Xbox One Post-Release Examination

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by ThePissartist, Jun 19, 2014.

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  1. ThePissartist

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    Microsoft created a console with multimedia being a primary focus for the system, since its release it has been moderately successful, proportionally, to the competition. In the months since release there have been several U-turns on the original strategy and the manufacturer has since targeted more on gaming and putting other functions to the side-lines.

    What could Microsoft have done differently to ensure greater success? Will they still be able to regain traction and have a significant sales impact this generation?

    Personally, having been an Xbox gamer since the first one, my biggest disappointment was with the system’s power and the insistence of being the living room’s hub. I’d liked to have seen a more powerful machine, only I suspect the world’s economy around release may have impacted how much risk were put into the design, or rather the risks were (mis)placed elsewhere.
     
  2. Rangers

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    I think they may well have to focus on a couple main things:

    Streamline as much as possible to get as much as possible of the system's potential hardware power out of it. Try to "close the gap" on multiplats as much as physically possible. They seem to be doing this.

    Second, it may be they're going to have to undercut PS4 by $50-$100 for most of the generation to be competitive. Because they have less hardware power. It may take them a while to realize or act on this. They might have to be extremely aggressive on cutting all they can from the box BOM ASAP, perhaps rushing a cheaper "slim" redesign along for example, earlier than you would normally see one. But they just released a $399 SKU, so we cant ask for too much too fast I suppose.

    Three: it can be that eventually sales increase through other factors, more frequent software updates as you say, a more polished UI/Online, more Apps, maybe a better exclusives library. This type of thing though, might take a while to ascertain. It could take 1, 2 years, being a bit of a slow burn.

    But, so far it seems consumers only see a couple of large factors, power and price, that mostly drive them.

    A lot will be learned about the Xbox's plight after the June, and subsequent months, sales numbers, when the $399 SKU is in place. We really need that info to know how deep a hole it's in. If sales are strong after $399, then there's less alarm. If they are weak, there's more alarm.
     
  3. McHuj

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    I think the biggest detriment to MS was the DRM, and number 2 was price point.

    The story from the reveal to E3 was all about the DRM. That's pretty much what every media outlet and forum was talking about and it basically wiped out most of the goodwill that MS built up. I don't think I've seen a backlash like that. And for them to reverse so quickly, it must have hit them really hard in the pre-order numbers.

    Two would have been price, $499 is too much when the PS4 is $399.

    I would have skipped the DRM and tried to launch with two SKU's from the get go with and without Kinect around the PS4, something like $349/$449.

    Or they should have launched in 2012 before the competition. They would have picked up a lot more early adopters who sprung for the PS4 instead of the Xbox when both released simultaneously.

    Finally, I think they can get meaningful sales still, but I think they'll have to lower the price some more. This time next year, they need to be around $299. Unless Sony financially self-destructs (which is possible), I don't think they'll come close to a 50/50 market share.

    With all the rapid changes, it wouldn't surprise me if they pushed out an Xbox 1.5. If the hardware was simply clocked higher (both CPU and GPU) and no changes to the memory subsystem, I wonder if it would be achievable to build an Xbox build of a game that runs at 900p one the X1 and full 1080p on the X1.5.
     
  4. Rangers

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    I feel like the DRM was a temporary problem. The power is a permanent one.

    In a discussion of slow starts one can blame the DRM, but imo it's not a lasting issue. It'll fade rapidly from memory of the average consumer.

    Need, perhaps, but that'll be a tall order. The most I'd expect soon might be $349/$449.

    This actually seems doable with the higher priced Kinect SKU seemingly defraying some of the losses.

    If I had to wild guess, if $399 doesn't help enough, $349/$449 might happen at E3 2015. Things move at a glacial pace.

    I dont expect PS4 to see any cuts for 2-3 years, mind you. That's just my opinion, to frame my price discussion of X1 here. Obviously if PS4 moved to $349, the discussion changes.
     
  5. MrFox

    MrFox Deludedly Fantastic
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    299 is a magical price point for consoles. It's a long shot, but I think it's possible for November next year, with maybe a small loss.

    Microsoft have a lot more openings to drop the production costs with a slim redesign, right now the motherboard and enclosure are crazy big, with an inefficient use of material, there's so much glue logic on the motherboard too. The DDR3 is expensive right now because 2133 can command a price premium over the massively available 1600 parts, but as soon as memory manufacturers move to the next node, 2133 might naturally become the normal bin, which would mean a much lower cost.
     
