Microsoft: “Strong Demand” for Xbox Over Black Friday

Posted on November 26, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Xbox One with 11 Comments

Microsoft: "Strong Demand" for Xbox Over Black Friday

The Black Friday holiday shopping weekend isn’t over yet, but Microsoft has already hailed the “strong demand” it has seen for Xbox.

The software giant prepared a lengthy momentum statement from Mike Nichols, the Corporate Vice President of Xbox Marketing. Rather than just copy and paste it, let’s look at it line by line and see what we can make of the start of a crucial holiday season for Xbox One in particular.

There was strong demand for Xbox hardware, accessories, games and Xbox Live engagement on Black Friday, based on initial results, with a strong start to the holiday season.

Curiously, this is all that Microsoft actually says about Black Friday. From there, it moves on to what I think of as “momentum”. So it’s not clear if this weekend was good, bad or indifferent for Microsoft. It’s pretty clear that it wasn’t record-breaking in any way, however.

In October, Xbox One was the best-selling console in the U.S., U.K. and Australia according to NPD Group and GfK Entertainment. Xbox One has been the best-selling console in the U.S. for the past four months, and in the U.K. and Australia in each of the last two months.

After two years of coming in second place to Sony’s PlayStation 4 almost every single month, Microsoft seen great success in recent months. The most interesting thing to me, so far, is that the first month in which Xbox console sales beat those of PS4 was in July, which was one month before the Xbox One S shipped. Looking forward, the most crucial two months—November and December—are upon us. Imagine Microsoft winning these months.

Xbox One S is the only console available this year with built-in UHD 4K Blu-ray, 4K video streaming and HDR for video and gaming and it’s available in a variety of bundles for the best value with 500GB, 1TB and 2TB consoles to choose from.

I recently described the Xbox One S as “the perfect thing.” But be sure to check out my full review as well.

A huge variety of blockbuster games from this year’s greatest games lineup are now available for Xbox One or Windows 10 PC such as “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Horizon 3,” “ReCore,” “Titanfall 2,” “Battlefield 1” and “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” with even more on the way in the coming days like “Dead Rising 4” and “Final Fantasy XV.”

I’ve spent time with most of those already-available games, but I can’t say I’m particularly interested in Dead Rising 4 or Final Fantasy XV. I feel like I should be giving Titanfall 2 a shot though.

Moreover, with the recent release of our Xbox Holiday Update, there are more ways for gamers to connect with one another across devices through Clubs and Looking for Group on Xbox Live – the fastest, most reliable gaming network.

I wrote about the Xbox Holiday Update a few weeks back, though I can’t say it has impacted my day-to-day experience on Xbox One per se. I’d love to see some more performance improvements to the Dashboard for starters.

In addition, Xbox Design Lab brings more than 8 million ways to customize the new Xbox Wireless Controller, featuring enhanced comfort and feel with textured grip, improved wireless range and Bluetooth technology.

Xbox Design Lab is pretty amazing. I used this service to design my own custom controller, and now, which is really cool.

We are grateful to our community for their continued dedication and passion toward Xbox, and are committed to making Xbox the best place to game this year and beyond.

Yeah you are.

So, not much of substance. And I’m a bit curious why Microsoft chose to issue such a non-statement. We may find out next week when NPD and other market analysts release their findings from the Black Friday weekend.


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