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Stephen Elop and His "Plans" For Xbox. A Savior or Terminator?!

I have chosen to start this blog thanks to the recent report from Bloomberg that suggested Stephen Elop, former CEO of Nokia and a potential candidate for the CEO position of Microsoft, is considering to sell the Xbox brand. Imagine the news when you wake up from a good sleep and go to N4G only to read this following headline in the future:

"Microsoft has sold its Xbox brand to (ANONYMOUS)"

Yeah, that would cause some attention after the imminent release of the upcoming Xbox One, which is currently having flames thanks to the recent reports of certain games' problems for example reaching the desired resolution and performance. The news however will make a huge difference fore Microsoft if that has ever happened.

Xbox is a very well known brand that Microsoft revealed ever since 2001, and has been a pinnacle ever since and competed with consoles like Sony's Playstation 2. Indeed it had great and memorable games like Halo: Combat Evolved which changed the first person shooter genre and more games. Xbox 360 has been released and it was a good console and had its own set of problems but it was hanging well until its later days and then the notoriously infamous announcement of the DRM version of Xbox One has been announced. This is where the Xbox brand has been in trouble.

Xbox 360 has sold very well since it was released before PS3, and had more online services and features for the consumers to pay for and to enjoy. People didn't like how they had to pay but they did it anyway so they can play with each other and have fun. It was great for a while until more and more services where are free on platforms other than Xbox, but you need to pay for it to access it on your own Xbox 360. That includes Netflix which you have to pay again to get your subscription of that service which isn't really good for people who don't have a money tree.

Let's start with the flames on Xbox One. Ever since its announcement, Microsoft has dug itself in a deep hole thanks to cheap PR, and problems during the gaming conferences like E3 and Gamescom. The biggest problem was the restriction that the Xbox One would have gotten if many people pre-ordered the console itself, which thank goodness not many people did and pre-ordered PS4 instead. It took some time until Microsoft removed those restrictions to get their profit back but the investors wanted more though since there were reports of them wanting Microsoft to sell of the Xbox brand.

I remember a report about the investor(s) who wanted Steve Ballmer to get fired, and the Xbox brand to be sold. Guess what? Steve Ballmer isn't working at Microsoft anymore, and now there is one potential candidate who is known as Stephen Elop who wants to sell the Xbox brand. Sadly, if he managed to be the CEO of Microsoft, then I can see it happening as clear as day. Xbox One has been hitting Microsoft left and right ever since its announcement and Sony is winning the gamers' hearts thanks to its Playstation 4 which literally, ever since E3, has been doing the opposite of what Xbox One has been doing.

Some people would say that hiring Stephen, and selling Xbox brand would kill Microsoft slowly, while others will say that it would be better for Microsoft to leave from gaming industry. I honestly don't know what would happen to Microsoft if that ever happened. It could be one of them but I can't predict what would happen to Microsoft's stocks because of that. I am not an investor so you should ask someone who knows a thing or two about stocks to know if Microsoft would indeed go bankrupt after some time or not. It still has Windows operating system and other businesses, and to come think about it, Xbox One has been hurting Microsoft from every side imaginable so I think it would be good for them to sell it but I don't know. It would be better for Xbox brand itself, but it could be good or bad for Microsoft. Just ask an investor please.

Think about it though, if Xbox One didn't meet the sales expectations, then you should seriously get ready for the departure of Xbox brand from Microsoft's hands. Let me say something though, Stephen would've saved Xbox's reputation because of the sell out. We need a better corporation that can and will make some great changes within the brand that will win its fans back, and bring the fierce competition against Playstation 4, Wii U, and Steam Box. We need a company that has employees compassionate about their work, not their money. We need Xbox brand to be redeemed from all the mistakes Microsoft has done with the brand.

Xbox would be better away from Microsoft's hands in my opinion thanks to all the drama that has happened ever since its announcement and I would be happy if I have seen that headline on N4G if that has really happened so I can be confident that there will be another company that will give it justice that it deserves, and bring back the good old competition against Sony, Nintendo, and in the future, Valve. I just want to see good choices, and honest PR with Xbox brand, and just love to work with it. I just want a bright future for the Xbox brand for the sake of gaming. I don't really like Xbox One, but that doesn't mean I am a Xbox hater, I just want it to be better.

