Analysts Predict Bad Times For Xbox 360

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Analysts Predict Bad Times For Xbox 360

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Despite its success in North America, a panel of speakers at the Nordic Game 2008 conference are predicting the Xbox 360 will begin to "struggle" globally in 2008.

The panel suggested the Microsoft console could run into trouble in markets outside North America because of its "disastrous" failure to catch on beyond the FPS market. Part of the reason for that, according Nick Parker of Parker Consulting, is a "fundamental image problem" with non-American audiences. "The trouble with Xbox 360 is it hasn't managed to shake off this urban, irreverent adult male feel," Parker said, "so it hasn't gained traction in the more casual gaming markets of mainland Europe such as France, Spain and Italy, where it's stalled. And there are already rumors of Xbox 360 being delisted from certain retailers."

"I think they started off badly with the Xbox itself: blood and breasts," he continued. "This alienated it immediately to a lot of consumers around Europe, and they never got over that. The brand image never went away. And although Halo 3 is a big game, it just emphasizes again what the Xbox is all about."

David Cole of DFC Intelligence concurred, predicting that Microsoft would end up on the short side of the global console wars. "When you look at an installed base basis, the Xbox 360's going to come in third place when all is said and done," he said. "The concern I would have with a company like Microsoft is, one of these days they're going to have to make a profit on this business, otherwise, why are they in it?"

Cole added that while publishers of FPS titles could still make a killing on the 360, other genres have much more difficulty succeeding on the platform. "If you're doing a first-person shooter title, you're clearly going to want to be on the Xbox 360, and that's for years to come," he said. "(But) their efforts at marketing outside of the first-person shooter crowd have been disastrous."

"(Microsoft) gets very defensive because they realize the U.S. is their last stronghold now as their sales go into decline across the rest of the world," added Parker, referring to a statement made in May by Xbox executive Don Mattrick that Microsoft's achievement of ten million console sales was a major step toward victory in the console wars. "So they're a little bit desperate and they're clutching at straws now to cling on to what they've got in the market which is primarily the U.S."

While the Xbox 360 is a strong performer in North America, it hasn't met with similar levels of success internationally. The system's global installed base of 19 million units is ahead of the PlayStation 3, which has just under 13 million, but the Xbox 360 was launched a year earlier than both Sony's unit and the Nintendo Wii, which leads both consoles with well over 24 million units sold.

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Weren't people saying this crap last year?

"The concern I would have with a company like Microsoft is, one of these days they're going to have to make a profit on this business, otherwise, why are they in it?"

Didn't Microsoft announce they've been making profits on Xbox last year? Yeah, they did.

Cole added that while publishers of FPS titles could still make a killing on the 360, other genres have much more difficulty succeeding on the platform.

Just about every store around my area was sold out of copies of Ninja Gaiden 2 unless they had a second shipment come in on Wednesday. All Circuit Cities within 100 miles of my zipcode were sold out were sold out by noon, as were GameStops. The only reason BestBuy had some by evening after I was done work is because they had a second shipment come in that day, but before that came in they were also sold out by noon.

There's also the fact that Capcom themselves were taken by surprise with how well Dead Rising had sold.

Of course, I'm also in America, so maybe over in Europe people aren't paying attention to games without crosshairs.

The 360 seems to be doing well here in England. All sorts of games available at the local HMV. Driving games, hack-and-slashes, fighting games, strategy games, games for the kiddies, rpgs... While there are lots of shooty games for the 360, they're not the only meal on the menu, not by a long shot (pun intended).

I'm sorry, but reading this I think these analysts are full of bullshit. I seem to remember analysts making all sorts of claims last year about videogames, very few of which actually came true.

True, neither of those games are FPS's. But then neither of them deviate much from the Hack Slash'n'Maim (sp?) drive of most 360 games.

There's no Ratchet & Clank or Little big planet type games from the major developers on 360. Which is partly what puts me off getting one (that and the huuuuge amount of power it eats).

"The trouble with Xbox 360 is it hasn't managed to shake off this urban, irreverent adult male feel,"

What the hell does that mean?

L.B. Jeffries:
"The trouble with Xbox 360 is it hasn't managed to shake off this urban, irreverent adult male feel,"

What the hell does that mean?

Apparently these people think that unless game companies appeal to casual gamers they are doomed to failure, which doesn't even begin to make sense.

