Windows Central managed to get their hands on some of Microsoft’s internal documents which discuss the differences between American consumers who game on Xbox One. Some of the highlights of the report include a 58% male to 42% female split in terms of Xbox One ownership, how most Xbox One gamers are between the ages of 25 to 34, how 56% of Xbox One gamers are married, and how the median household income of Xbox One owners is around $75,000.
While statistics like these are always surprising, it proves that console gaming is still a luxury good. The majority of Xbox One owners make well over the average income in the United States. The report also revealed aspects like how many gamers utilize social features like chat and it’s just over half of all owners. This proves that gaming is still a very social pastime and Microsoft’s focus to provide more features in this regard is correct.
It’s always surprising when details like these are revealed because the most minor facts may surprise you. The fact that Xbox One owners—console gamers in general—have high incomes points to a problem as well. That problem is of pricing. The average mobile game is only a few dollars but the average console game is around $20. Even if the game is a port of a mobile title, somehow it ends up costing exponentially more on Xbox One. In order to make console gaming truly accessible and appeal to more people, there need to be new revenue models. Hopefully services like Xbox Game Pass will help but we need to switch over to a Steam-like digital distribution system for real change to take place. Microsoft should start having this conversation with gamers now so that they can do this in the future. Imposing change doesn’t work (like the Xbox One reveal) and companies always have to get consumers involved. That should be Phil Spencer’s vision going forward.