Like many other markets, the gaming console market is incredibly competitive.
The major competitors are PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo.
PC gamers are an entire class of their own since they use computers rather than gaming consoles to play their games.
In most cases, you’ll often hear about PlayStation versus Xbox and which is better or more popular.
Here are 10 reasons Xbox is as popular as it is.
Why Is Xbox So Popular? (Top 10 Reasons)
1. Backward Compatibility
One of the major reasons that Xbox is popular is its backward compatibility.
This means that, even on newer consoles, players are able to enjoy their older games without having to hold on to their older systems.
Not all games are backward compatible.
However, Xbox tends to offer more backward compatible games than its competitors.
This makes the console for a few different reasons.
The major one is that it keeps players from having to repurchase their favorite games each time there’s a new console release.
This helps them save money and everyone enjoys saving money.
Another reason is that the game sometimes comes with updated graphics.
This allows players to enjoy their favorite games while they’re looking a lot better than they used to.
Finally, it means that they don’t have to lose out on playing their favorite games while updating to a new console.
Not everyone wants to hoard their older consoles.
Some people simply don’t have the room to do so.
As such, they often have to sell their older consoles to make room for the new release.
If the new release doesn’t have backward compatibility, then it means they’re never going to be able to play their old favorite games again.
In most cases, Xbox avoids that by making its consoles backward compatible or offering a service that allows its players to play old games.
Players get the best of both worlds in terms of playing old and new games thanks to Xbox’s backward compatibility.
2. Free Games
Thanks to Xbox Gold, players can get monthly access to free games.
Sometimes those games are hits and sometimes they’re duds.
It all depends on your gaming preferences.
That said, it’s sometimes possible to get highly-rated games for completely free.
One of the advantages of getting free games through Xbox is that you’re able to keep playing the game that you got for free even if you stop paying for your Gold membership.
This is different from a PlayStation Plus membership.
With the Plus membership, you’re unable to access your free games if you stop paying for your membership.
That’s an annoying feature considering the game was technically free for you at one point.
Xbox does away with that and lets you play the game for free whether you’re still a Gold member or not.
Xbox is popular because it offers monthly free games that you can keep playing even if you discontinue your Gold membership.
3. Xbox Live
Another great aspect of Xbox which adds to its popularity is Xbox Live.
Xbox has been working on its online services for years.
Even before playing online with friends became mainstream and expected, Xbox was already prototyping and experimenting with it.
That’s made Xbox Live all the better for it.
The service has gone through several patches and versions to make it one of the best online services in the console arena.
You’re able to get two services with Xbox Live, too, which means players have a bit more flexibility with how they game and their budgets.
Xbox Live Free gives you the basics that you need to play online with friends.
You can chat with them for free and play online for free.
The paid version of Xbox Live is Xbox Live Gold.
This version includes the Gold membership.
You can get two free games every month with this version.
It also unlocks several apps that allow you to watch sports, TV, and other entertainment from your console.
One of the biggest benefits of Xbox Live Gold is the ability to get discounted games.
Every month, you can usually find a sale going on in the Xbox store.
Those with an Xbox Live Gold membership can get steep discounts.
Sometimes the discounts rise to 50% or even 70% off certain games.
With great online service, free games, and discounts, Xbox Live Gold is a reason that many gamers love the Xbox.
4. Streaming Capabilities
Microsoft owns Xbox.
They also produce PCs.
Newer PCs come with Xbox Live preloaded on them.
This allows Xbox users to use their PC to stream their games.
This is ideal for moments when you want to game, but all of the TVs are in use at your house.
You can choose to stream from your Xbox to your PC.
Even if you have a simple laptop, you can still use it to stream your Xbox game.
That’s because the game isn’t running on your PC or laptop.
It’s still running in your console.
Instead, it’s using your PC or laptop as a projected second screen.
You’re only using your monitor to game.
This is ideal for those moments when you want to game but everyone is watching something on TV.
It’s even possible to go outside in your yard and stream to your laptop.
You can play games while taking in the sun as long as your controller is still in range of your console.
Thanks to the Xbox’s ability to stream to your PC, you’re able to play easier without disrupting others.
That feature has made it very popular with gamers who have families or few TVs.
5. Streaming PC To Xbox
While you can stream from your Xbox to your PC monitor, the opposite is also true.
You can stream what’s on your PC to your Xbox.
This can be useful for a handful of reasons.
If you want to play your PC games on a screen bigger than your monitor, then you might choose to stream your Xbox that’s connected to a big screen.
You can even use your Xbox professionally and stream a PowerPoint presentation to it from your PC.
For tabletop players, you can connect your Xbox to a projector or a horizontal screen, then stream from your laptop or PC to present virtual battle maps for your players.
The ideas are endless, but the ability to stream from your PC to your Xbox is one of the reasons it’s popular.
The close relationship between PC and Xbox will likely unlock other benefits and tools in the future, too.
6. EA Access
Whether you like EA or not, you can’t deny that they’re often behind the release of several AAA games.
That means that having an exclusive app like EA Access is going to make Xbox popular.
The EA Access app costs $30 a year.
With that amount, you get several benefits.
For one, you can get up to 10 hours of free trials on EA games.
If you’re unsure whether the next shooter from EA is going to be worth your time or not, you can play a free trial of it for 10 hours.
That’s more than enough time to determine whether the game is going to be right for you or not.
Keep in mind that these are trial versions of the game.
As such, the demos don’t reflect the final product.
However, it’s usually a good enough experience to determine the gameplay and direction that the game is going to take.
This can help you save a lot of money by determining whether you want to invest in the game or not after playing the trial.
Even better is the fact that EA releases the trial versions of their games five days before their official releases.
For streamers, this is a great opportunity to get your hands on a game before anyone else so you can give it a go.
