Xbox One: What You Can Expect From Microsoft in 2016

At the start of 2016, the Xbox One is doing fine — which would be great if only the PlayStation 4 wasn’t outselling it two to one. Aside from that not-so-minor issue, Microsoft doesn’t have much room to complain about regarding console sales, seeing as the Xbox One is outselling the Xbox 360 at this point in its life.

Still, with Sony gobbling up the lion’s share of console sales, that’s gotta hurt, right? It’s never fun to be in a distant second place. Which means Microsoft has to make some big moves in 2016 if it wants to catch up.

Here’s what to expect from Microsoft and the Xbox One in 2016.

Big exclusives

The best ammunition any hardware maker has in a console war is its lineup of exclusive games. Microsoft has already unleashed numerous volleys, with Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, and remastered editions of Halo and Gears of War titles. Clearly, those haven’t been enough to win the war.

In 2016, we’ll get marquee Xbox One titles like Gears of War 4, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break, and ReCore. Microsoft also has a slate of great-looking indie exclusives like Cuphead, Inside, and Below.

Will these be enough to overcome Sony’s strong 2016 lineup for PlayStation 4? Only time will tell, but it’s good to see both companies duking it out by releasing great-looking games.

More information about VR/AR

If the hype is to be believed, a major component in the future of video games will be virtual and augmented reality. A number of big-name headsets are slated to release in 2016, from the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on PC to the PlayStation VR on PS4.

Microsoft also plans to release its HoloLens augmented reality headset this year, but it won’t tie into the Xbox One as closely as the other headsets do to their respective platforms. Rather than relying on a PC or console, the HoloLens headset has all of its components built into it. So how it will tie into Xbox One — or even if it will at all — remains to be seen.

Also worth mentioning is the partnership between Microsoft and Oculus that has resulted in every Oculus Rift coming bundled with an Xbox One controller. It’s unclear whether the Xbox One is powerful enough to drive VR games on the Rift, or if the two companies are interested in using it in that way, but it’s possible.

A big move or lots of little smart moves

Source: Microsoft

Source: Microsoft

Regardless of what Microsoft does in 2016 with the Xbox One, it’s clear that something needs to happen if Xbox One is ever going to catch up with PlayStation 4 sales. Whether that means a redesign, a price drop, or a fantastic new peripheral, I don’t know. (Come to think of it, a redesign would be great, seeing as the Xbox One is so big it could eat a PS4).

In any case, it may be too late for Xbox One sales to catch PS4. Sony’s dominance this console generation has been well established at this point. In truth, both consoles are excellent, and you can’t go wrong with either one. But with some shrewd ideas and excellent implementation, it’s possible that Microsoft can begin narrowing the gap in 2016.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed
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