That's all I have for now, and I will try to update the blog if I got another thing to discuss about this matter, especially if Stephen has indeed become the CEO of Microsoft. I will have to look at this subject very closely since I have a feeling that it will have a big outcome sooner or later, maybe some time after Xbox One's release. Until then, thank you for reading the blog!

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colonel1791654d ago

It is very unlikely that it will happen, but it would be interesting to see what would happen to the Xbox One if it does.

Which company do you think would be a good fit to buy the Xbox brand to make the Xbox One and following consoles a success?

Microsoft hasn't really been doing a good job at listening to the gaming market. They are making the Xbox an entertainment device when they should be making it gaming first. Also, the focus on TV is coming in a time when TV is not longer very relevant. People is using more online services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc to watch their TV series and movies, so it seems out of place that Microsoft wants you to plug your Cable box to the Xbox One, when a lot of people are actually getting rid of it in the first place.

Microsoft needs to invest in first party developers to make actual games people want to play. The mistake Microsoft is doing is putting most of its eggs in the casual market, and it's most definitely due to Nintendo's success with the Wii. However, as we all know the success of the Wii was temporal, and not something profitable in the long term. Even Nintendo realized that and tried to make the Wii U for the hardcore gamer instead.

FogLight1654d ago

I definitely agree with all your points, especially with Microsoft leaning towards the casual consumers instead of the actual audience for the console itself.

The suitable company for Xbox brand... You know this is a difficult question right? :/ I actually don't know though, SEGA isn't ready yet to return to console market, Sony already has Playstation, Nintendo...Highly unlikely. I just don't know :(

pixelsword1654d ago


Take away the "_" on the "E" and you get


I'm kidding, of course; but this kind of explains why the advertising has gone so wrong for Microsoft this gen. I mean, it seemed like they wanted the Xbone to fail, and there's a guy at microsoft right now who is prepared to kill the xbox brand.

On the other hand about it, maybe he's doing that just to goad xbox fans on to buy their console sooner and earlier by threatening it's removal if the console doesn't do well.

porkChop1654d ago

Actually might not be a bad thing though. Microsoft doesn't have its heart in gaming, only money. If another, more gamer-friendly company were to buy the brand it could be a very good thing. Sega, Intel, Samsung, hell even Google. They could all do some good work in the gaming sector.

Ravenor1654d ago

Yeah, Nintendo and Sony aren't about money. It's clearly all about the medium.

Come on dude, be real.

porkChop1654d ago

No. Sony and Nintendo are businesses, of course they are. But they respect the medium and care about the quality of their products and games. They actually care about the experience. Microsoft doesn't. They sell you a product and then they drop you the second they get your money. Microsoft cares about nothing but money, they've shown this time and time again.

hellzsupernova1653d ago

I agree with porkchop, I feel that the steam box could become the third.

Might see halo on a Sony console yet

Ravenor1653d ago

I'm not here to argue, and I'm certainly not here to argue that the Steambox couldn't replace the XboX as the third console. All competition is good competition, that's what I've preached from the start.

All I argue is that it deserves a chance as a platform to be expressed. When the day comes when all the Xbox is good for is multiplats I will rightfully throw in the white towel and beg for it to be shown some form of mercy. The same as the playstation, if situations were reversed.

Microsoft replaced Sega for better or for worse, I won't deny that. I simply think just like a new Sega console, it deserves the benefit of the doubt without the childish poo pooing.

AilonTrusk1654d ago

If they sell it, i won't be surprised if xbox becomes an apple brand.

rainslacker1654d ago

I honestly see spinning off the Xbox brand into a separate company as much more likely. It allows MS to keep all the benefits of the Xbox brand, as well as utilize it for their overall goals, without hindering the stocks of the core MS businesses.

This would possibly hamper the Xbox's ability to compete without the deep pockets of the main corporation backing the system, and it's likely in doing so we would see massive shifts in focus from the Xbox brand.

