At its E3 press conference, Microsoft officially unveiled the Xbox One X calling it "the most powerful console ever." The Xbox One X is certainly powerful, but it has one major problem — the lack of exclusive games.
The Xbox One X's Main Problem
The Xbox One X will retail for $499 which is $100 more than the PlayStation Pro. Microsoft's justification for the higher price tag is that its console is more powerful and runs games in native 4K. Setting aside the fact that 4K TVs aren't quite common yet, the main issue with the Xbox One X is the fact that none of those games that it runs in 4K are exclusive to the Xbox One X.
We discussed this in our E3 preview, but it bears a more in-depth look now that Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One X is launching with zero exclusives. This is the biggest problem facing the Xbox One X: it is launching with no exclusive games. Every game on the system is either a multi-platform title or can be found on PC or the cheaper Xbox One.
Do Console Exclusives Matter?
Of course, this premise depends on whether or not console exclusives matter and, while there is some debate regarding this issue, we believe that the current trends in gaming indicate that exclusives do help drive console sales.
The PlayStation 4 is outselling the Xbox One by a strong margin and the main differentiating factor between the two systems is the fact that Sony's machine has a range of popular exclusives such as the Uncharted series, God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nioh, Insomniac's Spider-Man and others. The simple fact is that, aside from a few titles, every game found on the Xbox One X can be found on the PlayStation 4. The same can't be said of Microsoft's new console; for all its power, the Xbox One X will never see Uncharted or God of War.
For an even more extreme example of the power of console-exclusivity, we only need to look at Nintendo. For the past several decades, the Japanese company has struggled to gain third-party support, but it has survived — and even thrived — thanks to its strong first-party exclusives. People buy Nintendo consoles to play Mario, Zelda, etc.
Console Exclusives Do Matter And The Xbox One X Has Zero
If Microsoft wants the Xbox One X to be a success, then it needs to rethink its policy of exclusivity. While we admire Microsoft for the consumer-friendly nature of Play Anywhere, it does its Xbox division no favors. We would be much more excited for the Xbox One X if Microsoft announced that the next entry in the Halo franchise, for example, was an Xbox One X exclusive.
As it currently stands, there are few reasons to buy the Xbox One X especially considering the fact that it is more expensive — and offers fewer games — than the PlayStation Pro.
Eric Brackett Tech Times editor Eric Brackett is a tech junkie and a gamer, covering science and technology. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates and his random thoughts on the latest trends in gaming, tech, and comic books.