Sep 25, 2013
Microsoft caught a lot of flak when unveiling their new console, as many gamers claimed a games console should centre around this, rather than video content.
However, recent statistics prove that people don’t use their consoles pruely for gaming, as it has been reported by Microsoft COO Kevin Turner that 42% of Xbox Live subscribers watch 30 hours of video content every month. Averaging an hour a day is quite significant, as this is merely an alternative to other TV formats, surely racking up more hours. Microsoft have developed many cable apps over the past few years, and are looking to create a whole host of original programming for the Xbox One, including a Halo series.
If anything, this shows the widening gap between core and casual gamers. Core gamers want a powerful machine intended for gaming, whereas casual gamers want a media machine, capable of streaming and playing the odd game when they fancy. Not to mention the host of other tasks consoles can undertake, which is surely going to grow and improve with the next-gen machines.
Phil Spencer stated that the NFL partnership in providing video content is merely the first step of many regarding sporting interaction, and so it seems Microsoft are determined that this is a good market. Perhaps the NFL and various leagues will be a huge draw for American markets, yet in Europe and other places, the appeal is still lacking. It seems the Xbox One has a lot more media services to offer. Their partnership with EA sports shows they are focussing around sport in different areas, as well as providing all new sporting video experiences. The sales of Madden and Fifa show that gamers love their sport, and Microsoft seems keen to expand and exploit this fact.
An interesting statistic is that 40% of Xbox Live users are female, going against industry stereotypes. It seems online gamers are no longer dominantly teenage guys. Although Microsoft may be taking abuse from the gaming community for their stance on video content for the next-generation, it is sure to please their current user base. And it would seem silly to disregard this quite staggering statistic when developing a new console.
This brings into question, if the Xbox is the reason for their video watching? Or whether, if the Xbox was a mere games console, they would just watch it on the laptop instead, and the console is more conveniently plugged into the television. Services such as Hulu and Netflix are available on Smartphones, tablets, and other devices, so there is a lot of choice for the consumer. However, there is no questioning the fact that video content certainly has a home on consoles, but whether this is a selling point to focus a console release around is still questionable.