On November 7th consumers will be able to get their hands on Microsoft’s newest console the Xbox One X. The impressively spec’ed console is designed to play Xbox One games with incredible fidelity affording developers the ability to render their games at 4K resolution. Microsoft on numerous occasions has stated that the Xbox One X is designed for the hardcore and will not generate much appeal to casual gamers. This note is not hard to understand, at a hefty $499 price tag, Microsoft’s new iterative console is $100 more than the price of the standard Xbox One S console.
In an interview with ARS, Phil Spencer had this to say about the Xbox One X “We built the worlds most powerful console, we set a design spec to deliver true 4K gaming… We have our Xbox One S console, which I think is a great console for the everyday gamer who is looking to play games… the Xbox One S will be the console most people go out and buy“. When asked about his thoughts on the ratio of those interested he said “Obviously we don’t know [The ratio], when we designed [the Xbox One X] its not that we expected it to become the number one console for us”. He went on to say “you and I both know there’s a customer who is looking for the premium experience, the highest fidelity. I don’t think [Xbox One X] has any competition in that space. The other consoles we’ve seen this generation are all competing at a sub-true 4K level. The price is really dictated by the capability of the box.”
It seems as if Microsoft is well aware that there will be a larger number of gamers that will be more interested in the Xbox One S than the Xbox One X. Whether consumers shy away from the price or if the spec is simply unnecessary for their home gaming setup, it is clear that this iterative console is not for everyone.
Considering the price and Microsoft’s target audience, it begs the question on just how well this console will sell and if there will be a shortage of devices on launch day. We took that question to the community to try to gauge their thoughts and insights on this particular question.
As of the writing of this article, the results were decisive with 57% of voters thinking that the Xbox One X will be plentiful in supply on release day. Here were some of the comments that voters left regarding the question.
That last comment from Sinar212 has real relevance to the discussion. Back in 2015 Microsoft introduced the Xbox One Elite Controller, a premium version of the standard Xbox One controller. Retailing for a whopping $150, the performance focused controller featured interchangeable thumb sticks, D-pad and paddles along with hair trigger locks, metal, and magnetic components. Many felt that this device would not have a major amount of interest due to its price tag, but they were mistaken. At launch the premium controller sold out almost immediately, and there were major supply and demand issues for those looking to purchase one. The controller released in October 2015 and there was not enough stock to meet the demand until Spring of 2016. Microsoft admitted that the demand for the controller caught them off guard as Phil Spencer was quoted as saying “demand [for the controller] just exceeded our planning.”
If Microsoft takes the same approach with the Xbox One X as they did with the Elite controller, we could be facing a same shortage situation. The Xbox One X is a device that is not designed for the average gamer and Microsoft has noted that they realize the Xbox One S will be console counting the majority of the sales. With this in mind, that could essentially effect exactly how many Xbox One X consoles Microsoft decides to produce as they gauge exactly how much interest there is in the device.
The Xbox One X is not as of yet available to pre-order. The initial reports as of the reasons why were that the Xbox One X needed FCC clearance before going on sale. Microsoft’s Albert Penello clarified the reasons behind the delay while speaking to our friends over at Gamertag Radio: “We are a long way away from launch. So I think we wanted to have a really strong E3 around talking about the product and talking about the games. We are going to do pre-orders closer to launch, I think we are going to have some fun stuff to talk about with pre-orders that we haven’t talked about now.” So there you have it, Microsoft may have something special up their sleeves when it comes to pre-ordering their new console. Either way, I’m not so sure it was the right move to delay the ability to pre-order the console. There was a grand opportunity to capitalize on the initial hype from seeing the console and its abilities at E3.
Microsoft showed a slew of games at their E3 press briefing that will be Xbox One X Enhanced. The long term success of the console will be directly tied to its utilization and support from its first and third party developers. November 7th is fast approaching, and Microsoft seems to have plans in the works to build up anticipation of the Xbox One X ahead of opening pre-orders. How successful the Xbox One X will be is hard to judge right now, but by playing it smart, and building its library of game utilization, Microsoft can ensure that the console will at least not be considered a failure.
Phil Spencer Interview Source: ARSTechnica.com
Albert Penello Interview: Gamertagradio