My humble collection of 360 games includes the following non-fps's: Bully, Burnout, Dead Rising, gta4, gun, mass effect, nba 2k8, oblivion, overlord, pgr 3, Tony Hawk 8, and Viva Pinata (not to mention Sneak King from burger king lol.) Then I've got 5 fps's.

That's a pretty balanced library imho. What does this analyst want? More minigame collections? That's obviously the answer to everything, right?

Aren't video game analysts incorrect most of the time?

UpInSmoke:
My humble collection of 360 games includes the following non-fps's: Bully, Burnout, Dead Rising, gta4, gun, mass effect, nba 2k8, oblivion, overlord, pgr 3, Tony Hawk 8, and Viva Pinata (not to mention Sneak King from burger king lol.) Then I've got 5 fps's.

That's a pretty balanced library imho. What does this analyst want? More minigame collections? That's obviously the answer to everything, right?

I'd be able to cite some myself if I actually had my library of games with me. I know Kameo is also quite excellent, and I'm looking to get myself a copy of Project Sylpheed when I'm good on money. While many of the titles you listed aren't exclusive, quite a few are, or started out being exclusive in terms of consoles anyway (Overlord was out on Xbox for half a year before it hit PS3, right?).

True, neither of those games are FPS's. But then neither of them deviate much from the Hack Slash'n'Maim (sp?) drive of most 360 games.

So now most 360 games are hack'n'slash? Or are you saying that they are very similar to all the other hack and slash games out? Because Ninja Gaiden 2 and Dead Rising are two very different experiences, and while I enjoyed Devil May Cry 4, Ninja Gaiden 2 kicks its ass quite well.

Are you sure you have any idea what you are talking about, sir?

If it's only FPS, then I assume all those hack'n'slash, racing, fighting and rpg games were all doing poorly even though I see tons of copies getting sold. Also gta isn't fps although it is a mature game it's still selling millions. These analyst don't even know what they're talking about. I'm assuming they want 360 to go the casual root and follow nintendo's way. In that case you might as well just rip nintendo's wii mote, nunchucks and wii balance board right now. Xbox live arcade games anyone? Those types of games are for anyone to enjoy. 360 is about the online experience and that's what made it successful. Plus it's easier to make games on it.

I hope XBOX stays around in the next generation of systems because their online service destroys the competition in terms of quality. If I was going to buy a multiplatform online game I would always go with the xbox version. We'll see how this playstation home service turns out, but so far it's looking pretty fruity.

Slimey:
Aren't video game analysts incorrect most of the time?

even the 'best' industry analysts are only right 40-70% of the time

I must admit, I pretty much only have FPSes for my 360, but then the Xboxes have had the best suited controller for console FPSes. Well, at least in my opinion.

CoD4 is the only FPS that I prefer playing on my PS3 than 360.

What about XNA? The XBox 360 is the only console which allows hobbyist making games for it and it's architecture is very similar to a pc. So it's easier for developers to port a xbox game to pc and vice versa. The Wii lacks the horse power (Are there any real games for it?) and the ps3 is difficult to program for.

I don't think anything is decided yet, but on the other hand I'm not a video game analyst ;)

While I think that it does have that kind of image associated to it, especially in Japan, it's quite funny considering that at the moment, the 360 has the strongest library of JRPGs.

But whatever, no one said Europeans were bright.

Well... who really cares? They always say 'doom and gloom', so I've stopped listening. Not much point really.

The 360 has a bigger variety of games than the PS3, that's for sure. It's got a TON of RPGs, Ace Combat (that's a BIG deal) and a lot of the big, bad, PC games... not to mention all the arcade titles. And what games the 360 doesn't have currently, it has release dates for.

On the other hand, most of the PS3's big titles are TBA, and have been TBA for years.

Don't get me wrong--I love my PS3 dearly--but I can't exactly put its library at the same level as the 360 when the only exclusives I really, really like are Uncharted and echochrome. Two games just ain't enough.

They are looking at what the 360's future games, and say there's not many huge sellers to see.
They say the console has an etiquette which reads as "I'm loved by fashioned male teenagers who dig violence onscreen".

Well, I cannot say it's terribly wrong. Besides, the console is not the prettiest bit of plastic that could stand in a living room, and this does count.

I thought we had this understanding since day one. Xbox 360 has a solid adult male fan base and that is why I bought the system. I wanted a system that would have games for me, RPGs (not the Japanese, though I don't really hate them) and shooters. And guess what, my xbox delivered on everything I hoped for; I love Oblivion, GoW, halo, GTA4, Bioshock, and CoD. Now I'm waiting for Too Human, Fable 2, Bioshock 2 and GoW 2. Still trying to get the Orange Box, Assassin's Creed, Ninga Gaiden 2 and GH 3, I didn't forget about them.

