Why XBOX ONE Failed

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This is why the Xbox One failed – Now, I'm so excited to announce that Xbox One will launch this November in 21 markets around the world at $499 in the US – Did you catch that? That was the moment right there that sealed the fate of the Xbox One, a few short hours later, Sony announced the more powerful and cheaper PlayStation 4 and with one simple video, they cemented their dominance over the generation of consoles, what went wrong? Now that we're on the cusp of a new console generation it's easy to forget that there actually was a lot that the Xbox One brought to the table

Now, when you look back at the Xbox 360, it was of course massively successful and still to this day the most popular Xbox of all time, but it went about things in a very different way than the Xbox One, where Microsoft opted to go for a little bit of a safer strategy and they chose AMD to build not only the CPU but also the GPU in one contained SoC Essentially this meant that the Xbox One was for all intents and purposes very, very similar to a Windows gaming PC For years, PC gamers complained that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were holding them back, and there was a lot of truth to that So, not only were these consoles based on very different architectures, but ultimately they were only running with about a half a gigabyte of memory, which especially when you consider what kind of games were able to be pulled off with such a tiny amount of RAM and running off of DVD drives, it is kind of incredible But there is no doubt that for years, those consoles were really holding back the PC space, both Sony and Microsoft chose AMD to build their next generation, but they're also pretty heavily constrained

Remember, this is AMD before the days of Ryzen that we of course are getting on this next generation of consoles Instead, AMD at the time on the desktop, were pushing their Bulldozer based FX CPU's, which sucked I think would be a nice way of putting it, which really meant that the only thing that was really suitable for a console were their much smaller and much weaker Jaguar mobile-based CPU cores This in many scenarios meant that the brand new eight-core chips inside the PS4 and Xbox One, were actually not as powerful as the CPU's on the Xbox 360 and specifically on the PlayStation 3 So, tradeoffs, tradeoffs Thankfully graphics is an area where the Xbox One was a much bigger step forward, but the problem was over on the Sony side of the fence, they had bet very heavily on the faster but more expensive GDDR5 Memory

The problem was was that because this was so expensive for quite a while Sony expected to only be able to ship four gigabytes of RAM and here Microsoft saw an advantage If they could ship eight gigs of RAM, which was a little bit slower on the Xbox One, they will have an advantage, right? Well, yes, except that Sony was able to ship eight gigs of GDDR5, meaning that they had parody on the actual amount of memory and the Xbox One was stuck with a GPU which was much smaller because they had to build an ESRAM buffer into it, they had the slower RAM, it was a little bit more difficult to work with, it was a bet that just didn't pay off and it meant that the entire history of the Xbox One has had it trailing pretty significantly the performance of the PlayStation 4, which let's not forget, it was also cheaper at the same time So, E3 2013, was my very first E3 and that was the show where both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was shown off for the very first time Or at least technically the Xbox One did have a briefing a couple of weeks before, but it was basically an hour and a half of TV, TV, TV, TV, TV, TV, TV, oh, by the way, this thing plays games, but have you heard about the TV features? It didn't help that the Xbox One had a kind of lackluster launch lineup Sure, games like Forza looked great, when you look at that side by side side with some of the other major titles like Sunset Overdrive and Ryse: Son of Rome, those were pretty looking games, they were fun, but they weren't really console sellers, especially when you put that alongside the fact that while Microsoft had a huge lead with Indie developers back on the Xbox Live Arcade days, by the time the Xbox One came out, that was pretty much completely thrown away, and guess who was there to scoop up all those Indies? Of course, it was Sony and their brand new PlayStation 4

Kinda see where I'm going with this one Probably the biggest issue was around Xboxes, very aggressive DRM strategy So the first thing was all games even the physical ones were tied to your Xbox live account Now, that on the surface might not seem like a bad thing obviously all of our digital games do that today, however, the problem was that even the physical DVD that you would have gone out and bought in physical Blu-Ray, that would have been tied to you permanently So that meant a couple of things, and there were some upsides, so for example, you could share with up to 10 of your family members and you could actually share an Xbox game with one of your Xbox Live friends

