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What if the third Xbox doesn’t release this year?

Asking a ‘what if’ question is of course just a form of speculation but, as far as we know, the Xbox 3 might not make it out this year, the possibility exists is what I’m saying. The thought first occurred to me after observing the silence Microsoft has cast around their next gen efforts after the PS4 reveal. I wondered if maybe they saw what Sony had to offer and changed their plans in an effort to ‘one-up’ them, leading to a delay that could push the Xbox 3 into 2014. I promptly dismissed it as nonsense as most would have done at the time. However, today I read an article that was sourced from an interview at CVG with Dan Amrich, who seemed to suggest “that the Xbox 720 may not be released in 2013”.

It brought back those worrying thoughts and I asked myself, what if the third Xbox doesn’t release this year?

Assuming Microsoft fail to make the 2013 deadline, what would be the repercussions or even rewards of such an event? Well, the most obvious thing that springs to mind is that they will miss the Christmas rush, as well as black Friday in the states. They also allow the competition ‘free time’ on the market. Although this would mean a slower start in terms of sales it wouldn’t be the end of the world. As Sony has proven with PS3 you can release a year late, after Christmas (in some regions) and as long as you have the hardware, games etc to back it up you could still sell just as many as the competition (if not more) and in less time. In the eyes of the sales counting fanboy war mongers it will appear as though the Xbox 3 would be last place though and they will use that in arguments, just as they have in this generation, ignoring any time-on-market difference completely.

So is there an upside to a 2014 launch? Well, it depends on if Microsoft could make a big enough difference to the hardware/features in order to make it stand out over the PS4 and if that difference can be achieved without additional cost to the consumer. Price is one of, if not THE most important factor where sales are concerned. If MS decide to up the price, in order to trump Sony in the hardware department, they will either have to bear the cost or pass it on to potential buyers, making Xbox 3 more expensive. The inclusion of a Kinect in every box already has some core gamers riled up as it’s something that most would be happier to live without for a cheaper up front price. I should note that this would apply to PS4 too should they decide to include the new PSeye in every box, although Move was more of a hit with core gamers than Kinect ever was (see sharpshooter).

In my humblest of opinions, given that we have very little information to go on, a delay into next year would be nothing short of disastrous for Xbox 3. Gamers are an infamously impatient lot and giving Sony and the PS4 even a small head start is something that the third Xbox might never recover from, with or without timed exclusive COD DLC.


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Donnieboi1826d ago

That IS entirely possible. Especially if MS is scrambling to undo all of the things that the 360 is rumored to do. Anti-Used games, Always-Online, possibility of no B/C, bigger focus on TV rather than on securing games, etc.

IF these rumors are true, and MS actually wants to have a fighting chance, they will need to fix these problems, which will take some time. They will also need to work things out with all of those publishers who were happy about the anti-used game tech, but if MS scraps that tech, then they have some explaining to do with 3rd party devs.

It's a sticky situation (if rumors are true) and MS will probably end up having to release after PS4 just to make things right.

dedicatedtogamers1826d ago

The biggest question isn't when the NextBox launches. The biggest question is when will Call of Duty no longer be available for 360/PS3?

Microsoft has the strongest brand loyalty out of the Big Three. 43 million people pay for XBL Gold every year. It seems to me that Microsoft may be trying to consolidate their fanbase and charge a smaller number of people more money for an enhanced suite of services (if the cable-box rumors are true). With the RRoD, tablets, the rise of SmartTVs, etc, people aren't going to be jumping on the NextBox bandwagon quite as quickly, especially now that Sony is playing for keeps and Nintendo is trying to push the WiiU. And if the next 2-3 years of Call of Duty are still released on the 360/PS3, then people won't upgrade as quickly because they'll still want to play online with their friends.

MrBeatdown1825d ago

Actually, a couple years ago, an MS exec claimed about half of subscribers paid for Gold

The 46 million is Gold and free accounts combined.

GalacticEmpire1825d ago (Edited 1825d ago )

Thanks for that, I just took it as truth there and was like "that's pretty impressive", not so much now. Just goes to show you have to really scrutinise everything these corporations tell you.

Persistantthug1825d ago

Torrence Davis on his recent WARZONE podcast claimed it was a current 46 million Gold subscribers, and when I hear it, it didn't sound quite right.

So a current 2013 estimate of about 25 million paid subscribers (give or take 5 million or so) sounds about right.

Thanks for the link.

GalacticEmpire1826d ago (Edited 1826d ago )

"That IS entirely possible"

Glad you can see that. One of the things that spurred me to write this blog was some people on the article I linked to claiming that "We all know the next Xbox is coming out later this year" as if it were fact.

I hadn't though about the actual logistics of doing a U-turn on the used game thing. Some interesting points theres, thanks.

@dedicated - more interesting points, although I don't know how that XBL stat proves anything. How many of those subscribers also have PS+ or buy Wii/Wii U content on a regular basis as well?

InMyOpinion1804d ago

It's also possible that neither the PS4 or Xbox 720 comes out this year.

Sony has a tradition of releasing in Japan first and letting the US and Europe wait, so either way I don't think we'll see the PS4 on US/Euro soil this year.

Z5011826d ago (Edited 1826d ago )

"We all know the next Xbox is coming out later this year" as if it were fact. The funny thing is... these same 'people' will tell you don't listen to rumors, (always online) 'wait til E3'

shadow27971825d ago (Edited 1825d ago )

How do we know it's delayed at all? Perhaps it was always planned for 2014?

The original rumors had Microsoft for 2013 and Sony for Spring 2014. What if they just had them backwards?

Rumors are well and good, but you repeat them enough times and they seem to become facts. This article is meant to question that the 720 will come out this year, but doesn't question that it was PLANNED to come out this year.

We know a lot less than we think we do about the next Xbox and even the PS4.

GalacticEmpire1825d ago

You're right, we don't know much at all for sure.

"This article is meant to question that the 720 will come out this year, but doesn't question that it was PLANNED to come out this year."

This Blog is only asking the 'what if' question, I make no claim of knowing one way or another what was planned or what will happen, it's pure speculation.

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