Through the EA Access app, you can ensure you’re not wasting money on another broken EA product.
If you’re a fan of the older EA games, then you’re in luck.
The EA Access app lets you find older EA games from The Vault.
You can download and play them and relive old memories.
These games are also full versions.
Finally, the EA Access app also gives you discounts from time to time on older EA games.
If you know you play a lot of games from the company, then the app could be well worth the price.
The fact that it’s exclusive to Xbox is one of the reasons that makes the console so popular.
While some might argue that controllers from other consoles are better, the features of the Xbox controller are certainly what makes the console popular, too.
There’s a lot to love with the Xbox controller.
For one, it has slightly asymmetrical analog sticks.
Xbox chooses to place its right thumbstick slightly lower than its left thumbstick.
This allows the thumbs to rest more naturally, which means fewer cramps.
That’s important for players who game for long hours.
Another great feature of the Xbox controller is its impulse triggers.
During racers, shooters, or any other kind of game, players can receive a few impulses that help the immersion.
They also help improve gamer performance in competitive games since the impulses can help them determine distances and draw strengths.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that people love the Xbox controller is its versatility when it comes to charging it.
With an Xbox controller, you can either plug it into the system to keep it charged or use a battery.
This is an advantage over a controller like the PlayStation controller which only allows you to charge the internal battery.
Once the PlayStation controller’s battery is completely dead, you need to buy a new controller.
That isn’t the case with an Xbox controller.
You can switch out the batteries whenever they completely die on you.
This allows you to buy custom Xbox controllers without worrying about having to throw them out when the battery goes bad.
Due to its comfort, stability, and ability to choose how you want to charge it, Xbox’s controllers are a reason its console is as popular as it is.
Another reason that Xbox tends to be popular is that it’s a more affordable console.
When new consoles come out, Xbox tends to be a hairline cheaper than PlayStation.
Some of the more feature-packed versions lean towards the heavier side, but if you want a basic Xbox that allows you to game and play with friends, then you’ll find an affordable option with Xbox.
Since consoles, in general, are already expensive luxury items, it makes sense that Xbox’s affordability would also make it popular.
Despite its affordability, the console still competes in terms of performance, power, and features.
Thanks to its slightly cheaper price, Xbox is popular.
9. Game Pass
One of the most recent new features of Xbox is its Game Pass.
Game Pass is a subscription service that allows players to pay one monthly fee for access to over 300 game titles.
There are two different Game Pass services that a player can purchase.
The cheapest option is $9.99 a month.
You have access to 300 titles that you can download and play for free.
The second option is $14.99 a month.
It gives you the same access to the 300 titles on Xbox but also includes PC Game Pass, EA Play, and Cloud Gaming.
You’re also able to access discounted games whenever a promotion runs.
Game Pass is a powerful feature because Xbox regularly includes big-name AAA games shortly after they come out.
This means that gamers can play AAA games for almost free.
They only need to pay the monthly fee to have access to them.
That said, you will not be able to access those titles if you ever stop paying the monthly fee.
If you end up paying the fee later, then the titles become available to you once more.
Xbox does change out the available titles from time to time, so you may not have access to a particular game forever.
However, it’s huge line-up of games more than makes up for it.
You’ll find games from all of Xbox’s history in the Pass.
There’s no question that Microsoft is likely looking to double down on Game Pass as one of its major income sources.
As such, players can likely expect more features and games released through the Pass in the future.
For some time, Xbox struggled with its exclusives.
The console became primarily known for its use for social gaming.
That all changed when Microsoft started to acquire big developers and game studios.
One of its biggest acquisitions was Bethesda under ZeniMax.
Thanks to its acquisitions, however, Xbox has become more popular than ever.
Gamers who have a love for certain studios will likely purchase a console or PC to be able to continue to play the games that they make.
Since Bethesda is a beloved game studio, it may just prompt even more players to buy an Xbox along with or instead of a PlayStation.
Since Microsoft operates with both the Xbox and with PCs, many of the exclusives slated for Xbox are also likely coming to the PC.
That said, Xbox players likely won’t feel the need to upgrade to a PC, and PC players won’t feel the need to downgrade to a console.
It’s the other console players that might navigate toward one or the other.
With Xbox’s large line-up of exclusives, Xbox has become more popular than ever.
If Microsoft continues to buy beloved studios, then there’s a good chance that they might acquire even more gamers and Xbox’s popularity will continue to grow.
Is Xbox or PlayStation More Popular In The United States?
In the news, you’ll often hear about how PlayStation consoles are, once again, sold out.
It makes it sound as though everyone in the world is trying to get their hands on the console.
However, that might not necessarily be the case.
In the United States, it’s the Xbox console that is actually more popular than the PlayStation.
Although the margins are slim, Xbox has a 50.18% market share in the US compared to the PlayStation’s 49.8%.
Now, there may be a reason the PlayStation is slightly lower than the Xbox.
When the PlayStation 5 was first released, there was a mad dash to get one’s hands on a console.
With stimulus money coming in from the COVID-19 pandemic, gamers had a little extra cash to spend on gaming consoles.
The pandemic also caused a slowdown in the production process.
This meant that PS5s were hard to find and buy.
Since gamers were unable to get their hands on the PS5, they turned to the Xbox instead.
Another reason that the Xbox might be performing a bit better than the PS5 is that Xbox is an American company.
Since the US is their home turf, they’re able to market it a bit more effectively than the Japanese-owned Sony.
Whatever the reasons, Xbox has a slight increase in its market share compared to the PS5 in the United States.
There are many reasons Xbox is such a popular console.
From its services to its new exclusives, there’s no question that Microsoft is making some moves that are worth watching.
They’re clearly having an impact since Xbox has a higher number of units sold in the US than the PS5.