For those of us who decided to give our money and vote of confidence to Microsoft this console go-round, the number-two placement of the Xbox One is more than OK: It’s great. We are fewer in rank than we might have been had Microsoft not made a myriad of missteps back in 2013, likely costing them millions of customers. From their commitment to Kinect to the baffling inclusion of mandatory internet connectivity, Microsoft made the classic mistake of misinterpreting  the desires of their customers.

Meanwhile, Sony’s PlayStation 4 had practically won without even trying. To Sony’s credit, it learned from the PlayStation 3 release and its newest console was developed and marketed in the safest way possible. That conservative stance paid off for Sony. Late in 2013, both consoles hit the market, and to the surprise of no one, PS4s flew off the shelves as former Xbox lovers switched brands in droves.

In a few short months, Microsoft had squandered the massive ground it had gained with the release of the Xbox 360, whose sales had miraculously almost matched PS3’s worldwide numbers that followed the iron grip Sony had from the PS2 era. As it stands today, PlayStation 4 has sold 35 million units to Xbox One’s 19 million. Not exactly a close race.

So, where was I in all this? Arguably blinded by my love for the Halo brand, I ignored the hype and stuck by Microsoft’s side. It wasn’t pretty at first. In fact, I had a long period of doubt as I played slightly prettier versions of last-generation games and wondered why I dropped $500 on a box that didn’t do a lot more than my 360 did. But as I sit here two years later, I can say with confidence that I’m happy with my choice. Microsoft has been feeling the pressure to rebuild its brand and made a massive investment back into what counts: customer satisfaction. Three things come to mind when considering the positive impact that Microsoft’s unfortunate market position has had on us gamers-things that I’m not sure would have happened if Microsoft was winning the proverbial war.

The true sign of a great console is its lineup of exclusive content. In 2015, Microsoft released one heavy-hitter after another, with Halo 5, Forza 6, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Rise of the Tomb Raider all releasing in the short span of a few months. Meanwhile, Sony seemed content to release Bloodborne in March and then organize downloadable content deals on multiplatform titles for the rest of the year.  It’s hard to argue that the Xbox One wasn’t the console to have if you wanted the best gaming experiences in 2015.

Microsoft also delivered a feature that gamers on both consoles had all but given up on: backward compatibility. They said it couldn’t be done, and even Sony’s mouth was left agape when that bomb dropped.  It didn’t just happen, Microsoft had to make it happen by investing untold time and resources to develop a feature that would not inherently generate revenue. That’s a gutsy move in anyone’s book, and it’s a large-scale project that points to a true change of heart from the top of the organization all the way down.

The improvements made to Xbox Live (the console family’s online service) and the Xbox One interface have demonstrated Microsoft’s renewed commitment to providing a superior online service. Xbox owners still get the most stable, consistent, and secure online experience available on consoles, while also getting up to four free games monthly. I have to give credit to both Sony and Microsoft in this case. Sony’s PlayStation Plus program pushed the boundaries of what a subscription gaming experience could offer, and Microsoft responded accordingly.  It’s a classic example of competition ultimately resulting in a stronger product for the consumer.

As for the interface, Microsoft was wise enough to scrap the Kinect-friendly operating system and revamp it with the completely new Windows 10 experience. The upgrade is truly remarkable and unmatched by anything I’ve seen on a console. It’s easy to use while still offering unparalleled multimedia functionality that finally delivers on the promise of making the Xbox the center of your living room. Like backward compatibility, this was not an upgrade that came without significant cost and investment.

What I wrote above may paint me as a bit of what internet message boards like to call a “fanboy.” Honestly, I think it is perfectly natural for us to develop an attachment to the brands we spend time with and that benefit our lives. There is a certain affinity bred by siding with the underdog, but in the end I know that mega-companies like Sony and Microsoft are not benevolent. They are not our friends. Even if these companies are ultimately out to make a buck, they should do so by winning the hearts of their customers by truly providing value above and beyond expectations. I believe Microsoft has exceeded those expectations and is deserving of my hard-earned money and maybe even a little bit of my “fanboyism.” Here’s to riding with number two.

7 thoughts on “The Xbox One is number two, and that’s OK”

  1. I’m just writing to let you understand of the nice experience my child encountered reading through the blog. She noticed too many details, which included how it is like to have an incredible helping mindset to let many people smoothly gain knowledge of several advanced matters. You really exceeded visitors’ expectations. Thank you for supplying such essential, trusted, edifying and in addition cool tips on the topic to Julie.

  2. My wife and i have been absolutely fortunate when Louis managed to carry out his investigations using the ideas he received while using the web page. It’s not at all simplistic to simply be handing out tactics which a number of people might have been selling. We really do know we have got you to appreciate for that. The entire explanations you’ve made, the easy web site menu, the friendships you can help to foster – it’s got most excellent, and it is helping our son in addition to our family imagine that this situation is fun, and that is tremendously serious. Many thanks for all the pieces!

  3. I am only commenting to make you be aware of of the helpful discovery my friend’s girl went through browsing your web site. She learned numerous issues, most notably what it is like to possess an ideal giving style to get many more quite simply grasp various tortuous subject areas. You truly exceeded people’s expected results. Thanks for coming up with the productive, trusted, informative not to mention fun tips on your topic to Evelyn.

  4. My husband and i have been so comfortable that Ervin could conclude his researching from the ideas he grabbed from your web site. It is now and again perplexing just to happen to be giving freely guides that many people may have been trying to sell. And we all take into account we now have the writer to appreciate for this. The specific illustrations you’ve made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you can aid to engender – it is everything fantastic, and it’s aiding our son in addition to us know that this concept is fun, and that’s very indispensable. Thank you for all the pieces!

  5. My wife and i got so relieved Peter managed to round up his inquiry using the ideas he had when using the web site. It’s not at all simplistic to simply happen to be giving for free methods which others might have been trying to sell. And now we grasp we have got the blog owner to appreciate for this. The main explanations you have made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you will give support to promote – it is all astonishing, and it’s really aiding our son and us reason why the topic is pleasurable, and that’s especially mandatory. Thank you for everything!

  6. I together with my guys were examining the good tips on your web page while all of the sudden came up with an awful feeling I had not expressed respect to the web site owner for those secrets. The young boys came absolutely very interested to study them and have in effect quite simply been making the most of these things. Thanks for actually being really kind as well as for going for this sort of remarkable subjects millions of individuals are really desperate to be aware of. Our own sincere regret for not saying thanks to you sooner.

  7. I together with my guys came reading the excellent suggestions found on the blog while unexpectedly I got an awful feeling I had not thanked the blog owner for those tips. These boys happened to be consequently passionate to read them and already have seriously been tapping into those things. Appreciate your being very considerate and then for having this kind of essential topics millions of individuals are really wanting to be aware of. My personal sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *