Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Nintendo

by Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
Don Sharpe
Don has been writing professionally for over 10 years now, but his passion for the written word started back in his elementary school days. His work has been... read more
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  • Xbox is a huge platform but it seems other smaller counterparts are far ahead in some sectors.
  • Fans aren’t too pleased with Xbox’s marketing strategy and the lack of consistency.
  • In this regard, Nintendo has a thing or two that Microsoft could borrow to improve on Xbox.

Xbox is just as good if not better in some ways. Microsoft has made it clear that it wants to be more transparent and open with fans than ever before, which is a great move to make.

Unfortunately, there’s one critical area in its current approach that feels questionably trapped in the past, and that’s how and when it presents the games coming to Xbox.

Nintendo does this better — much better — for most of its platforms. Its marketing strategy is an example of showing your hand too early without actually revealing anything about those games until you’re ready for them to be revealed.

It’s not all that bad with Xbox

Microsoft has been doing some great things with its gaming platform lately. For example, the company’s Game Pass service is a fantastic deal for anyone who plays Xbox.

It gives you access to hundreds of games for a low monthly fee and includes the latest first-party releases at launch.

However, when it comes to marketing, everything from the company’s messaging strategy to the way it approaches acquisitions and development is an attempt to reconcile two vastly different philosophies.

One that’s forward-thinking, progressive, and disruptive; one that’s conservative, risk-averse, and traditional.

Stepping out of the comfort zone

The company is not afraid to appear in direct front of consumers either. Whether it’s through Xbox Game Pass or developing new first-party titles, Microsoft is doubling down on its commitment to the creative medium.

With Xbox Series X and Project xCloud, Xbox is also investing heavily in the next generation of platform delivery.

However, this newfound momentum will be for nothing if the company continues to depend on established gaming events like E3 and The Game Awards to showcase the fruits of its labour.

Sony and Nintendo have both seemingly settled into their groove in the current console generation, with an established lineup of first-party games and a defined approach to how they want to market their systems. 

Why Nintendo is winning hearts

The Nintendo Direct model works because it allows Nintendo to keep people talking about its games without having to spend millions on a huge stage show at E3 or Gamescom every single year — it can just get on with doing what it does best: making video games.

Nintendo Directs are always a delight to watch for fans of the company and its games. It may not be able to match Microsoft’s game library in terms of raw power, but it makes up for it with a focus on consistent first-party output and some key third-party partnerships.

What habits should Xbox borrow?

There’s no question that Microsoft could borrow a great deal from Nintendo when it comes to marketing and PR..

The Xbox team smartly understands that it needs to be more active when it comes to communicating about the platform.

This is likely why the Xbox Game Pass and Inside Xbox teams were formed in the first place, and why the monthly subscription service has been such a boon for Microsoft.

Microsoft has done a fantastic job with its monthly Xbox Game Pass updates, but why not take advantage of the hype around E3 to deliver news in an exciting way?

It would be great if this series showed new footage of each game, along with some sort of tease for what’s coming next — not just in the form of an uninspired blog post or tweet.

It will take some time

The industry is definitely going through some growing pains, but it’s also producing amazing work. Microsoft is at the center of that with its Xbox One, and the company has done a great job supporting its platform with a variety of high-quality exclusives.

The publisher has built a reputation for itself as one that isn’t afraid to communicate what’s coming to the platform. When it comes to actually showing off what to expect, Microsoft isn’t doing enough.

That’s not to say that Microsoft doesn’t produce great video games — it certainly does, and it has some fantastic studios.

But the fact is that Nintendo, even though it lags behind the competition in terms of sheer hardware power and graphical prowess, has always made its games look great, play fantastically and have an incredible feel to them.

It may take some time to produce high-quality content but it is not impossible. In the meantime, refer to our guide on how to fix any Xbox issue if it is not working.

What other improvements would you like to see come to Xbox? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.