludes many. Console profits have always been top notch and even though it is a small ecosystem, it generates a decent sum of money which allows Xbox to be a favourite among its devotees.
Virtual reality may change the game
Some analysts and experts, however, have given an interesting vantage point regarding Microsoft’s move. They believe that Xbox is trying to curve a niche of its own from the beginning. Xbox has always been about how the content looks and how it performs so that gamers derive the greatest value from it. Since consoles have an experiential domain, new experiential dimensions like virtual reality and augmented reality may well become a part of Xbox in the near future. Microsoft has also been acquiring developers from mobile gaming, so it definitely has some plan in mind.
It has also argued that as long as console exists, gamers are never left with a single choice and they will continue to cater as long as it seems feasible. However, Microsoft’s desperate marketing strategies are not entirely bearing fruit. Because of the shifting nature of gaming industry as well as technology, Microsoft’s recent move has been forceful and may not fare well. Whether this is an act of denial or they do have some plan in their sleeves, time will tell. For now, Microsoft falls another step behind in the meteoric rise of mobile gaming around the globe.
However, with its latest acquisition and the arrival of VR, things may suddenly change and the tide will then be in Microsoft’s favour. Till then, hard days are ahead as the console market will contract even more in the coming days. With strong competition from PlayStation, Microsoft should think of combining two platforms if possible. Otherwise, once an object of pride for every child, Xbox will soon become an object of memory.