However, it could also be a good thing. If the right people are put in the position to lead this new spin-off company then it could be a very bright future for the Xbox brand. It is no secret that one of PlayStation's biggest strengths is the undeniable passion that it's controlling executives have for the brand and gaming as a whole. If the Xbox brand were to get those types of executives, instead of the tools that run it now, they could usher in a new era of Xbox greatness that could actually be compared to Sony's success in this same area.

The idea of the Xbox brand being sold off is hard to imagine. MS would still want to control the software on it, but selling it off assumes that another company will take the financial burden of manufacturing the hardware itself. This isn't much different than what 3DO tried to do back in the day, although it would be contained to one company instead of a set of hardware standards. I just can't imagine that any company would want to take on that burden, since that is the biggest place where MS loses money on the Xbox brand.

Most major electronics companies that could afford the Xbox brand have the resources to make their own console, and in doing so make their own impression on the gaming industry and gaming consumers that would be hard to achieve using the Xbox brand, which will forever be associated with MS. However, there are many things within the Xbox brand which are worth money, such as the tech itself, as well as the developers and IP's that MS owns. Those I can see being sold off individually.

It's an interesting scenario to think about if MS actually just drops out of console manufacturing. I imagine if they get out of the console business, they will just more to become software publishers for games themselves, not unlike Sega did. They reap the benefits of the more profitable game development, without the costs of the hardware R&D and console marketing and manufacturing.

MS has a lot of choices here, and I think some people are too quick to assume that a company would even want the XBox brand, or that that would even be the best way for MS to liquidate the Xbox brands assets.

FogLight1654d ago

The thing is that Stephen looks like he is really going to get Xbox away from Microsoft's hands so I don't really see them controlling Xbox as a spin-off company itself. Yes it could make their lives easier but what the news report implied doesn't seem like that they will do that.

And on software term, it could be possible that they will be publishing games like SEGA is currently doing but we don't know. People can predict but predictions aren't always right.

rainslacker1654d ago

I can see that. It's hard to say. Talk of spinning off or selling the Xbox brand(or more aptly the division that houses it) have been talked about for years now. There was even discord when the first Xbox was announced about why the company would bother from investors.

I don't think it's that investors hate or don't want the brand itself, it's just that they don't like that it's holding back the rest of the company, which is why I can see why they would want to spin it off to keep it a viable asset to the company without hindering the trade value of the core MS business.

All my speculations were just that. Scenarios offered to bring about discussion because it's rare that a major console manufacturer just leaves the market. There have been many failed consoles, but only Atari and Sega have been as big as MS overall given the state of gaming at the time. I do believe historically though, both those companies showed signs of trouble before dropping out, which MS really hasn't done yet. For MS it's all about money in this regard, which makes it an intriguing look at what could happen.

It's hard to have this kind of discussion on here though, because people want to turn it into a console war thing, when it's really just a business thing that has little or nothing to do with gaming.

FogLight1654d ago

Yeah that is could be true. Maybe Xbox would be a spin-off company just like you said just to make the investors comfortable but we don't know yet.

No signs of trouble, then we have to see once Xbox One gets released. We really don't know how many units would be sold to consumers so we can call it a profit for Microsoft or not.

Sadly, there has to be one person who is going to try to turn it into console war, it would be great if no one mentioned a console war in this blog since it mainly talks about investors wanting to remove Xbox brand, and the possibility of Stephen selling the Xbox brand if he became the CEO.

Nicaragua1653d ago

Bit since the Xbox division overall loses MS money then if they spun it off into a separate company that wasnt draining money from the main company then it would go out of business.

The problem is that the xbox division is losing money and shareholders aren't happy. They can either keep putting money in and make it profitable or they sell it off, just having it as a separate company still owned by MS won't fix the problem.

BillytheBarbarian1653d ago

It would be great for a company to take over Xbox. Microsoft wants control over every aspect of the entertainment box which destroys any type of trust a potential customer may have had.

This could open the door for a crazy future. Imagine if 2k/Rockstar took over, EA, or Activision. Could be scary.

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