MIDiA Research Analyst: Consoles Sell for Content Rather Than Tech, Xbox One X Could Have an Issue

Alessio Palumbo
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We've had the pleasure to talk to Karol Severin, Lead Analyst for research on games and the mobile economy at MIDiA Research, with regards to the biggest brands and leaders in the console market.

Today's post is centered on the views shared by the MIDiA Research analyst on Microsoft related hot topics like the Xbox One X price, the lack of AAA exclusive titles and their newly released Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

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Microsoft is due to launch the Xbox One X later this year. Delivering the most powerful console hardware ever came at a cost, with the price set to $499. Will that be an obstacle in reaching Microsoft's goals with the platform, in your opinion?

It depends on how exactly will Microsoft end up positioning Xbox One X within their marketing strategy. If they start to create a narrative around ‘console being as powerful as a PC’ it could have some legs. PC gamers are much more used to the high hardware price points. More importantly, it will all come down to how much difference the CONSUMERS (not the manufacturers) feel there really is to the quality of their gaming experience (a combination of appealing visuals, speed, entertainment capabilities besides gaming etc.).

While the Xbox One X's hardware superiority is undisputable, many in the industry feel that it won't be enough to turn the tide given the relative lack of high-profile exclusive titles compared to Microsoft's main rivals, Sony and Nintendo. Will this really have a significant impact for the Xbox One X?

I agree that this could be an issue. Much like with VR, content is King. Consoles don’t sell themselves because of tech specs - consoles sell because of the games catalogues they enable consumers to enjoy. If that doesn’t match consumer expectations, the product won’t be successful.

You've also written about the Xbox Game Pass as something that can potentially affect the future sales of consoles. Should Game Pass turn out to be successful, do you believe Sony and/or Nintendo could follow in Microsoft's footsteps and launch similar services for their platforms?

Absolutely. Entertainment content consumption is moving from the economy of ownership to the economy of access. We have seen this take place in the world of Music as well as Video (TV/Film). Games come a little later to the party and the trend may take longer to manifest due to console gamers’ relative complacency to pay high prices for games titles, but there is no doubt in my mind that this trend will only increase in the future. Subscription services are already at play with PS (ps now & plus) which I suspect will be further built on and Nintendo has already announced a subscription service for Switch.

Feel free to share your opinions on all these topics in the comments section. Also, check back soon to read more of our conversation with MIDiA Research's Karol Severin.

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