Xbox Sees Massive Jump in Sales According to NPD

Even though videogame sales saw an overall decrease of 8% between January and March of this year, compared to 2021, most likely because folks are returning to work from the pandemic, Xbox hardware sales saw a massive increase in the US compared to the same time last year.

And when we say massive, we mean fucking massive, to the tune of a 92% increase, according to the NPD.

The NPD Group’s consumer spending report for Q1 2022 shows that hardware spending has decreased by 15% compared to Q1 2021, however, Xbox hardware saw a huge 92% increase.

NPD has given no specifics for the increase, but the fact that you can actually find an Xbox Series S on store shelves easily, and the Xbox Series X is attainable relatively easily online are certainly possibilities. Who knew, if you make your shit available, people will buy it.

Even though the Xbox is doing well, it cannot touch the mighty Nintendo Switch, which was the best-selling console during the same time frame in terms of total units sold.

[Source: NPD]

Microsoft Announces That Xbox Exclusives Will Remain Exclusive to Xbox…What?

According to a Gamesindustry.biz post, Microsoft has no immediate plans to release exclusive Xbox games on other consoles. Instead, Microsoft will focus on its own platforms.

I’m a simple man, so perhaps I was confused by what ‘exclusive’ actually means.

Okay, so I’m not a total dumbass. Anyway in statement to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft did clarify:

“The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios. As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure a fair and fun experience.”

Gamesindustry.biz

Microsoft has been releasing titles like Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch as well as Minecraft on multiple platforms. A new generation of consoles is coming into view and Microsoft has been acquiring studios. I’m not surprised that Microsoft wants its investments supporting its own interests.

[Source: Gamesindustry.biz]

Gears 5 Horde Mode Has Evolved into Something Different and Welcomes in a Bit of Halo

Microsoft has been dropping some news at Gamescom this year. Nothing groundbreaking, but there was interesting Gears 5 stuff.

In particular Horde Mode in Gears 5 is pivoting into the realm of hero shooters. Each character now will a unique ability. Kait for example, can cloak while JD can request an air strike, Marcus can inject himself with dynabol and roid-rage until he cries… probably.

Also announced at the Xbox conference is a Halo: Reach character pack for Gears 5.

Halo fans will recognize Spartans Emile-A239 and Kat-B320 from Halo: Reach, who will also have their own unique abilities in Horde Mode. Space Meatheads fighting along side with Space Marines. MASS HYSTERIA!

[Source: Microsoft]

First Blair Witch Game Trailer is Creepy—Has Very Good Boy

Back in 1999, a friend and I snuck into The Blair Witch Project because it was sold out. It was a groundbreaking film at the time and worth the risk of getting caught and thrown out of the theater by an angry usher. The movie was sufficiently spooky, but the shaky camera footage made me want to puke. Hopefully the video game version wont induce any motion sickness.

Developer Bloober Team released a gameplay trailer and things are looking suitably dark and scary. Also, there is a very good boy and NOTHING BETTER HAPPEN TO HIM.

I’m really digging the candy bar cell phone. Adds a nice touch and ties the game to the same era as the movie.

Blair Witch launches August 30.

[Source: Bloober Team]

Xbox Dumps Cortana—Updates to Home Screen UI Underway

Microsoft announced that changes are coming to the Xbox One’s user interface.

First off, the home screen will be getting a face lift. Secondly, Cortana is being dumped. Cortana is going to need to pack her bags and find some place else to go. She’s a strong, brave, and independent AI so she will be fine, you’ll see.

Cortana being strong, brave, and independent.

Other than Cortana getting kicked to the curb, the updates to the home screen UI are welcome change.

“The Home on Xbox One is the first thing you see when you turn on your Xbox One, and we want to deliver an easy and seamless experience for you to navigate your console. We’ve heard your feedback and have continued to iterate on Home to get you into your gaming experiences faster and keeping more of your content front and center. With today’s update, we’re experimenting with a streamlined user interface.

With this new experimental Home design, the first thing you’ll notice is we’ve removed the Twists from the top of Home in favor of separate buttons that launch your gaming experiences. The goal is to let you jump into Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community and Microsoft Store quicker than ever. We’ve also shifted things around to make more room for your recently played titles.”

Microsoft

Xbox Insider members already have access to the new UI. The new UI will be rolled out to everyone this fall.

