When the Xbox One was initially announced, to say that it got mixed results is an understatement at the very least. While plenty of gamers were excited for the new hardware and games, Microsoft’s policies regarding the newly announced console certainly made consumers nervous. The level of DRM, network requirements for daily network usage to maintain the ability to play games resulted into plenty of excited fans become much more suspect of the newly announced console.
This gave Sony an initial advantage at events like E3 and the Tokyo Games show, but while this was all happening Microsoft had noted their customer’s reception. Even with the changes to their policies, The Xbox One is still lagging behind in pre-orders as well as support for the hardware in comparison to their competition’s new hardware. Can this all work out in Microsoft’s advantage though? The strongly adverse reaction from plenty of people within the gaming community certainly got people to take notice, and Microsoft is incredibly unlikely to release a product of this caliber to the community without being able to compete.
It may be a bit of a stretch to remember for most of us, but try thinking back to when the original Xbox was released, way back before the controller design and the apprehension that people had about the console. We’d somewhat recently seen Sega’s departure from the console market after the Dreamcast failed to wow, which is unfortunate, because in many ways Sega was ahead of the game, maybe a bit too much though. So When Bill Gates announced that they’d be entering the console race, folks were excited, but definitely nervous, especially since Sony and Nintendo seemed to have the console market on lockdown.
"Even though the Xbox One is currently trailing behind the PS4, we have to remember that there are plenty of games that are cross-platform that people are excited about. Games like Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, and Metal Gear Solid V are all coming out across the PS4 and One."
When Microsoft first entered the market, they excelled at gaining new customers and that’s because of the game as well as the services they’ve offered and in many ways were the first to bring modern, online gaming to console gamers. Microsoft has always been able to crack into a market, whether it be computers, phones or games consoles.
Even though the Xbox One is currently trailing behind the PS4, we have to remember that there are plenty of games that are cross-platform that people are excited about. Games like Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed, and Metal Gear Solid V are all coming out across the PS4 and One. So if you’re favorite exclusive titles are on the Xbox family of consoles, you’ve still got plenty to look forward to, even if Microsoft’s initial announcement made you a bit wary of the coming console.
There’s no real doubt that all the attention the One received was not the typical, good kind of attention that Microsoft may be used to getting in regards to their consoles. The reaction that the public had to what amounted to mostly policy issues and quite honestly have been addressed. Things like no requirements for online play by the console itself makes the console itself much more appealing. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that developers or production companies won’t require an online handshake to make sure the game you’re playing is legitimate, but it does mean that Microsoft is not enforcing this. Frankly, it is not the hardware manufacturer’s job to keep track of another companies software. If that’s something they wish to do, it is an expense that should be taken by the developers, not the hardware itself.
"Microsoft does appear to be really working hard to sway public opinion on their new console and they aren’t doing too bad a job either. With the major policy changes and a good line of exclusives coming out, like Quantum Break and Titanfall really make this console appealing."
The knee jerk reaction from the community was certainly overblown, the console is certainly not going to be the end of gaming as we know it and it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft is trying to forever change the landscape of gaming in an adverse way. What people seemed to forget during this announcement of the Xbox One is that Microsoft is really trying to make a killing on this console. Not only are they trying to increase their market share, they want to outdo their competition’s share too.
What the customers are seeing now is Microsoft really starting to compete. The company is most definitely aware that they’re trailing in the new console generation. Microsoft announced free games from the time of E3 until the release of the Xbox One. If all goes well too, this temporary bonus may even become a mainstay of the service. From what we’ve seen so far it’s very likely that it’s going to be here to stay too. Sony is already doing this on not only the PSN for their PS3, it also applies to the Vita. Not only that but, Sony has already said they’ll be carrying this over to their new console.
Microsoft does appear to be really working hard to sway public opinion on their new console and they aren’t doing too bad a job either. With the major policy changes and a good line of exclusives coming out, like Quantum Break and Titanfall really make this console appealing. While it is at a higher price point, it does include the motion connection option right out of the box, which is great for gamers who do want that as an option. The changes in their policy and how gamers interact and use software on the console is probably the biggest advantage they’ve got going for them at the moment.
The spirit of cooperation and admitting they’re wrong to customers, about what they thought the console represented, and what they thought the fans wanted. Even little things that gamers may not readily know about will help Microsoft gain traction. Policy changes like not requiring indie games to register with publisher is one of the little improvements that Microsoft is making as they try to garner more support from not only gamers but indie developers.
"Microsoft’s got some steep competition and it was unfortunately their own fault. The policies coupled with the more expensive hardware managed to be the best, day one advertising for Sony that they could have asked for."
Microsoft’s really got an interesting opportunity right now, and in some ways, a unique advantage too. People aren’t expecting Microsoft to be so flexible now, and we very well may hear of a price drop for the Xbox One sooner than the PS4. This will make it much more appealing in the long run. While Microsoft hasn’t said anything about this, and while it isn’t likely there will be a price drop by the release, or the beginning of the new year. That’d be asking a bit too much anyway. Microsoft is also looking to break even, or make a profit right away in this console battle.
Fans of the Xbox brand are still going to be getting some great titles that, for now at least are exclusive to the One. It’s also a good option for gamers who are also into other forms of entertainment, things like the option to connect your cable TV to the console as well as the partnership to deliver games to their consoles does make this hardware more attractive to a person who is looking to invest in a device that’s more of an entertainment hub than just a gaming console.
Microsoft’s got some steep competition and it was unfortunately their own fault. The policies coupled with the more expensive hardware managed to be the best, day one advertising for Sony that they could have asked for. The quick reactions from the community definitely put Microsoft at a disadvantage to being with, but they’ve been working hard for the last few months to change the image of their consoles, while Sony is coasting off of the steam they’ve gained from the summer announcement season. What consumers should be paying attention to now is how Microsoft was willing to change everything from the ground up that they could.
Gamers should be viewing Microsoft now as a company that’s willing to change their stance to fit what the consumer needs out of the products, which in the end is just going to win over more customers. It’s not a cheap endeavor to invest in new console hardware, and they aren’t necessarily quickly adopted by everyone since there’s not as much of a new game market for them yet, especially that would be exclusive to either one or only both of the new consoles. Microsoft has an advantage in offering non-gaming related services, which is something that works out in both the short and long term.
The Xbox One is definitely not a bad choice for a new console, it may just not be your first. The knee jerk reaction of discontent with the One definitely did some damage at first, but now I think that consumers will be surprised by the changes that Microsoft has made. This is something that people should take note of when investing in a new console, and even if you’re getting the PS4 now, there’s no reason to necessarily rule out the Xbox One for future options.