The Xbox One X, advertised as the world’s most powerful gaming console, is now on shelves. But who’s buying it? That’s the question put to Xbox boss Phil Spencer by CNBC on the eve of the Xbox One X’s release to the public. Spencer acknowledged immediately that the Xbox One X cuts an imposing silhouette at retail, and that Microsoft isn’t necessarily aiming for the average gamer.
“[The Xbox One X] is for the discerning connoisseur of gaming – has a 4K television, wants to see the best visuals… this box is definitely targeted toward the customer who buys the most and plays the most.”
The One S, in comparison, is the value-packed system directed at a family, at a new gamer, or at someone who wants to game on a budget.
Rather than building the One X with a specific eye toward the sales of that particular piece of hardware, it seems like Microsoft is taking a holistic view of its gaming services. By saying that the Xbox One X is directed at high-end gamers, Microsoft is admitting that the system isn’t for everyone, but without suggesting that potential customers should get two jobs or something. It’s also leaving room for the system to have a slow start while it builds up a better value proposition for the system, which will most certainly be the case a year from now.
The company is designing different products aimed at different types of gamers right now while it plans for the future. There will come a point when Microsoft phases out the original Xbox and makes the Xbox One X its main system, but that’s likely a few years off at this point. At that time, the One X will become the value-priced console while the One Infinity or One Plus or whatever they call it (probably not that last one, for whatever reason).
I might be a little concerned about the One X right now, but it sure sounds like Microsoft has a plan.