  6. Cyan

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    I think power plus DRM were the two main issues.

    Had the Xbox One been as powerful as expected from what the Xbox user base are accustomed to, the inclusion of Kinect as a mandatory device would be much more palatable for like 95% of people.

    And Kinect could succeed in that hypothetical scenario.
     
  7. McHuj

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    I think a "power per dollar" is better way to look at it. I think the specs of the Xbox One are good enough for a next gen system, but not at the price they were asking.
     
  8. ThePissartist

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    That certainly would have worked for me.
     
  9. shredenvain

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    I also think the Xbox One has plenty of power for a new gen console. Being less powerful than your competitor isnt an automatic death sentence. It is the way it has always been in the world of console gaming. The price point was a problem and still may be. It is still to early to know if the non kinect SKU will fix the problem.
     
  10. Cyan

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    There seems to be a lot of people in a similar situation, because I read days ago that 31% of the PS4 userbase are newcomers to the PS platform.
     
  11. RancidLunchmeat

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    Except in the "information age", lack of firm ability to compare "power" across different architecture has kept lower powered consoles alive. Hopes of complicated hardware that will eventually prove its worth, etc.. reigned supreme.

    But there is no such "secret sauce" here, the hardware and designs are almost identical and the PS4 has a superior GPU and superior memory bandwidth. So, there you have it.

    Everybody knew from start that the Sony console was more powerful. There is no doubt, there is no question about if the mysterious design of the Xb0x will eventually pay dividends once developers get used to it.

    This is not "how it has always been".
     
  12. blakjedi

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    i know at the time of reveal i knew that Power vs Price was gonna be the hammer.

    More powerful + cost less >> Less powerful + costs more
     
  13. rokkerkory

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    All this talk about power, the most powerful consoles seldomly ever won its generation.
     
  14. ThePissartist

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    Yeah, fair point - not the best idea ever. Microsoft have turned things around to an extent, at least now they have price parity. As Rangers stated earlier, I think they still need to reduce the price a little further to make the system compare on that power : price ratio.

    It'd be good if Microsoft were able to invest more in first parties, a lot of their expenditure must go on DLC-first contracts, or third-party exclusivity. They need a little more definition, games like Titanfall won't stay on Xbox alone forever.

    Microsoft are a software company, they could make sweeping changes to the OS that no other manufacturer would be able to compete with.
     
  15. Brad Grenz

    Brad Grenz Philosopher & Poet
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    Because they launched later and/or were more expensive.
     
  16. blakjedi

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    MS was silly to have gone down this road. DRM, TV and Kinect are relatively fluff issues that impacted the One. If they would have had equivalent power or more than PS4 at the 499 price point, there would been much less barking about the One. A 24 cu machine with gddr5 and the tale of the console release would have been quite different. Many an internet posters career would also have been ruined too.
     
    #16 blakjedi, Jun 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2014
  17. Rangers

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    Sort of, but there's still enough differences, like the ESRAM, DDR3 vs GDDR5, to muddle things more than a straight comparison. for better or worse
     
  18. RancidLunchmeat

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    Well, but not really. That is the only question and you know it's one that I've put forth previously as something that could possibly help to close the gap a bit between the two systems when the ESRAM and the lower latency DDR3 are working in concert to make up for the straight bandwidth advantage of the GDDR5.

    But that really is only a hope of closing the gap of one area of inferiority, there's no expectation that the Xb0x design will prove to be superior. And it doesn't address the clear inferiority of the GPU. It's a less powerful system and the architecture is so close that it was a known fact straight out of the gate.
     
  19. MrFox

    MrFox Deludedly Fantastic
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    DDR3 doesn't have a lower latency.
     
  20. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    I don't know a lot about how all this works, so need some moving into the right direction, I might be drastically simplifying things here; but do the number of CUs really matter if the CUs aren't fully saturated anyway?

    In the instance that say there was only 1GB/s of bandwidth available both 12 CU and 18CU both setups are going to sit idle waiting for work to do.

    So lets ramp it up, if 204GB/s can't saturate 12CUs to 100% what chance does 176GB/s have to saturate 18CUs?

    If this is the scenario, 12 CUs can do more work with 204GB/s than the 18CUs with 176GB/s.

    In a burst scenario, from rest or burst packages of data 18CUs are going to do a lot better. If the ducks are lined up and in a straight setup drag race the 204GB/s from 12 CUs should technically be outputting more simply because it's being fed better right?
     
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