Microsoft have always been a contending force in the gaming industry, ever since they emerged onto the scene with the original Xbox in the early 2000’s. While the original Xbox wasn’t nearly as successful as the PS2, it held its own and pushed forward, creating amazing titles such as Halo, and with Xbox Live, becoming the dominant online gaming system, a title that still holds true to this day. With all this in mind, I am predicting that Microsoft will have the best selling, most popular system next generation. Why? Read on to find out.

Aside from their revolutionary online gaming service, Microsoft was incredibly intelligent this generation when it came to the Xbox. They launched early, and, amidst some hardware problems, essentially beat Sony at their own game. Microsoft got third party developers on board, had the easier system to develop for, and continues to this day to be the preferred system for multiplatform games, regardless of exclusive content offered on the PS3.

Some would argue that Microsoft is letting their exclusives get away from them, and with only “two major exclusive franchises (Gears and Halo)”, they’re losing track of their fanbase. I would argue that not only is that statement in an of itself inaccurate, it’s too undermining. In the US,for example, the Fable franchise, for example, has sold over 2 million titles with Fable 2, and 3 million titles with Fable 3, compared to the likes of White Knight Chronicles, a PS3-Exclusive RPG, that failed to hit even a quarter million, or Demon’s Souls, which never even hit one million.

It’s not just RPG’s either. Look at Forza. Forza 2 sold over 2 million, Forza 3 sold almost 3 million, and Forza 4 sold almost 2 million. Compared to the likes of Gran Turismo, which sold a little over 2 million overall. Or, compare it to the likes of Motorstorm. The original Motorstorm sold 1.5 Million, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift didn’t even crack half a million, and Motorstorm: Apocalypse never even touched a quarter million.

The trend here is this: Microsoft knows how to propery market their games and get some money made, which in turn allows the studios to create more AAA games. There’s a reason Microsoft has very consistent amazingly-performing games, both sales-wise and quality-wise. They know what they’re doing.

When you add in the fact that Microsoft offers such an appealing online service that boasts easier access and better servers then the PS3, it’s not hard to figure out why gamers choose the 360. As long as Microsoft continue pushing Xbox Live further and further, and keep it one step ahead of PSN, tons of gamers will choose it for that very reason.

Now, with both Sony’s PS4 already announced to come out at the end of this year, and Nintendo’s Wii-U already on the market, Microsoft has their work cut out for them. But I still believe they will be the winner of the generation overall. They’ve got the games to appeal both to hardcore and casual gamers, they have the marketing experience to make sure their games sell, and they have the history of 2 generations of having the better online experience to make sure that fans of popular shooters like Call Of Duty and Battlefield pick their system, regardless of exclusive content present on the other systems.

Microsoft may seem like they’re losing next gen already with no announcements, but E3 is coming up. We could very well see a next Xbox launch right alongside the PS4, and have a real head-to-head war on our hands.

What do you think of Microsoft’s next gen approach? Let me know in the comments!