When Nintendo boasted 400,000 sales of the Wii U during the first week, tech pundits took note. It was a stunning number, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to the 750,000 Xbox 360s which sold during the week of Black Friday this year. Even though the Xbox 360 is a seven year old device (with some gradual updates being made along the way) it’s still selling in outrageous numbers.
Why is that, though? The Xbox was all but written off by pundits when HD-DVD lost out to the PS3-backed Blu-ray standard, and the Nintendo Wii was smashing it in sales just two years ago. Why are people still so eager to throw down their money to get their hands on this particular console?
Well, it comes down to a few factors. Xbox Kinect turned a lot of gamers on to the idea of motion control without having to hold controllers in their hands. It detects their face, tracks their movements, and turns them into human controllers which has created an entire subgenre of games that put you in control of your avatar like never before. Quite literally, it’s one of the most immersive gaming experiences one can have today.
That alone would spur a resurgence among console gamers, but there’s more to it than just a fancy accessory.
Larger Exclusive Game Library
When you think about console games, you have to consider the library of titles available for each platform. The Wii and PS3 have incredible game libraries, and many of these games are cross-platform. When it comes to the Xbox, it comes down to the whole PC/Console crossover market and exclusive titles that aren’t available on either of its competitors.
Halo is a big example of this advantage. It’s one of the most popular game titles in the world, and it’s also an exclusive title made for a single platform. You can only play most games from this series on an Xbox.
Xbox Live is one of the biggest reasons people flock to the Xbox. Interactive play, the ability to download demos, and the bragging aspect of showing off your achievements are a big draw to users, whether they admit it or not.
That isn’t to say the PS3 is necessarily lacking in that department, but like any social service, it’s all about where your friends are.
Trust in a Brand
Microsoft has long been a favorite brand among gamers. Even before Microsoft ventured into the console world, Windows has been a favorite for PC gamers. The fact that many users can continue the same (or at least a similar) experience between the Xbox and their PC counts for something. Microsoft’s Live family of services are quickly becoming intertwined to the point where you can do a lot between the two platforms. Imagine being able to play Call of Duty or some other game on an Xbox while competing directly against users on a PC. This is something that could very well happen (if it isn’t already) thanks to Microsoft’s determination to blend its many software platforms into something more cohesive and interchangeable.
A Lot of People Own More Than One
Red rings of death and other unfortunate Xbox issues are fairly common, especially among frequent gamers. When one dies, you end up buying another so your catalog of games doesn’t go to a total waste. People build up a catalog of Xbox games that frequently exceeds the value of the console itself, and this makes it harder to switch platforms.
I’ve also noticed that a few people I know have multiple Xbox 360s in their home. One sits in their den while another might be in their kid’s room. It’s an entertainment device that streams music and videos like any other, and a lot of folks use it as part of their entertainment center.
So, I’ll bring this question to you. How many Xboxes have you purchased over the past seven years?