September 7th, 2018, 21:52 Posted By: wraggster
Xbox has been all about the future in recent months.
Since E3, the conversation on Gamesindustry.biz has been around subscription services and what we can expect from Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games and all the new studios the company has added to its roster.
And the big reveals at E3 itself featured Gears of War, Halo, Cyberpunk 2077 - big games that are more than a year away from release.
Now, as we head into that crucial year-end sales period, the focus switches to the here and now. At Gamescom last month, Xbox put the final touches on its Christmas sales plans. There was the typical reveal of new hardware bundles, plus PR around the big Xbox products that it plans to focus on in the weeks ahead - Forza Horizon 4, Game Pass and Sea of Thieves amongst them.
Exclusive content is obviously crucial, and we'll come back to that, but Xbox is also going big with third-party titles this year. In fact, Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg tells us it has "more third-party partnerships this year than we have ever had."
"A lot of it is our partners, especially after we launched Xbox One X, are interested in making sure they are able to work with a platform that is going to be a showcase for their games," he says. "We start with the developers. They want to show their games where they look and play the best, and so having the performance advantage and being able to show their games in 4K, with great frame-rates, is great for those folks. And then on the business side there are mutual benefits; we can go to market together, we can do bundles, we can introduce people to their franchises and they can help us sell consoles."
Those third-party deals with titles such as Battlefield and Tomb Raider will prove crucial in Microsoft delivering its message on how much more powerful Xbox One X is compared with its competitors (40 per cent more powerful, according to Microsoft). Yet it can only really do that with the games it partners with. PlayStation has its own third-party deals with big titles this Christmas, such as with Red Dead Redemption 2, so how does Xbox get its 'better with X' messaging out in relation to those?
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