So when you tell me Xbox sales might decline cause they their working to please people like me, well should I feel bad? I Don't care if the the sales decline so long as they make enough money off the backs of people like me to continue to bring the kick ass games that people like me enjoy.

And my 2 cents on the other systems:
The Wii to me nothing but a highly advanced game, toy, thing. Most of the things there just have you do simple actions for simple fun, which really lacks the depth I want in a game. I do see things like metroid and zelda as repectable video games, but there is so few of such games that have me turn off at the Idea of buying a Wii. I probably buy on if I got some extra money and need something to relax.

The only problem with the the PS3 is that they have nothing I really like. MGS 4 was never something I wanted to get into and my faith in it is slipping with every release of game play video. The only other thing that PS3 has that catches my attention is the next Final Fantasy and I think Fable 2 alone is a worthy trade to buy an Xbox than a PS3.

Well, the doom and gloom is somewhat warranted in my opinion. I think the PS3 is going to have a good year on the back of the HD-format war and some games actually being released for the thing. The wii will continue to sell like hotcakes because it does capture that casual market really well, but I don't see the 360 having too bad of a year.

I mean, the thing that's guaranteed about the 360 is that good games are still going to come out on it. It's a gaming console, so the games have to be the central focus point for consumers.

.. I have 0 FPS games on my Xbox. Most of my games are RPG's and i know: "Why didn't you buy a PS3 for Final Fantasy then?" 2 words: Lost Odessy.

Joeshie:
While I think that it does have that kind of image associated to it, especially in Japan, it's quite funny considering that at the moment, the 360 has the strongest library of JRPGs.

But whatever, no one said Europeans were bright.

Technically the Nintendo DS has the strongest JRPG library this generation, which is ultimately pretty damn pathetic. Of course, other than Square-Enix, most developers of JRPG's don't have the money or budget to produce on next-gen systems (I mean, Operation Darkness looks like it belongs on the original Xbox, though the demo was actually pretty fun), so they stick to PS2 or DS. Square-Enix, meanwhile, simply loves money, hence why they have a million and one DS projects and three or four console projects.

Also, while we can all sit here and say these analysts are stupid, I still wonder what sales are like all over Europe to know what they're talking about. Given Germany's constant paranoia and censorship, I wouldn't be surprised if both the 360 and PS3 are doing horribly there. Germany isn't even getting Ninja Gaiden 2 due to the dismemberments and decapitations, and I imagine plenty of other games have had trouble getting over there. Sometimes Germany is just as much a pain in the ass to try and localize for as Japan is.

Lt. Sera:
.. I have 0 FPS games on my Xbox. Most of my games are RPG's and i know: "Why didn't you buy a PS3 for Final Fantasy then?" 2 words: Lost Odessy.

I love Lost Odyssey as much as the next guy but it isn't worth buying a console over, that being said I wouldn't buy a PS3 just for FF13 given the fact that all recent Final Fantasies (Im looking at you 10, 10-2, 12) were only so-so in my opinion. Not only that but there have even been rumours that FF13 will be delayed until 2010.

Doesn't matter at this point anyway, they have a large enough base now to sell software and DLC with 20+ million sold, and more than 11 million+ active Xbox Live users, I think it will be hard to keep the 360 down at this point. If Microsoft need to sort anything out, its the consoles reliability when it comes to RROD.

If you'd just let me analyse the analysts in much the same exaggerated way as they've done, I've found that there are two broadly two types of bad analyses in this biz: the ones who take the reverse common sense view; and the ones who explode the common sense view to ridiculous proportions.
What we have here is the latter. Thanks to Blu-Ray's victory- and the PS3 actually getting some damn games- Sony's console will be gaining ground very soon, if not already. The Wii is an irrepressible ball of energy. The 360, though, despite pleasing me verily with just the kinds of games that appeal to my demographic- i.e. have violence and bloody victory of some form as the object of the game- has largely peaked and will probably coast respectably to the finish line; it might scrape a close draw with the PS3 but that's the best MS should hope for. These trends are near undeniable, and all the shouting and forecasting will be about how much the tide will change. I suspect that in a search to get a splash- and look like geniuses if they're right- this group has exaggerated the story. People will sit up, take notice, then quickly forget the prediction before it's proven wrong- but remember if it's right!
It'd be inspired if I hadn't seen it before.

