Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has admitted defeat. The company is now saying that it will allow used games, and it will not require an internet connection to play video games. So we can all breathe a sigh of relief if we fall into the category of gamers without internet, or video gamers who need to buy video games used.
Xbox One is not dead yet
I remain optimistic on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) going forward. I don’t really anticipate the company to cut prices on the Xbox One until the first or second quarter of 2014. I believe that the company will take advantage of the pent-up demand for its console product in the very early stages of its launch then promptly cut prices to a level that’s similar to the PlayStation 4. This puts Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) in the awkward position of earnings lower gross-margins that cannot be made up for with higher unit sales. Sony won the consumers, and Microsoft won the heart of shareholders, it’s a twisted turn of events.
Going forward, I believe that the Xbox One could be a compelling home entertainment console even with the additional $100 price tag. This is driven by the fact that it’s currently the top-selling product in Amazon’s video gaming section of the website.
Currently the PlayStation 4 is in the number 3 spot, which implies that while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) did an awful job of managing its public relations, at the very least the company hasn’t fallen out of the good graces of its loyal customer base. Currently the Xbox 360 has 47% market share and is by far the most popular console. I didn’t think that the loyal customer base would get up and leave just because the product is a $100 more than PlayStation 4, has to be connected to internet, and wouldn’t support used games. But thankfully, due to its recent changes in policy, the only thing gamers have to gripe about is the $100 extra it costs to buy a Xbox One.
Biggest advantage of Xbox One
We know that the Xbox One will come with three operating systems preloaded onto the console. Of the three operating system’s there’s one that looks distinctly similar to the Windows 8 operating system. Engadget speculates on the operating system, but admits to not knowing how much of the Windows 8 Metro experience will be carried over to the XBox One.
While some opponents of the operating system argue that it drains system memory and lowers the power of the gaming system, I think that it’s possible for the console manufacturer (Microsoft) to re-coup the lost opportunity in gaming performance through sales of applications within the Windows Store. I believe that there’s a very real possibility of the XBox One becoming an alternative computer.
I also think that the Xbox live subscription membership is going to come in handy as it will be giving users two free games per month. This will drain the demand for GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME)’s used games. Currently the Xbox live user-base could be estimated to be 67 million (based on life-time console sales), and of that amount there are 40 million Xbox live subscribers. Interestingly enough there are more Xbox live subscribers than there are Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) subscribers, and believe me, a Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) subscription buys a lot. So we can only imagine the potential of this subscription driven business model. It will most likely have greater economies of scale over Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s PlayStation Plus.