Why TV is important to XBox One and Gamers
I recently read an argument on Forbes detailing why the PS4 will sell more consoles than the XBox One, and I couldn't resist pointing out that there is one huge reason that the XBox One will beat the PS4. I think it was too long for their commenting system so here is what I wrote.
Here is the article.
I'll give you several reasons that the XBox one will outsell the PS4 over its life. There are at best ~350 - 400 million consoles of the current generation of devices sold. This is somewhat divided equally between the PS3, XBox 360, and Wii. The market for game consoles has peaked. The next generation if it's lucky will do as well, but let's be honest, mobile gaming is getting really good. Good enough that a number of gamers will just use mobile as their entertainment solution.
Sure, the hard core gamers will get one of or even both systems and that will be reflected in the early sales, but the XBox One has something that the PS4 doesn't and can't have for the life of the console, TV. While, I'll be the first to say that when it was first announced as a gamer, I'm wasn't as interested in the TV portion of the XBox One, but I started to think of why they chose to do this. Then it hit me... the Cable/satellite company partnerships MS has built up with the 360. Right there and then I realized it was a perfect marriage.
Cable companies are facing cord cutting in record numbers that are exceeding their additions. They've exhausted the gimmicks, tricks, and ideas that they have for attracting subscribers. They need a device like the XBox One to retain and possibly attract new customers. Imagine a deal where if you agree to a two year subscription and a modest down payment say $99-$199, you get a free XBox One, which can serve as the hub of your media services in the living room.
What benefit does this bring to these companies other than an incentive to lock those users in? Interactive TV in a way that is virtually impossible to do without a live video source. Here's the reason for the HDMI input... Last year I watched the debates with my XBox 360. It was an awesome experience seeing poll questions, entering my selection, and seeing the results a few moments later. Then I realized there was a problem. My video buffered every few minutes which put the debate out of sync. Everyone knows video takes up alot of bandwidth. If you're taking live interactive poling or asking for questions/answers from the audience, you have to have the users video fairly reliably synced across your audience, otherwise you may have as much as a 30 second to 2 minute gap in returned information. When you are talking about live TV this gets very expensive. The competing streams of Video and the data that has to get to the consumer and back to the presenter can cause a lot of bandwidth issues especially if the audience is large. Luckily there is a handy solution that is already available; Cable and Satellite networks. Using these systems already in existence will not compete with the data bandwidth required for true interactive tv solutions. Add to it that MS has expanded and grown their working relationships with a ton of companies around the world whose subscribers number somewhere north of 1.5 Billion users and you see the advantage for both MS and the Cable companies.
So what's in it for the consumers besides getting a great next gen gaming console? Well imagine for your average user being able to play Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, or any number of game shows live with the presenter. Not only would you be able to interact with. Then there are the news shows, talk shows, and any other shows that can take advantage of live interactivity. Then there's the inclusion of Skype. Can you imagine being able to receive a call from a presenter direct to your home? Again, there is a ton of options and potential to add a new level of interactivity with the audience. Add that all of your friends, family, and the world now have seen you on TV, and you can see how in this age of social interaction and networking, how powerful this experience could be. Just sit back and think about it.
So what's in it for the hard core gamers? Imagine playing the new Halo game that has a TV tie in and because you were the top gamer this week, your gamer tag gets highlighted on the show? They could even give a character your gamer tag as a codename. You'd not only be immortalized in the game, but on TV! Imagine if your gamer tag ended up in a movie, or was used in the next game? Imagine having your avatar show up in the next Star Trek, Firefly, Destiny, or even a SYFY TV series based around your character. Again there is a ton of potential even for kids shows and cartoons with their avatar being in an episode. On another note, If there are that many XBox One consoles out there, regardless of whether or not they are used primarily for TV or gaming, developers will find it hard to ignore the potential sales for such a wide audience. They will also be willing to invest more money into a system with a broader audience.
So if MS can get even 300M of that 1.5 Billion to use and interact with the Live TV (a number I think is obtainable), It will blow the sales of the PS4 away and as much as I may want the focus for consoles to be gaming, the future is TV. We may benefit in the end, but only time will tell.
So while the PS4 might have a lot of pull with the gaming market now, I think the XBox One will win the war.
This is my first time posting, but I've been here since the beginning. What do you think?