Sniper_Zegai:
I love Lost Odyssey as much as the next guy but it isn't worth buying a console over

Well, it's of course not the only reason. But i really prefer Lost Odessey over the current state of Final Fantasy.

Err...I don't see where this is coming from myself. All my friends here in england have a 360, in fact I only know 3 people who have ps3's, and they always get the mick taken for it.

I seriously doubt ps3 is ever going to over take 360, all it has going for it now is MGS4, and after that...well.

Whatever happens the Wiis going to remain at the top. Gamers don't like it...everyone else loves it. Girls, Parents, even Granparents who would never concisder picking up a game ever are now hogging the wii remote. It'll probley last longer than either the 360 or the ps3 as well, its going to out the ps2 soon.

:( there are really not any good platform games on the 360 and I started gaming from titles like spyro, crash, rayman and then moved titles like ratchet and clank, jak and daxter and sly thrillogy. All of these games I'm a fan of. I'm really jealous the ps3 has R&C tools of destruction and 360 doesn't. Good bye Ratchet, goodbye Clank...sob... ;(

PS: don't give a shit about mario, so don't really have the craving to own a wii.

Folks, let's just keep in mind what the first four letters of "analyst" spell to remember exactly what they are.

I'm sorry, I wasn't listening to those analysts. I was too busy having fun with Crackdown and Oblivion.

The Rogue Wolf:
Folks, let's just keep in mind what the first four letters of "analyst" spell to remember exactly what they are.

Mmm... you sure know their CV better than anyone else. Just like rouhgly 95% of those who posted in that thread.

ccesarano:

Of course, I'm also in America, so maybe over in Europe people aren't paying attention to games without crosshairs.

Well I'm in Europe, and since A: NG 2 isn't released here yet and B: I'm afraid I'd get bored with that game way too soon, I'm not going to buy it.
Well yeah 50% of my 360 games are shooters, and mind you, Oblivion also has a crosshair ;). However, I myself am not only interested in shooters. It's just that there aren't alot of really great adventure/action/whatever games coming out for the 360. I mean look at what we had for XBox: Jade Empire, Morrowind, Fable, Prince of Persia, Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes. The only shooter I had for the XBox was Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, and that's not even THAT much of a shooter.

Now we have Assassin's Creed which was way too short and had no replay value whatsoever, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom which was just an insult, seriously. Bioware even made Mass Effect into a part shooter. I'm beginning to think Microsoft is getting a bit too trigger-happy; they're mixing RPG with FPS (Bioshock) and not even doing a good job (yeah I know it's not Microsoft making the games, but the 360 is the only one making them available). It's like Microsoft has found the one thing most of America is interested in according to them; shooting stuff, and they stick with that and try to combine every other genre with it so people who wouldn't initially play shooters join the bandwagon. It makes the games accessible to anyone so the real die hards from one particular genre get insulted (like me, fuck you KUF: Circle of Doom) and don't buy any more games for the 360 save for the occasional shooter.

Where are all the immersing RPGs? Why the fuck did you make Mass Effect, Bioware and not a sequel to Jade Empire? Why did Bethesda fuck up Oblivion to make it more next gen and accessible only to lose half their TES fanbase? (I'm talking about the fact that the lore and backstory of the whole world is as shallow as Paris Hilton)
Genres exist for a reason, and that's that everyone likes a certain type of game. Start mixing them together and you'll fuck up the whole genre. You don't see a goth wearing bling and driving a muscle car with hydraulics now do you?

I'm beginning to think Microsoft is getting a bit too trigger-happy; they're mixing RPG with FPS (Bioshock) and not even doing a good job

Honestly, I don't look at Bioshock as "having RPG elements" at all. It seems like a straight on FPS game, just with some added exploration and such. There's not much of an RPG in there at all.

As for Mass Effect, if I looked at that game as a shooter, I'd hate it. As a shooter, it is a horrible, horrible system. Of course, if you don't use your tech/magic abilities, then you will really have trouble with the game. It's not meant, in my mind, to be played as a shooter, and it's real fun comes from most of the other elements of the game.

I'm afraid I'd get bored with that game way too soon, I'm not going to buy it.

The game endlessly kicks my ass and yet I keep coming back for more. It is a genuinely awesome and fun game, but yeah, it's hard. So it depends on if you're the kind of gamer that doesn't mind having to see "Game Over" a few times to a dozen times each level or not.