Now you had to do that only once so you couldn't just be constantly swapping back and forth, and it had to be in their possession for at least 30 days, but that was theoretically a cool feature The problem though, was that you had to be online every 24 hours so the thing is, this was where a lot of people got very upset because before the Xbox One had actually been announced, Microsoft had kinda made some waves, I'm like, oh no, it won't be always online, and then they immediately were like, oh yeah, it's always online By far the biggest issue though, was no trade ins kind of, okay, so the rule was publishers, the individual game publishers can actually choose what they wanted to allow you to do with the physical games that you bought, so obviously right now in the ultimate policy was that you buy it, you sell it, it's just super simple But back in the Xbox One, when they first announced it, essentially if a publisher wanted to, they could say, oh, you know what? That physical copy you can never sell it again, it can never be reactivated by anyone ever Or alternatively, they could have charged you 10, 20 bucks, whatever they wanted to reactivate that code for the game

This, I don't need to tell you when over just about as well as you might expected Ultimately this meant that the head of Xbox at the time, Don Mattrick was very swiftly fired, like within a couple of weeks of this first E3 presentation And with that, the Xbox One while it was now on a much better path they pretty much walked back all of these to the policies that we know today, but the Xbox One was starting out from absolutely horrendous position, more expensive, not as powerful, the entire internet hating them, I mean all of the good will that they had built up throughout the Xbox 360 generation was gone in the matter of a couple of weeks Before we continue, I have to give a huge shout out to LastPass for sponsoring this portion of the video, with LastPass you never need to write, remember or reset another password, not only will it help you keep all of your current passwords nice, safe and secure, but on top of that it will even help you generate brand new ones It works pretty much everywhere, including on your computer as well as on mobile with iOS and Android so that LastPass can fill in your username and password so that you don't have to

So, LastPass is available for free, however, for $3 a month, you can upgrade to LastPass premium, which brings you some additional features, including some advanced two step authentication options, which is something that I personally use all the time So, I have been a LastPass user for almost 10 years now, I've been paying for that entire time and it is really truly a service that I believe in, and I'm so happy that LastPass is a supporter of the channel So, if you guys want to up your password game and make sure that you're nice, safe and secure definitely be sure to head to the link in the description to check out LastPass, and again, huge shout out to LastPass for not only keeping me safe, but importantly also sponsoring this portion of the video Another aspect that was poorly received is Kinect Now, it's easy to forget today, but when Kinect first launched on the Xbox 360, it was wildly successful, and it really gave a lot of new life to the 360, which is almost five years old at that point

So not only it was natural that when Microsoft decided to start designing that Xbox One, they put a lot of emphasis on Kinect 20, except they maybe put a little too much emphasis on the new version of Kinect Now I actually really liked Kinect, sure it was a little bit big and bulky, but you could absolutely say the same thing about the Xbox One, and the voice recognition features were actually really useful, I mean you've got to have to remember that this was years before things like Google Assistant, as well as Siri and Alexa had kind of completely taken over sort of the smart home ecosystem Now, the actual camera functions I think were a little bit more on the gimmicky side yes, it was higher fidelity and there were some games that supported it, but generally speaking the actual usefulness of Kinect has mostly been relegated to like ghost hunting these days Really though, Kinect was emblematic of a larger overall issue with the Xbox One, it was just simply trying to do too many things at once and because of that, pretty much everything suffered

So for example, when the Xbox first came out and they had their famous TV, TV, TV sort of presentation, they focused obviously very heavily on the media functions Some of which were cool, but things like the HDMI input to allow you to route something like your cable box in to function as a DVR were theoretically cool, but it was never fully realized, and ultimately scrapped several years into the Xbox One's life cycle Less than a year after the Xbox One launched, they removed the requirement that you always had to use Kinect and then started actually selling an Xbox One without it included in the box at all, bring the price down to $400 and finally reaching price parity with the PlayStation 4 It was a start, but they still had a long way to go The next major focus they had, was backwards compatibility

