Mainland Europe has always been pretty much a PlayStation stronghold, and Microsoft has struggled considerably during the current generation in establishing a solid spearhead there. Things are improving according to Xbox EMEA Social Marketing Manager Graeme Boyd, as he told the good folks at The Inner Circle during their latest podcast.
Boyd admitted that the way in which the Xbox One was revealed “wasn’t perfect” (and going by his own words, that’s “a bit of an understatement”), and the issues that ere afterwards were changed had a really big impact especially in Europe.
That said, Boyd believes that the changes that Microsoft has been making, the way they’ve been listening to feedback and the continued improvements and updates that they’re doing, have put the console on a much better road to appeal to the European gamer.
He also mentioned that when you start looking at the “incredible line-up” that Microsoft is building at the moment, from a purely gaming point of view you can’t really argue against the fact that it’s phenomenal. According to Boyd the “sheer number of exclusives” coming this year and the next create a situation in which there isn’t much of a discussion in the comparison with the competition. He feels that it’s factual that if you line them up next to each other, other consoles “don’t have an awful lot of exclusives, this year in particular.”
Boyd thinks that Microsoft is already on a good road and hopes that European gamers are paying attention to that. Gamescom was very much about Microsoft coming onto the European turf and saying “this is what we’ve got, we’re listening to you guys, we want to listen to you more.” The best thing that Microsoft can and must do, is to continue listening to the audience in the European markets and really respond to that feedback.
Boyd agrees with Phil Spencer’s idea of having to get better in Europe. It’s not going to happen overnight, but the fact that he’s saying that means that it’s on his mind, and when something is on Phil Spencer’s mind, change does come, as it has been seen in the last couple of years.
We also hear that according to Boyd, PlayStation has always been strong in mainland Europe and Sony does a great job there, particularly in markets like France, Spain, Italy. That said, he feels that now Microsoft can demonstrate the benefits of the Xbox One to gamers in terms of the games line-up, the power of the cloud with Crackdown and the synergy with Windows 10. They’re now in a much better position now than in the past when you weigh up your options.