[Source: Microsoft]

Xbox Sales Are Down 48%—Mass Hysteria Ensues

Microsoft had a recent investor call and the news was not so rosy on the gaming front.

Gaming revenue declined 10% (down 8% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue down 3% (down 1% in constant currency)

Microsoft

Of course, this pales in comparison to the below:

Source: Microsoft (Hey Xbox Live users grew!)

Shit balls that is bad. Of course, the Sony fanboys are gloating and Xbox fanboys are making excuses.

As always, it’s something in the middle. The Xbox One has always struggled against the PS4 since Don Mattrick shit the bed at launch. However, Phil Spencer has turned things around, setting up the next generation.

Speaking of next-gen, Microsoft has whipped their dick out and pretty much revealed what is in the works, so a decline in current hardware sales is to be expected.

Microsoft is also shifting their approach, to be more services centric, than hardware first, even though they claim that the Xbox Scarlett will be a force to be reckoned with. Microsoft is concentrating on multiple fronts, hedging their bets on what the future of gaming will be.

With that said, holy shit, a 48% drop is HUUUUUUGE. Hope Spencer and company have plan in place, because they have their work cut out for them.

[Source: Microsoft]

PC Gamers Get to Play Wolfenstein: Youngblood a Day Early

Having to hear PC gamers gloat about their high powered rigs and superior graphics really sucks. Now they get to play Wolfenstein: Youngblood a day early.

Console gamers are going to have to wait a full 24-hours before they can mow down Nazis with Jess and Soph Blazkowicz.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood launches July 25 on PC and July 26 for console.

[Source: Twitter]

Microsoft’s Nadella Believes Xbox Brand is in a Good Position for the Future of Gaming, But Current Hardware Sales Fall 48%

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, whose name reminds me of the delicious hazelnut spread, believes that his company is in a good position for the future of gaming.

During a quarterly investor’s call, Nadella elaborates that Microsoft is well positioned, for the what the gaming market is becoming.

“First, I’ll say we are in gaming because of what we believe are going to be the secular changes in the gaming addressable market for us. We’ve always had a gaming position with console as well as the PC, but going forward we think that any end point can in fact be a great end point for high-end games, which is where our structural position is, and we now have a business model with Game Pass as well as all the supporting mechanisms for game pass like game streaming, we have a social network in Xbox Live that is the best in the business.

So I feel we’re well-positioned to what is going to be a much larger market than what was traditionally gaming in spite of all the success we’ve had over the years in gaming.

The second point is that it builds on the rest of the cloud investment, so if you think about what we’re doing with xCloud it’s a workload on top of Azure. If you think about capital allocation, what’s happening in the cloud, what’s happening in the edge, how we build the network, how we optimize with streaming… The same infrastructure for example is what Sony has decided to use as well and be on Azure as well as user AI capabilities.

So you’ll see significant synergies in terms of the architecture of platform underneath gaming, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Linkedin all being the same.”

Albeit, it’s expected that Nadella is going to fluff the company during an investor’s call. However, the moves Microsoft have been making to indicate that they are playing a long game, and are covering all bases for a future gaming world.

[Source: Twinfinite]

Microsoft’s Xbox E3 Game Line-Up is So Big It’s Gonna Make You Puke

Not Phil Spencer

Phil Spencer is going to be talking about GAMES, GAMES, GAMES at Microsoft’s E3 press conference this year.

As I mentioned, Microsoft has a real opportunity to steal the show. Hopefully they don’t fuck it up.

[Source: Twitter]

Meatheads with Chainsaw Guns 5 (aka Gears of War 5) to be Showcased at E3 2019

Microsoft is pretty much going to have E3 2019 to themselves, so they better make the best of it. So we’re going to get treated to some Gears of War 5 stuff at the Xbox press event on June 9.

Look. I like Gears of War. I was 26 when the the original was launched, kicking off the franchise. I was a big dumb meathead back then, so the game really resonated with me. 14 years later, I’ve blossomed into my dad bod, so I cannot really relate to these characters anymore.

I do like the idea of playing as Kait Diaz this time around. Playing as the same old meatheads with guns was getting stale. Also Kait is a badass and smokeshow, so bonus.

Fact: Badass and Smokeshow

[Source: Twitter]