Here’s to seeing them continue down this path!
Microsoft has had an eventful generation- they came off a very successful cycle with the Xbox 360 leading sales worldwide for most of the generation, and becoming almost synonymous with gaming in many major markets. However, with the Xbox One, a number of decisions, such as restrictive always online DRM, an attempt to crack down on used game sales, selling a weaker system for more money, a focus on gimmicks and media over games, and so on, led to the Xbox One generating a lot of bad momentum and animosity in the lead up to its launch.
Since then, Xbox has recovered, and course corrected to a very large degree- and according to Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, it was the company’s trial by fire in the Xbox’s launch year that allowed Microsoft to learn and grow.
“We’ve experienced these challenges ourselves with Xbox,” Mehdi said in a post on LinkedIn. “With our initial announcement of Xbox One and our desire to deliver breakthroughs in gaming and entertainment, the team made a few key decisions regarding connectivity requirements and how games would be purchased that didn’t land well with fans. While the intent was good – we imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing and new ways to try and buy games, we didn’t deliver what our fans wanted. We heard their feedback, and while it required great technical work, we changed Xbox One to work the same way as Xbox 360 for how our customers could play, share, lend, and resell games. This experience was such a powerful reminder that we must always do the right thing for our customers, and since we’ve made that commitment to our Xbox fans, we’ve never looked back.”
To Microsoft’s credit, they have delivered on fan friendly experiences with most of their moves and services this generation- backwards compatibility, the overhaul of Xbox Live and Games With Gold, Play Anywhere, the rebuilding of the Xbox One OS, the Xbox One S, and more. So far, they have – in my opinion – faltered on delivering games. But maybe that changes this year. Maybe this year, Microsoft announces games at E3 that show us that they are willing to fight to keep pace with Sony and Nintendo.
Hopefully the company continues to listen to fans at any rate.