Microsoft will be well aware that it needs to deliver a more compelling package when it releases the Xbox Two video games console. The software-producing giant was left trailing in the wake of Sony in the existing PlayStation 4 / Xbox One generation, and the corporation must learn lessons from the approach that it took with the Xbox One if it is to regain ground.
Marketing is key
And central to this process will be ensuring that Microsoft delivers a more attractive message to consumers when the Xbox Two is unveiled and released. Arguably, Microsoft lost this console generation before either the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One were even released, owing to the PR disaster that was the unveiling of the Xbox One console. Microsoft will surely never forget again that video games consoles are for gamers, but it must deliver a sincere and attractive message to consumers this time out.
Powerful graphics chipset
The other disaster for the Xbox One is that the PlayStation 4 simply has a superior graphics chipset. Although Microsoft has attempted to downplay this, and even entered into agreements with companies so that superior versions of software are not released on the PlayStation 4, the fact remains that it has greatly hampered the Xbox One. Everyone knows that the PlayStation 4 is the more powerful system, and it is extremely embarrassing for Microsoft that some next generation titles on its machine have not been delivered in 1080p.
Microsoft must certainly ensure that it doesn’t make this mistake again, and produce an Xbox Two console that is at least the equal of its PlayStation 5 competition.
4K gaming out of the box
Speaking of which, 4K resolution will likely be a mainstream technology by the time that the Xbox Two sees the light of day in 2018, and this should certainly be part of the Xbox Two portfolio of features. 4K gaming should have gone mainstream by 2018, and Microsoft must ensure that its console is capable of dealing with this ultra HD resolution.
Virtual and augmented reality gaming will also likely become massive over the next few years, and it would be ideal for Microsoft to include some sort of Hololens tie-in with the Xbox Two. A built-in Hololens would be particularly attractive for consumers, and could be a major selling point of the console.
Xbox Two Cloud gaming
The Xbox Two should also deliver mainstream and current generation gaming through the cloud, via streaming. It should be technically possible for Microsoft to enable this for Xbox Two generation titles by the time that the console is released, and possibly even 4K streaming might be viable. But it should at least be possible to stream mainstream titles at 1080p resolution via the cloud, and this would be an attractive proposition for both Microsoft and video gamers as well.
Don’t scrap discs
Of all of the items on an Xbox Two wish list, this particular one seems the most likely to come to fruition. Microsoft will surely have learned from the pre-used games debacle that it endured this time round, not least because this potentially cost the corporation tens of millions of dollars. Although the demise of the disc drive has been predicted on many occasions, the fact is that gamers still relish physical media, and this tendency has been underlined by the recent vinyl revival.
It would be a massive mistake for either Sony or Microsoft to rely on download-based gaming entirely, although it is possible that an Xbox Two model that does not feature a disc drive could be released in tandem with a more mainstream model.
Better original titles
The most obvious argument for purchasing any video games console is to get one’s hands on the best exclusive titles. And there is little doubt that the PlayStation 4 has delivered these in the current generation. If Microsoft wishes to close the gap on Sony when the Xbox Two and PlayStation 5 are released, it would be advisable for the corporation to deliver more outstanding original titles.
It would be ideal if Microsoft can deliver backwards compatibility from the moment that the Xbox Two is released, and this certainly would seem to be feasible. The AMD chipset that is likely to be included in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two should make this possible, and this would be a valuable aspect of the Xbox Two console, considering that original titles can be rather thin on the ground in the early days of a console’s existence.
Improved Windows streaming
The ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows was seen as a real advantage for the console. But there have been extremely mixed reactions to the quality of this particular feature. Microsoft must improve on this with the Xbox Two if this function is to be anything more than a gimmick.
Listen to gamers
Above all else, Microsoft must demonstrate explicitly that it has listened to the desires of gamers. It would be fair to say that the corporation has emphatically failed to do this with the Xbox One, and this is probably the single biggest reason that Sony has wiped the floor with the console with its own PlayStation 4. Microsoft should be conducting market research with gamers right now, and establishing how precisely it intends to position the Xbox Two in the marketplace in order to challenge a PlayStation 5 console that will have a massive residual advantage from the current generation.