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Published on December 29th, 2017 | by gareth


What Microsoft Did Right And Wrong In 2017

As we close out 2017, I have looked at the three major console makers and examined what they did right and wrong in 2017. Microsoft is up next and if I was grading them I would have to say it would be an incomplete.

Microsoft did good things in lowering the price of the Xbox One as well as adding my games to their backwards compatibility list; but it seems like it is looking backwards not moving forwards. For me and many other gamers, consoles are all about the exclusives. I need a reason to get a console as I use the PC as my primary gaming base. As such, the PS4 and Nintendo Switch are mainly used for system exclusives with a few exceptions here and there.

For me, Microsoft still has not addressed my main issue and that was exclusives that I want to play. 2017 was a tough year as anticipated titles like Scalebound were cancelled and Crackdown 3 was moved back to 2018 which did not bolster confidence amongst their supporters. It is one thing to announce a game, it is quite another to bring it to market.

Microsoft did well with the Xbox One X as they have brought a very powerful and impressive system to market, so now the need is for them to bring quality titles to the market that can take full advantage of the hardware.

There are plenty of third party titles coming that will likely look great on the system but again, it comes down to exclusives and with some of the announced exclusives also coming to PC; the emphasis again will be on creating a unique and compelling gameplay experience.

So while the potential is there for Microsoft as they have the hardware, they just need the games to let gamers take advantage of their hardware.


The lack of games was not the only thing that Microsoft had to contend with, it faced stiff competition from both Sony who has outsold their system from the start, and a very strong sales year for Nintendo with the Switch. Combine that with a perceived lack of momentum amongst gamers you can see the challenges ahead of Microsoft. They have a strong online base and a core group of dedicated supporters which will help but what the company needs to do is to find a way to reach the non-users and get them interested and excited about their system. Dropping the base price of the Xbox One was a very wise move as it not only makes it a low-risk and attractive purchase it allows people to experience what they have to offer and look forward to what is to come. I also think that Microsoft really needs to look at launching some new franchises. I said at the launch of the system that I needed more than Halo and Gears of War to get excited for what the company is offering and that still holds true.

So why the grade of incomplete for 2017? While I have seen progress, I have not seen anything of significance to get me excited in the brand and to show me that Microsoft is moving in the right direction. Will this be enough to encourage those who have written off the system? Who knows but it is clear that Microsoft is needing to win over gamers and cut into the lead that their competition has and 2018 will be a good indicator of how much gas they have left in the tank with this current system.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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