Video streaming services can no longer be ignored in the average Dutch household. Watching the latest season of your favorite fantasy series with your friends or having discussions at work about the documentary series that is now the talk of the day again: it has become part of the daily life of many people in recent years. With games that is not so common, but if it is up to Microsoft that will change quickly.
The American company is launching its new game console today. Or actually two new game consoles: the Xbox Series X and S. The latter is a cheaper model.
Microsoft promises more powerful graphics, faster loading times and a better online environment, but above all it wants to profile itself with a wide range of games that can be played for a fixed price: the Game Pass. And Xbox seems to have good reason for doing that.
Interest in subscriptions
Figures from market researcher Simon-Kucher & Partners indicate that more than a third of gamers already have a game subscription. Like PlayStation Plus, which is required to play online games.
The survey among more than 13,000 respondents in 17 countries shows that about 80 percent of people who already have such a subscription are open to another subscription.
“It’s simple from a business point of view and simple from the consumer,” said Hong-May Cheng, partner at Simon-Kucher. “You bind people to you longer and you increase the appreciation of your company. Xbox seems to want to bet with the Game Pass and the cheaper console on the casual gamer, people who don’t play super fanatic games.”
Another reason that Microsoft opts for a subscription model is that it is well behind the PlayStation of competitor Sony. Its new console, the PS5, will be released next week.
The predecessor sold roughly twice as much worldwide as the previous Xbox. This was partly due to the so-called first party games, games made by Sony studios and released exclusively on the platform.
Xbox also has its own exclusive titles that sell well, such as shooting game Halo and racing game Forza Horizon. But in numbers of exclusive games, it has lagged Sony in recent years.
Microsoft has recently made a record takeover in the games industry with the purchase of ZeniMax Media, which is responsible for, among other things, the popular Elder Scrollsgames and the Fallouttitles.
This is Gears 5, one of the exclusive games available to play on the new Xbox starting today: