Hopes For Microsoft's Xbox One May Lie With Titanfall

With the much-hyped game set to be released on Tuesday, it looks like Microsoft may need "Halo"-levels of success to help sell more consoles.
Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 10, 2014

All of Microsoft's hopes for the Xbox One may come down to one thing: Titanfall. The Microsoft-exclusive game comes out Tuesday after two years in development, and it's looking like the game's sales could either make or break the company's next gen console.

​Titanfall is the creation of former Infinity Ward developers Respawn Entertainment. It's a science-fiction first-person shooter game but with mechs, or "Titans" that the player can control. Think "Call of Duty with giant robots."

The hype has been building up ever since the game was first announced during Microsoft's 2013 E3 press conference. Titanfall has been hailed by critics as a game changer for the first-person shooter genre. (Via Joystiq, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Destructoid)

Lauded by critics. Countless best of show awards. Sounds great, right? What's Microsoft got to worry about, then?

Well, it turns out the Xbox One isn't doing so hot in sales. VentureBeat reported in February that Sony's Playstation 4 actually outsold Microsoft's console by almost a 2-to-1 margin in the U.S for January. Ouch.

Microsoft's chief marketing and strategy officer told Businessweek"It's hard to overstate the importance of Titanfall to the Xbox One release this year. For us, it's a game changer. It's a system seller."

In other words, Microsoft needs Titanfall to be another "Halo," the franchise that blew up on Microsoft's earlier consoles.

The New York Times notes so far price is the console's biggest disadvantage. At $500, the Xbox One costs $100 more than Sony's Playstation 4.

But a writer at Forbes is optimistic about Titanfall's ability to draw in more gamers, saying: "We’ve already played the game, so we know it is fun. The open beta should have ironed out server problems, and we can bet Microsoft is on hand to throw a whole lot of hardware at any problem that might arise.​"

In the run up to the game's launch, Titanfall is sitting at a comfortable 87 with early reviews on Metacritic, a site that aggregates game reviews by all major outlets.