Xbox Needs More Narrative-Driven Games In It’s Catalog

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To Compete With PlayStation!

Story Highlights
  • Xbox needs bolder cinematic adventures in its first-party lineup to compete with PlayStation.
  • Recent acquisitions have not brought the results Microsoft had hoped for.
  • The future first-party lineup looks promising, but Xbox needs to deliver on its promises.

The console rivalry among various consoles has been going on for decades; however, the most iconic one is PlayStation Vs. Xbox, which is still raging on in the modern era.

On the surface, Xbox and PlayStation’s hardware is not much different. The deciding factor is usually the exclusive offerings, motivating audiences to pick one system or the other.

PlayStation has always been consistent with its first-party games, with a huge catalog of games, including God of War, Uncharted, and more. Xbox also has a good variety of games like Gears of War and Halo, but it still doesn’t fare well against PlayStation’s library.

The Xbox catalog is quite different from that of PlayStation, with its games focusing more on RPG and multiplayer elements. PlayStation, on the other hand, focuses on narrative-driven games with a more cinematic approach, which is more appealing to general gamers.

This is why I think Xbox could use more narrative-driven games with a cinematic experience in its catalog.

Why it matters: For Xbox to replicate the same success as PlayStation and finally turn the tide in a losing console war, it needs to change the approach to first-party games.

Starfield
 

Xbox’s Recent First-Party Games Weren’t That Successful

While the Series X|S consoles are incredible pieces of hardware, the PlayStation 5 outsold them by a huge margin, thanks to the number of exclusives that the console had on launch.

PlayStation offered Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls Remake, and more at launch, while the Xbox Series S|X seemingly launched without any notable first-party offerings.

Even when Microsoft pulled out the big guns, they left little to no impact. Halo Infinite, set to revitalize the franchise with open-world elements and a free-to-play multiplayer mode, was met with success at launch, but it quickly fell off due to poor planning and lack of content.

The latest AAA release, Starfield, told a similar story. Despite positive reception early on, it failed to sustain players, leading to mixed and negative reactions a few months later.

What went wrong with the game? Lack of gratifying exploration, poor performance, and much more.

Microsoft Activision Blizzard Acquisition

More Acquisitions Won’t Fix The Problem

Microsoft, being one of the largest tech companies and one of the richest, has no issues when it comes to the budget for Xbox.

It has also built quite a reputation for acquiring more and more studios. The most notable ones include Bethesda and the recently acquired Activision Blizzard. However, such acquisitions have not brought massive results for Xbox yet.

Ninja Theory is still not finished with Hellblade 2, Bethesda’s studios have yet to release a massive hit, and Activision somehow launched its worst Call of Duty immediately after the merger was completed.

Acquiring studios also leads to concerns that Microsoft may be turning fan-favorite multiplatform IPs into Xbox exclusives to build a bigger catalog on par with that of PlayStation.

STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl

Microsoft Is Familiar With This Issue

Phil Spencer recently admitted that Xbox lost the console war against PlayStation, ending the long debate of which console was better. However, this admission also implies Xbox will be focusing on filling the gap of exclusive games since choosing a console is simply a matter of preference now.

Microsoft is already developing narrative-driven and 3rd person video games that it needed all these years. Take Hellbalde 2, for example, a visually stunning game with a narrative that wholly immerses players.

Having played the first entry, I’d say it was no less than a movie, the type of cinematic experience that mainstream audiences crave. Indiana Jones, based on the movie of the same name, will be a refreshing game for Xbox, holding the potential to fill in the void left by Uncharted.

Then comes Fable, an RPG merging high-production values and freedom in gameplay. Stalker 2 is also noteworthy as a narrative-driven adventure in 2024, so all hope is not lost for Xbox.

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