Now we have Assassin's Creed which was way too short and had no replay value whatsoever

Y'know, everyone bitched that Fable had no replay value as well, but I went through that fucker three times and enjoying it. I haven't given Assassin's Creed a second playthrough yet, but that's mostly because I'd like to try and get a bunch of the achievements for it, and it doesn't require you to replay to collect everything. As for being too short, well, guess that depends on what you did, as I tried to see and do everything I could in the game. I still find it to be one of the most overly criticized games out there.

Why the fuck did you make Mass Effect, Bioware and not a sequel to Jade Empire?

Didn't they announce they were making a sequel to Jade Empire at some point? I could've sworn they did.

I hope you're right about the sequel on Jade Empire..
As for AC: I did everything you could do except gather all the flags, that's NOT how I want to spend my evening. I played Fable to death as well, that game has more replay value than AC for all it's worth.
All I'm saying is that they stamped the FPS RPG on Bioshock themselves, if it doesn't play like an RPG they lied, and didn't mix the 2 genres well like I said (not that anyone should EVER try it).
As for NG 2: No I'm not afraid to see alot of game over screens, but the thing is... ok nevermind I forgot what the thing really was, I was going to say the last hack 'n slash game I played I expected NOT to be a hack 'n slash game, but since NG 2 is in fact one, there goes my argument. I did like the first NG, good way of relieving stress, so when it comes out I may have a look, it's time I had a challenge again.

It actually just comes down to me wanting a game with a decent storyline again. It would be kind of nice to be able to grow onto certain characters again instead of going from cutscene to cutscene and having people tell me to kill that and that and that.

Microsoft's game library is very well suited to markets like America, and not very well suited to markets like Japan. From all the articles I've read, and all the 360 games I've played (I've got one right next to me, so don't think I'm unhappy with the console), Microsoft just doesn't seem to be pushing anything remotely literary with their games. By which I mean that their games focus on the gameplay, and not the literary elements like characterisation, plot structure, etc, etc, etc. Mass Effect was a let down, really. It just mixed a pathetic shootey system with bland dialogue-trees. Two to Three choices is not an open-ended masterwork story, and generic sci-fi plotline #4 isn't a masterwork story full of groundbreakingly tough decisions for players. Seriously, "stop the ancient mysterious robot supremacist race"? Try harder. Oblivion was rubbish (if shiny rubbish), and I'm not going to go into why here. Fable 2 will pretty much be a hack'n'slash with bonus RPG fluff that won't get a dot of attention in Japan. It might pick up in Europe, but I really couldn't claim to know what your average French or German gamer wants. Note: I reckon Fable 2 will be awesome fun, but that's not the point - the point is that it's targetted at me, who's already got a 360, instead of someone who doesn't have one yet.

So while the 360 does Hack'n'Slash pretty well (Devil May Cry 4, Ninja Gaiden 2, Too Human, etc), and has FPS covered from here until Ragnarok and the death of the Gods, there just isn't enough on the console to appeal to people who aren't into "Shoot everything that moves" or "Slice everything that moves". There aren't the platformers to draw people like fix-the-spade or rayman 101. They don't have the big name, story-based games (especially RPG's) that the PS3 has/will have. Final Fantasy is an absurdly huge draw for people. White Knight Chronicles looks very promising. Disgaea 3 will be truly insane. As mentioned by others above, Ratchet and Clank, LittleBigPlanet, etc, aren't on 360.

So for the people wondering what "The trouble with Xbox 360 is it hasn't managed to shake off this urban, irreverent adult male feel" means, well, basically, if you're an irreverent adult male who's into violent games/racing games, you'll love the 360. If you're someone else, you won't. And that's where this analysis is coming from.

Sennz0r:
t actually just comes down to me wanting a game with a decent storyline again. It would be kind of nice to be able to grow onto certain characters again instead of going from cutscene to cutscene and having people tell me to kill that and that and that.

Yeah, it would, wouldn't it?

fps success i can understand that but the possiblity however slim of a 360 wii mote could arguably make it more of a success. 360 hasn't done nearly as bad as PS3 for me. Ive gien mine to my bro for 6 months since there is nothing 360 isnt ding better gran turismo prologue please pgr3 is better than proogue much more involving as a gaming experience although prologue looks better but then so does looking at cars in real life only i feel mre connected to them than playing the over priced prologue.

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