How to sell next-gen consoles, Marketing, Positioning, and Pricing [2020]

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by steveOrino, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Daozang

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    Agreed.
    I guess I edited my response while you were replying. I completely agree with you, as evident by that last bit there.
     
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  2. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    yea, but gamepass doesn't have that many launch titles. Aside from XGS, I don't recall many AAA title launches except the ones that are indicated from the May and July events. I'm not expecting it to be the normal occurence.
     
  3. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    It certainly didn't make things any easier for them.
    I think when you see a game that has the funding and talent but is completely off expectation; it's likely development hell. It's got very little to do with the hardware at that point in time. Just a failure of tools, communication, processes, and management and leadership. We've seen something similar with Crackdown. And there will be other bombs, i'm thinking Battletoads is likely one of those development hell ones as well.
     
  4. London Geezer

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    I wanted to make it clear that my criticism for what MS are doing comes from a place of deep frustration as a potential customer, on so many levels.

    Firstly, as a business exec, their handling of this and their PR has been shocking to me. This is compounded by the fact that I am literally their target. I am fortunate enough to be able to spend money on a lot of things, and I love spending money on new and shiny gadgets, particularly anything gaming related.

    And yet, the more they talk about it, the less I want to buy an X, even though all the way up to February this year, they had all the momentum. They had that fabulous DF teardown, lots of details, and Sony was nowhere to be seen. I thought, great! The X looks amazing, this might be the time I get one just for the hell of it!

    Fast forward to the last couple of events. The first one, I didn't really care that there was no gameplay, I thought the drama was blown out of proportions. But then here we are in July, they plugged Phil Spencer back in and good lord what a mess.

    Having a marketing/PR spiel that basically tells me, their top target audience, that they don't really care if I buy their new console is quite insulting, and it shows that they don't believe it it either. If they don't believe in it, then why should the audience?

    It's like me inviting you guys for dinner, and then go "ah but you don't need to come, I don't care if you do, I have other things to do".

    It's a bit insulting to me, someone who actually wants to spend his money on a new shiny gadget.

    Again, if Sony improves their rather shit PS+/Now following the advancements MS will make with Gamepass, then great. But so far, MS has not convinced me to pay them any money, and I hate that.
     
    #904 London Geezer, Jul 31, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  5. fehu

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    Give them to me then.
     
  6. Daozang

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    I might be dead wrong on this, but I honestly believe that the vast majority of people playing games are potential customers for both consoles, and that there are very few that are blindly following one company or the other like being in a cult.
    That being said, I feel the same way.
    I just add the fact that without the proper incentive, having both a PC and an XBox feels excessive and wasteful to me, and I personally don't like that.
     
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  7. ToTTenTranz

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    IMO, the sole purpose of Horizon Zero Dawn and Death Stranding on PC is to make PC gamers want to play their sequels on the PS5 (where they will be exclusive for a long time). I.e. their purpose is to increase the PS5's total addressable market.
     
  8. London Geezer

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    Oh I agree 100%. But the point is that they still look like PS4 games, albeit at higher res and Hz. Even on a 3080ti it will look the same, but at 30000 frames per sec and whatnot.
    Meanwhile Horizon The New One will genuinely look “next gen”.
     
  9. AzBat

    AzBat Agent of the Bat
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    I will agree the messaging is not entirely clear if you don't follow it closely, but they don't have a mandate on 1st or 3rd party.

    My reading of the events is that they bought a lot of studios too late in the cycle to get 1st party exclusive titles on the system with a 2020 launch. They needed to launch at the same time as Sony & were not going to delay. So they decided that all 1st party studios(new & old) currently in the pipeline ready for 2020 or 2021 launch would continue releasing for the Xbox One, but include improvements for the Series X. What's the easiest to do? Increase resolution to 4K & increase frame rate to 60fps & now maybe 120fps. Any titles that were in the pipeline & targeting a 2022 release will go straight to Series X. Basically they crafted their PR messaging around the status of their games. They got caught off guard when they got bad press about no exclusives, cross-gen games with minimal improvements & lackluster Halo showcase. I believe their recent messaging(studios are allowed to target any console, no mandate) should have been the way it should have initially started it, but hindsight is 20/20. They thought the "no gamer left behind" messaging would be easier to take, but with new hardware, people really want new experiences. If all you get is 4K & 60fps then I can understand the frustration. If they wanted to do the "no gamer left behind" for Series X, then it should have started before they announced Project Scorpio in 2016. This would have given enough time to craft launch games that would have more than just 4K & 60fps as differentiating factors. I think they started too late & the closer we get to launch the more evident it is.

