To the dismay of many Xbox players Microsoft announced that Xbox Live will be included with windows 10 and it will be free. This announcement didn’t go without notice as many Xbox owners have been paying subscription fees for years. So what gives, why would Microsoft risk alienating it’s hardcore Xbox users?
Microsoft has always contended that the subscription fee was only required to keep the service running. Outsiders would argue that the subscription fee has always been a revenue stream for Microsoft. I’m in the camp that the subscription fee is a revenue stream and have always thought that Xbox players were getting a raw deal.
Xbox has recently been putting some nice titles up for free on the Games with Gold service. I first thought this was to appease any Xbox users that might have the inclination to question the subscription fee. In light of the recent Windows 10 announcement I realize that Microsoft has a much more devious plan in mind, the assimilation of the entire world … Maybe not the entire world, but at least those pesky PC users who have proven to be elusive when it comes to embracing Microsoft’s online products.
If you are a consolite you need to turn away now because I am going to reveal some data that may hurt your console playing, fan boy feelings.
The PC gaming market is huge!
Recently Intel’s Kirk Skaugen said, “There are 711 million PC gamers in the world today, that’s one in ten people on the planet.”
Wow! That’s a bold statement. It’s also a broad statement. This could include every PC gamer no matter how casual, playing games like Solitaire and Minesweeper, to the more high-end user market, i.e., AlienWare, Republic of Gamers, etc … One thing is clear MR Skaugen didn’t give any indication where he got that huge number.
I did some serious research (a google search) and found a much more authoritative source for the numbers we need,
Jon Peddie Research “Ted Pollak, Senior Gaming Analyst at JR notes that the $21.5 billion market is over twice the size of the console gaming hardware market. “We continue to see a shift in casual console customers moving to mobile. While this is also occurring in the lower end PC gaming world, more money is being directed to mid and high range PC builds and upgrades by gamers. Committed PC gamers are generally not interested in pure content consumption platforms. They are power users and pay thousands for the ability to play games at very high settings and then do business, video/photo editing, content creation and other tasks with maximum horsepower at their disposal in a desktop”
Just so you know, the average PC gamer is in their thirties a user market that I am sure Microsoft wants to get there dirty little hands on.
Microsoft has a monopoly on the PC operating system, there’s no doubt. It doesn’t matter what trash they throw at us we continue to use windows simply because it’s so well integrated into the world we live in.
To flip the coin as soon as you go online your most likely plugged into a google product Chrome, Gmail, Google Search, YouTube, etc… All of these products out perform Microsoft in every way.
Microsoft can’t seem to find it’s footing in cyberspace. The brilliant minds at Microsoft have turned to the average gamer for the answer to it’s online dreams for more market share.
Microsoft knows that PC gamers will never pay for a subscription to the Xbox Live service. Microsoft also knows that PC gamers will most likely balk at using the free service, but don’t worry there’s a plan in the form of licensing.
Microsoft is going to up their licensing game and you had better believe there will be an increase in exclusives. Perhaps certain games will only be available through Xbox Live, or certain games will release early on Xbox Live. Whatever the scenario Microsoft is going to force PC gamers to at the very least have an Xbox Live account in order to gain access to exclusives.
Resistance is futile you will be assimilated into the Microsoft gaming machine and you will be forced at minimum to look at Microsoft products. The Borg … umm Microsoft needs gamers to fulfill their plans for world domination.
Windows 10 integration of Xbox Live will provide a powerful new platform for Microsoft.
Microsoft has never been able to establish itself in the social media arena. Xbox Live has a robust and thriving gaming community. With the newly assimilated PC players Microsoft hopes to expand on the social aspects of this community integrating the social aspects of Xbox Live into the everyday computing experience of not only hardcore PC gamers, but everyday casual gamer as well, eventually building a social empire even Zuckerburg would be proud of.
Remember that handy feature Microsoft added to the new console, the one where you can video capture and stream to services like Twitch? As PC gamers join the masses of Xbox Live users Microsoft will take a swing at Twitch in the next few years, setting up it’s on streaming service and possibly setting up it’s on video service much like YouTube.
Bing only has a 6% share in the search market. If you can’t figure it out that sucks. Bing is a terrible search engine and deserves to do poorly, but this hideous search engine will become even more a part of your PC experience with Xbox Live.
Netflix is most likely in the sights of Microsoft as well and you can expect a Netflix like streaming service to roll out in the next couple years, if you haven’t guessed already it will be made available through the Xbox Live interface.
The Borg are nothing compared to the evil ones over at Microsoft be prepared to be assimilated!
These are just my opinions as to what Microsoft has in mind with the new broader Xbox Live service.
I am interested in knowing what you think. Am I on target, or did I watch to many Star Trek episodes as a kid? What other ways could Microsoft use Xbox Live to take over the world? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.