There has been a lot of talk lately on social media and in community areas that Xbox is on the back foot and that Microsoft’s gaming division might eventually stop making video game consoles altogether and instead focus its efforts on third-party game publishing and streaming. If you’re an Xbox thoroughbred and that topic of conversation has been worrying you lately, let me tell you now that you really have nothing to worry about. Here’s why.
Xbox is owned by Microsoft
I know this may seem obvious and contrived to say, but it’s true. Microsoft is one of the largest companies in the world, formerly the largest, and this means that unlike its biggest competitors in gaming, Sony and Nintendo, it has absurd, unimaginable amounts of money to play with. This means that no matter how bad things have been for Xbox lately, as long as it still generates revenue for Microsoft as an industry (which it is, and usually a lot of money), the high-ups will continue to support and back Xbox.
Consoles are at a turning point
One of the biggest concerns seems to be that Xbox consoles may be on the run. First of all, they won’t be anytime soon, simply because Xbox is bringing in too much money from the Xbox Game Pass market for that to happen.
Second, consoles as a whole, as we know them, will probably look very different in the next five to 10 years than they do today. Why? As technology develops and changes, we see how the console space adapts accordingly. Entertainment is bigger than ever, and cloud streaming continues to grow and expand, and soon that may become the main way to play games. I.e. without a defined console and streaming your games on your TV over the Internet.
Essentially, if Xbox decides to put a bullet in the head of its console gaming sector, you can probably expect Sony to do something similar shortly thereafter, and probably Nintendo some time thereafter (although Nintendo is a bit of a rogue operator, so anything could happen regarding that company).
Streaming and subscriptions are the future, and Xbox already has their metaphorical balls in a vise
Cloud streaming and game subscription services are the future of this industry. Or at least for the next 10 years. Xbox has invested upfront and invested huge amounts of money and resources in these areas, and it shows. Game Pass is hugely successful and seems to be making huge amounts of money. xCloud is getting better and better and getting more useful by the day.
Sony and Nintendo may have Xbox in a hold in a console mentality, actually parley that, the other console manufacturers choked years ago and buried Xbox alive, but Xbox has both made more than a ton when it comes to streaming and subscription services, admittedly this is partly due to the money it has to support it by bringing big games to the service.
Activision Blizzard. Enough said.
You don’t blow $68 billion, and countless days and resources to hire lawyers to fight your battles in court, all on the largest third-party game publisher in the world only to retire from the spotlight of the gaming space.
This acquisition is Microsoft’s huge, bulging, amazing statement of intent to this industry. It won’t go anywhere soon, and in fact, if you ask me, after about a decade of struggling and losing ground to the competition, Microsoft is preparing for a huge resurgence and return to form. As I noted above, that probably won’t translate into console sales, but every other sector in Microsoft’s gaming revenue stream will undoubtedly begin to flourish when we see this mega-company properly incorporated into the technology giant.
There are a host of additional reasons why Xbox is and will be fine. For example, Xbox Game Studios is huge, and Xbox does not appear to be limiting this potential in any way by moving away from being a first-party publisher. In fact, Microsoft is a major shareholder in this industry, and as gaming continues to flourish and grow, the mega-company will continue to tap it for revenue. Of course, the next few years may be a bit stable with respect to first-party production, but once the pipeline becomes more stable, Microsoft and Xbox will be a titan and an absolute behemoth to compete with. The future probably looks very green.