    Personally, I don't think it's a complete dumpster fire, but their unclear messaging is not doing them any favors. If they have the hardware priced lower than PS5 and if they can launch Halo with an amazing story, an open world sandbox, great gameplay & free multiplayer I think it will be a great launch. They know they can't have a repeat of last gen. They need good press & I think that price & Halo will be enough until their rest of their 1st party lineup is ready.

    BTW, I understand most people in this forum are more PC centric & it's not surprising that almost everyone in here is forgoing the Series X. In fact, I might be one of the few who only games on consoles. I will probably never buy a PC for gaming. I can't personally afford the platform. Plus, I don't want to tinker anymore. I did that when I was young & had money. Now, I just want to get in and play with minimal fuss. Pricing will determine when I jump into next-gen. I have a feeling it won't be until early next year though.

    Tommy McClain
     
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  10. ThePissartist

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    My PC is a Surface. I would not buy a tower PC for gaming under any circumstances.

    I've been looking forward to every conference from both Sony and Microsoft. I even thought that I was going to choose the XSX a couple of months ago... unfortunately it feels like they've constantly made announcements that are appealing to different type of gamer to me.

    So yeah, I'm definitely going for PS5 day one. Honestly, it's not really my choice, my two older boys (12 and 10) have made it clear they only want a PlayStation.

    Could always pick up an Xbox One SAD if I want to play the new Halo. Probably won't though.
     
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  11. Jay

    Jay
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    Although I've said for a while that the new studios wasn't geared up with their current projects to be all in on next gen, that is only part of the story.

    MS knew they was releasing next gen consoles this year, it never just came about this year.
    They had 1P studio's that that they could've spun up a couple teams to work on couple next gen titles/show cases. Your talking around 4 years of development.
    To be clear I'm not talking 4 or 5 games here, just 2 even would've been enough to bridge most off the gap.

    With the knowledge they would have more games from the new studios coming later on.
    People like to pretend that the shows doesn't mean anything, but the thing is PS5 is already building up a head if steam of the desirable console, even reaching into the mainstream.
     
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  12. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    I don't see it. There's enough to play on PC that I can't see people buying a console for a couple of titles if they were not already inclined to do so. I just don't see this moving the needle in any significant way. I'd be surprised if you get much, "Man! I gave zero shits about HZD and DS until I could play them on PC, but now that I've played them I have to get a PS5 for HZD2 and DS2!"
     
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  13. PSman1700

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    We don't know that for 100% i think. It could be their goal, but what if pc gamers aren't moving over for that, like the Pro was supposed to do? Maybe the games sell very well on pc, but pc gamers dont move over. Sony could release on pc for extra money. I know it's not what some want to hear, but it's not impossible. PC gamers are a different kind of gamers i think.

    And yes, for any pc gamer there's no reason for an Xbox, if you have a PC you basically have Xbox already.

    Yes, doubt the sole reason is to move over pc gamers. The PC will always be a seperate market where there is money to earn. I think Sony wants to expand their market to reach more people. A port isn't going to cost that much, so a Steam release some years down the online is only extra money.
     
  14. London Geezer

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    Well, [mention]ToTTenTranz [/mention] did write IMO! So yeah we don’t know that :)
     
  15. PSman1700

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    Yeah true :) I'm a pc gamer, but i don't want to wait for an eventual forbidden west port, i want to experience those next gen graphics day one. By the time the pc might get that port, the graphics are kinda 'meh' anyway i think, like HZD now looks abit 'old' when seeing the new FW graphics demo. A pc version in that sense isn't going to change anything for me, i'd need a PS5 anyway.
    Look a couple of times at the fw trailer, and then switch back to HZD, just some random gameplay of it on YT, and you know what i mean.
     
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  16. dobwal

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    I think some of the traditional ways of trying to acquire console gamers is backwards for MS. Not offering titles for the PC by Sony and Nintendo makes sense for those two platform owners. Not for MS.

