A couple of months ago at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft officially introduced its Xbox One X console, the next step in the evolution of its video gaming hardware. Some of the tech demos were very impressive for the system – particularly Forza Motorsport 7, which is something else – but Microsoft didn’t exactly spill all the beans when it comes to system support.
For that matter, it also disclosed a rather high price for the system -- $499, clocking in at much higher than the $399 that the PlayStation 4 Pro sells for. And that left a bitter taste in some mouths, despite the fact that’s around the same price that the original Xbox One started out at. (Granted, it had a Kinect packed in with it, and this system, well, does not.)
So now the reception for the system isn’t quite as exciting as it could be, mainly because a. gamers don’t really have a full-on idea of what the experience of an Xbox One X will bring, and b. that price. So what can Microsoft do to turn around its misfortunes and get people thrilled with what the system has to offer?
We’ve got a few suggestions that may help them along. Someone get Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb in here!
Offer a Good Package Deal For the Price
The problem with a premium price for a console is that, well, it’s a premium price. And when there’s a cheaper option available, even if it’s not entirely in 4K, most people will take it, just because they’re crunched for cash. What Microsoft could do is introduce a neat little package deal to entice people more into paying the high end cost for the Xbox One X. For instance, why not introduce a special limited edition set of bundles with games that actually take advantage of the hardware?
Crackdown 3 is coming out the same day as the system, so why not create a specially designed system with matching system and controller that matches the décor from the game? And I’m pretty sure some racing fans would be stoked to own a Forza Motorsport 7 Xbox One X system, complete with custom racing effects (like the Forza 6 Xbox One bundle, pictured above) and a neat coat of polish.
The black system looks good, it does. But people like varying options, and Microsoft knows this, based on the bundles it’s put together in the past. It needs to do the same for the Xbox One X.
A Possible Trade-In Program?
Some people are wondering why they need to upgrade to an Xbox One X when they already have an Xbox One that gets the job done for them. With that, Microsoft should introduce something to the table that makes it a sweeter deal for would-be consumers – an incentive. The company has hosted trade-in programs in the past where people could bring in hardware to get their hands on an Xbox One – even competitors. So why can’t it do it again? Offer up a pretty penny for trade-ins of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (and, hey, maybe even a Switch, if someone’s desperate to get rid of one) so they can take home an Xbox One X at a cheaper price. Not everyone will go for it, but a select few may be tempted to jump – and that will add to the overall user base.
Show Off More Video Of What The System Can Do
Were the tech demos that were shown off during Microsoft’s E3 presentation good? Yep, very. But that’s all we’ve seen from the system for the most part since its official unveiling, and that does very little to get people excited. What Microsoft should do is introduce a series of video programs that highlight what games can be upgraded with the hardware, and in what ways. I know Forza Motorsport 7 would be absolutely ideal for something like this, but it wouldn’t hurt to highlight older games as well, such as Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3, to see what the hardware can do when it comes to improving their performance as well. Microsoft is in a keen position to convince people that the Xbox One X is the next big thing – now it just needs to do it and show us how much better games can be.
Host Some Giveaways And Live Streams
Microsoft has a prime opportunity to build some excitement with the Xbox One X, but it’s kind of missing out on a key component to do it with – community. It has a pretty large community in its own right, with millions of players enjoying the heck out of Gears of War 4, Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Horizon 3 and so on.
It may cost them a bit at first, but Microsoft needs to hook up with these influencers and members of the media with early hardware and start building the hype within the community itself for the system. Give several units away and have them flock to Mixer (which, by the way, is a Microsoft-owned service and would benefit in its own right) so they can showcase just what the system is capable of, so the public has a better idea of what to expect. These people are already thrilled with games as it is, so pushing the Xbox One X in that way would only make things even better for it.
Hype, Hype, Hype
The PlayStation 4 Pro only got a handful of commercials and videos to showcase its hardware when it released last year, and that didn’t do much good for Sony – it had the resources to really push it to the next level. That’s exactly what Microsoft needs to do with the Xbox One X. Get out commercials that show off the potential of the hardware with actual gameplay. Take to social channels and present videos to the community so they can see what it’s capable of. Host giveaways. Set up store promotions and midnight openings. It’ll cost a bundle, but the user base will build up, and, surprise, the Xbox One X can turn around its misfortunes and become one of the holiday season’s biggest pieces of hardware – even at the premium price.
The Xbox One X launches on November 7th for $499.