Now, this is actually something that Microsoft had laid the groundwork for years before the Xbox One had even shipped, and when you look at the way that they approached it as opposed to a company like Sony, it was very, very different So, say when the PS2 came out, the way it was able to play PlayStation 1 games, was by physically including the processor from the PlayStation 1 on board It was the same thing for the launch PS3's, with the Xbox One, Microsoft had an idea that that is what they wanted to do from a very early time So, they actually did some things like building in some of the core functions of the Xbox 360, like the texture processing into the Xbox One chip from day one So, when speaking with people on the Xbox team, specifically on the backwards compatibility side of the house, it's interesting to see just how much work they've put into this

So, as soon as Phil Spencer came in, he really made a major effort to start putting a lot of energy into backwards compatibility, and when you think about where Xbox was in 2014, 2015, it made a lot of sense Sony had pretty much completely abandoned, any hope of backwards compatibility for the PlayStation 4, short of something like PlayStation Now, which I mean, I guess if you wanna pay to stream last gen games, sure, have fun, but they knew that this was something that could make a real difference This ultimately came to fruition pretty quickly at E3 2015, so this was two years after the initial launch of the Xbox One, they announced that they were bringing Xbox 360 games to the platform and pretty quickly the games were coming in at a very rapid rate And the important thing was, this was true backwards compatibility Sure, a lot of these Xbox 360 games were being sold via Xbox Live, but the main thing was, was that your current Xbox 360 disc that you could buy for a dollar each at GameStop could be dropped with your Xbox One, and after a quick download or maybe slightly longer download, but importantly after a free download, you'll be up and running with your Xbox One, playing your good old classic 360 titles

Over the last five years, they've expanded the amount of not only 360 titles, but have also supported some original Xbox games on the Xbox One As well as things like the Xbox One X can run some of these titles at much higher resolutions that were far better than the original console, it's very impressive and ultimately, as we look toward the next generation, all of the work that Microsoft put in to that backwards compatibility is being ported over almost entirely to the Xbox Series X Sure, the PlayStation 5, will be able to play some PS4 games, but there's a difference between some of your previous games versus the Xbox Series X, which can claim that it can almost play every single Xbox game ever regardless of which platform it was made for Now, if we're talking legacy, one of the things that was introduced with the Xbox One's generation is Xbox Game Pass, now if you're not familiar, this is essentially Microsoft's attempt at building the Netflix of gaming So, from anywhere from five to $15 a month, based on your plan, you get access to hundreds of games on Xbox, on PC, you get things like streaming games via xCloud, as well as things like Xbox Live Gold all bundled in

And these aren't just sort of cheap whatever games you're getting high quality, top tier titles like Halo Infinite, like Forza, Gears, Flight Simulator as well as a lot of other third party titles Now, to me, I think this is really where the Xbox brand goes forward, who cares if they sell you an Xbox Series X or an Xbox One or a PC, whatever the case is, I think Microsoft are gonna make their money on selling you the subscription to the game pass And then honestly, as a consumer, I think it's a pretty good deal So, the thing is no one is going to look back on the Xbox One and consider it to be a successful console Sure, it wasn't a huge failure, like some other major consoles of the past, when you look at it side by side with other Xboxes, sure it did outsold the original Xbox, but it came nowhere near to selling the same amount of units as the Xbox 360, and when you look at it side by side with the PlayStation 4, it was outsold over two to one

But with a console like the Xbox One X retaking the world's most powerful console crown and later the Xbox Series X holding onto that crown, I do think Microsoft have pretty much completed their apology tour and have finally gotten the Xbox brand back to where it was in the good old days of the Xbox 360 The Xbox One didn't have a smooth run of it, but it did make a lot of huge leaps forward, which while maybe wasn't enough to save the console itself, at the very least puts the Xbox brand as well as the Xbox Series X in good shape going forward and it's hard to argue with building versus giving up That was a really dark way to end the video Thank you for watching though Hopefully you enjoyed, make sure to subscribe for more console content like this, as you might imagine plenty of news and plenty of other videos like this are going to be coming for many years to come

As long as I keep getting Xboxes and PlayStations to talk about (upbeat music)

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