With the release of the latest must-have piece of tech, filming of the unboxing and set up of said item and the uploading of that footage to YouTube, is as much part of the experience as the purchase itself. Microsoft's Xbox One was released on Friday (22nd November), and the company claim that they sold 1 million units in the first 24 hours. A quick YouTube search for the term "Xbox One unboxing" returns around 889,000 results, 19,700 of which are from the last 7 days. Out of nearly 900K videos optimized for or pertaining to, the unveiling of the console, just the one came from Microsoft itself. The rest, a mix of official and unofficial reviews and fan uploads, all contribute to the marketing tsunami that started the day that Xbox confirmed a new gaming console was being considered for market.
While the vast majority of these fan uploads are not going to get more than a few hundred views, they form a vital part of the brand's overall visibility online. It's word-of-mouth propaganda, video by fans made for other fans, a chance to show off their knowledge and enthusiasm and to participate in the collective experience. Of course, the rivalry between Xbox cheerleaders and PlayStation fundamentalists doesn't harm either company. It seems like each mention of either console brings at least two others from the opposing team who are ready to fight their corner. In terms of earned media, both corporations benefit enormously from this rivalry - it's rare these days to see a blog post about either that doesn't mention or invite comments about its competitor. A search on YouTube for the term "Xbox One vs PS4" returns nearly 2 million results. That's a lot of people arguing with each other about who is the better manufacturer.
User-generated content analysts Octoly confirm that for Microsoft as a brand, earned media generates 26x the audience of their official YouTube channels with independent creators producing a staggering 452x more video content than Microsoft. Although there's no official breakdown by product, unboxing and review videos for the Xbox range must form a substantial part of the UGC created around the console, all of which helps to generate the buzz needed to shift units.
We've trawled through some of the best unboxing videos so you don't have to. You're welcome.
The Best Of The Xbox UnBoxing Videos
This is the official unboxing vid from Xbox's Major Nelson. Released back in August, it's pure product porn, designed to tease the audience into a frenzy with a glimpse of all that is possible with the new console. With over 3 million views, it's interesting, but perhaps not surprising, to see that it gets almost as many dislikes as it does likes.
I include this next video to show how YouTuber Ali-A attracted 1,241,299 views and nearly 29,000 comments by creating video content around Major Nelson's footage from above. Building a solid and credible reputation on YouTube means that people will listen when you have something to say, even if you don't have original content to play with.
"Unpacked with Jack" is a super bouncy, technicolour walk through of the unpacking of the Xbox (or the Xbone as the cool kids are calling it. Apparently).
John from Dealspwn dons his glamorous unboxing gloves and gets to work unwrapping the console. I fear for this man's electricity bill with all the gadgets he seems to own and wants to use alongside his new toy.
My favourite video of the bunch. AngryJoe spends a very sweary 46 minutes unboxing and then comparing the console to the PS4. It comes with a ton of background about the Xbox and the decisions regarding DRM etc that have been reversed. Hugely entertaining and informative.
Kim and Hannah from YOGSCAST wind up the Sony fans with their unveiling.
The Achievement Hunter team over at Rooster Teeth get super excited at their unboxing ceremony.