Several aspects of the Xbox One’s launch and strategies in the ensuing years were very misjudged. From its initial price point to the new versions that Microsoft rolled out, it was enough to make the successor to the wildly popular Xbox 360 a near non-factor in this generation of console gaming. The Xbox One family of consoles has sold far less than half that of the PlayStation 4, with the Nintendo Switch – which launched just over three years later – already flying past the Microsoft console in unit sales.
Sony has all of the momentum going into next-gen, with late top-class releases like The Last of Us Part II, Iron Man VR, and Ghost of Tsushima keeping PlayStation at the forefront of gaming right up to the new releases. The Xbox Series X marketing effort has been massive, and while they’re not falling into the major pitfalls of the Xbox One launch, they’re not emphasising the aspects that matter the most.
Pivot from the spec focus
As was the case with the Xbox One, the Xbox Series X’s initial marketing strategy was very much focussed on the power of the console, its hardware, and UI. While having strong tech is always nice, and sounds impressive based on the showing from theverge.com, it’s a minor factor to many gamers. Sure, the more hardcore gamers and PC gamers covet these facts, but video gaming has gone mainstream over the last decade, with spec not being the highest priority for most customers as many just expect a premium product at a premium price.
Show some real gameplay
In early May, the campaigning upped its focus on the games themselves – even though they were being sold in a way that emphasised Xbox performance over the games themselves. In the video below, you’ll see several exciting-looking games showcased, including Second Extinction, Scarlet Nexus, Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. However, despite it being a ‘Gameplay’ video, much of the showcase was cinematic.
The games looked impressive enough, and they showed a screen of developers feeding the Xbox Series X – most of which will also be supplying the PlayStation 5 – but they don’t show gameplay, story, and the real aspects that sell games and consoles. As shown by eurogamer.com, Microsoft has since acknowledged that they were wrong to call the heavily down-voted video a “gameplay” reveal.
It’s time to hype up big exclusive games properly
Games are the most important factor for any platform. It’s true in console gaming, and it’s even true in online casino gaming. As noted by 7casinobetting.com, having fewer games means that players may not find everything that they need in one place, forcing them to go elsewhere. That website bases much of its evaluations of the best platforms on the games available as they are the integral factor. The Xbox Series X needs to not only showcase a large library of games, but it also needs to add something that makes players want to choose it over the PS5.
The new console needs to emphasise that it has must-play games that can’t be played anywhere else instead of just stating that there are many games with exciting cinematics. The best way to do this is by going big on the console’s top-class exclusives. Show people the very best games that they can get early on, confirm returning franchises with dates and footage, and detail what new exclusive franchises players can discover.
Reveal them with genuine gameplay footage, do in-depth and detailed videos on the games spread across the upcoming months, build hype, and continuously emphasise that players must have the Xbox Series X to play these titles. Feeding information and having a flow of content keeps players engaged, forging fandoms and a need to play the games at launch.
Even though the welcomed switch to focusing on games was poorly executed, it’s a step in the right direction. Now, the Xbox Series X marketing team needs to go all-in on showcasing games as they are what will sell the console to the masses, not its custom AMD Zen 2 CPU.