When Xbox Play Anywhere was first announced, gamers rejoiced when they found out that they can buy their Xbox exclusives games on Xbox and then play them on the PC. The two in one deal made it seem like Microsoft really cared for the gamer and understood that not everyone only has an Xbox. Now players ranging from hardcore to casual, are going to PC as well to experience high graphical fidelity. However, the recent rhetoric about Xbox Play Anywhere is that it is actually Hurting the Xbox brand as a whole. I want to break all the facts down and see if Xbox Play Anywhere is hurting Xbox one sales or the Xbox brand as a whole.
The first argument I want to get out of the way is the rhetoric of “Xbox Play Anywhere isn’t for the casual gamer” and is only for “hardcore fans.” There are two reasons why it doesn’t matter who this service is for. Reason number one is that worldwide PC gaming is on the rise. Microsoft fully understands this because they supply the software for most computers, besides Mac. The idea that you need at least $1000 for a Gaming PC is being disproved time after time, and gamers from all factions are understanding that PC gaming is cheaper now in 2017. So in terms of WORLDWIDE, casuals and hardcore gamers play on the PC and can access Xbox Play Anywhere. The second reason why it doesn’t matter whom the service is for, is because Microsoft wants to please all crowds of gaming.
Don’t believe me? Look at the Xbox one X and who it’s catered towards. Microsoft said it themselves that the X isn’t for the casual gamer. It’s a premium console for a premium price. It was made for gamers that want to play at the “highest fidelity” and at “true 4k.” This begs the question: why would Microsoft bring out a console to please hardcore gamers when they are the minority? That is because even though they are the minority, it’s still a large base of players to support Xbox. Microsoft wants every type of gamer on the Xbox platform whether it’s on the Microsoft store on PC or buying the new Xbox One X.
The second argument I want to delve into is that the Games On Xbox Play Anywhere aren’t great games. When you look at Sony and Nintendo, they have giants coming out that makes you want to get their latest console. Arguably, Xbox doesn’t have that system-selling game. It was supposed to be Gears of War 4, but it didn’t even sell a million the first week. Sure the argument could be made that the numbers don’t include digital, but it’s still a shocker that one of Microsoft’s big holiday titles of last year, didn’t even sell over a million physical copies. But when you look at the competition, Uncharted 4 sold close to 3 Million first week while it took Splatoon 2 to sell 600,000 in three days in Japan. This just shows Xbox’s competition has hits while Xbox is struggling to find a game to bring gamers to Xbox. But why do I bring all this up? Because, this shows gamers don’t see the reason to buy an Xbox console. Add on the Xbox Play Anywhere, now you get the rhetoric of Xbox has no true exclusives. If I can get these mediocre games on PC, why am I buying an Xbox when I can get a PC for multiplats and the future Xbox games?
Now I know you’re saying “How does all of this answer the question?” When we put everything in perspective, we can see a pattern that makes an Xbox next to worthless. If a gamer wants to play Cuphead, they could get a PC that can adequately run it and all of the Xbox games that come out in the future. Also, if you still believe that hardcore gamers would only use Play Anywhere, let’s put some numbers in the equation. If we have 1 million “hardcore gamers” on PC interested in Uncharted 4 and is definitely going to buy the game, why would Sony put it on PC when the customer would buy a PlayStation for that game? Instead of Sony only getting $60 for the game, Sony would get $300 for the new PlayStation and $60 for the game. And when you put that on the million scale, $360,000,000 is a lot more money than $60,000,000. If Xbox can get a game with mass appeal like Uncharted 4, most players wouldn’t buy an Xbox for the game, they would just get it on PC.
In conclusion, Xbox Play Anywhere isn’t hurting the Xbox brand right now but that’s because they don’t have a game that will grab players from other systems and bring them over to Xbox. I feel that if they ever get that one game (Like Scalebound was supposed to be), and they put it on Xbox Play Anywhere, they are missing a huge opportunity for players to not only buy the game, but buy a new console as well. Eventually Xbox Play Anywhere will hinder the Xbox console from getting the sales it can.
What do you think about Xbox Play Anywhere? Do you think it hurts the Xbox brand? Let us know!