    Windows is a MS platform. And yes PC doesn’t offer the same revenue streams as consoles but having a Windows PC but no access to some of MS biggest franchises comes off as self serving. They denied one of their platforms to prop up another.

    It’s not a Windows friendly strategy and creates an impression of second class status. No wonder the PC gaming market hasn’t readily supported Xbox services. MS only shows up when it wants to exploit the PC userbase.

    MS completely supporting all their viable AAA gaming platforms with their entire library would create a better atmosphere in the PC space and that space would be more amendable to MS services that originate on the Xbox.

    You own a PC and are an avid gamer on Windows. Why should MS tell you if you want to play Halo, Fable or whatever console centric franchise, you have to buy an Xbox? To sell more Xboxes to gamers who already support a MS platform with hardware that readily supports the performance offered by the Xbox?

    All MS has done over the last 20 years is to not effectively endear PC gamers to their brand. A ton of MS effort in the gaming space hasn’t been felt by PC only gaming and that’s a travesty.

    “Hey I love Halo on the PC and really want my son or daughter to experience it. Shit! They aren’t about to touch my PC and I dont feel like building or spending money or a mid range PC, so why don’t I buy them an Xbox?”

    Thats the type of reality that MS should be trying to create.
     
    #916 dobwal, Aug 1, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  17. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    But who is Series S appealing to? The Xbox One owners who crave performance, the ones who bought an One X, are more likely eyeing up Series X. Series S is for folks who are less concerned with performance and/or for whom the price for more performance isn't appetising. So if you're a Xbox One/S owner, why are buying a Series S if there are no games that require it? I mean you have to have a non-premium option but I do wonder how many they expect to buy for the duration of their cross-generation stance. It may take Ubisoft, EA or Activision to drop Xbox One to improve Series S's appeal.

    GTA V entered GamePass in early January 2020 and left Early May 2020, so four solid months. A game that originally launched in 2013 on lastgen and 2015 on currentgen. RDR2 entered on GamePass when GTA V departed and remains in but it'll be interesting to see how long it stays in. I thin it will be stay in longer than GTA V because RDR2 hasn't monetized anywhere near as well as GTA V.

    Alanah Pearce's "Devs discuss GamePass" video lifts the lid on how some devs are being paid for participating in GamePass, Microsoft give them a bag of money for the game to be on GamePass for X weeks/months based on the size of the user base - and it's not an inconsiderable amount, especially for Indies. So what the heck are they paying Rockstar? This provides some context as to why GamePass is not particularly profitable and it gives a good indication where Microsoft's limits are currently are. The more games in GamePass, the more devs/publishers Microsoft have to pay even if games aren't played. The more subscribers GamePass has, the more they have to pay individual devs/publishers to compensate lost sales. How does Microsoft grow profitability given costs rise with more games and/or more users? :???:
     
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  18. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    once again, as if this were some comedy, i would like to defer back to the spreadsheet lol.
    But yea, we could layer in licensing fees if the players play their games, the owe money, and there is a flat fee to just have the game on gamepass for a limited amount of time?
     
  19. Jay

    Jay
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    That's possibly only applicable if it was only about people upgrading. There's new gamers coming in all the time as an example.

    I do agree that they've not done a good job of giving people good reason to upgrade to xss or for that matter, xsx either.
    I'm not just talking from XO but also PS4.

    XO/1X and PS owners have been given more reasons to upgrade to PS5. Although people will say MS is ok with that as long as you don't sell your xbox. (i don't agree)
     
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  20. Silenti

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    Something to consider. MS may be looking to 3rd party to help get people in the service in the short term. Just as with Netflix, in the long term, they will need to produce a lot of their content so as not to be beholden to a 3rd party who may make exorbitant demands or simply refuse to license the content all together in favor of their own service(s) or a exclusive rights going to a competitor.

    Netflix got built on a network back catalog and much smaller shows that filled certain niches. Low budget science fiction comes immediately to mind. Later horror. I remember at one point Netflix, paraphrased - from memory - etc, stated "We need to turn ourselves in HBO before HBO becomes us."

    How many studios did they purchase? How many more will they initiate and/or purchase? Someone (think it was eastmen) suggested that MS's goal is to launch a AA/AAA game every 2 months on the service. They can for a few years and then much of the 3rd party is not as necessary any longer. Assuming, of course, quality titles. Where will MS's 1st party catalog be in 5 years?
     
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