For those who have complained Microsoft does not care enough about the “hardcore gamers” with the Xbox One, they might want to re-consider their opinion. In an interview with OXM (The Official Xbox Magazine) Microsoft stated that they will be investing over $1 Billion in securing exclusive titles. This includes the 15 exclusive launch titles for the Xbox One, along with 8 new franchises.
In addition Microsoft has increased hiring at Microsoft Studios and is opening new game studios in London, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia.
“Core gaming powerhouses 343 Studios, Lionhead and Turn 10 have all seen significant appointments – Lionhead, for instance, now runs under the supervision of MMO expert John Needham, in further evidence that the rumoured Fable 4 will be a cloud-centric affair. Microsoft has hired former Sony executive Phil Harrison – the man who oversaw the gestation of such noted PlayStation IPs as LittleBigPlanet – to manage internal projects and developer relations in Europe. Rare Ltd is poised to return to one of its cherished franchises in what Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer bills a “historic” revival.” -OXM
“I see our creators really taking that opportunity to think about their games in a more granular way. To still have the full immersive, quadruple-A experience on screen, but also think about how those experiences can roam with devices – and it’s nice that our new box actually understands all this through the way it’s structured, that people do multiple things at the same time, and I can have shorter gameplay sessions, longer game play sessions,” said head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer.
Microsoft will share more about games at E3 in the coming weeks. But it is clear Microsoft is looking to please both the hardcore gamers while also having a way for indy-game developers to put their games on the console for more casual gamers. The costs for the Xbox One are certainly starting to add up too, $1 billion just for exclusive games, $400 million for the NFL deal, billions more in R&D. The Xbox is very important to Microsoft and no expense has been spared, but ultimately this cost will be passed down to the consumer. While Microsoft has not yet commented on the cost of the Xbox One, it seems the console will initially come at a high cost probably starting at $499 at a minimum, reasonable when considering the Kinect in bundled in. Special editions and bundles of the Xbox One could go as high as $699 at launch date. Like the previous generation Xbox, I suspect the cost will come down over the years, eventually reaching $299 price point we’re comfortable with today.