“We’re building a response to what I see customers and gamers asking us for.”
Even as the differences between the high end consoles – the Xbox and PlayStation – continue to diminish over time, with both boxes being variants of each other with minor differences, sharing 99% of their games lineup with some exclusives, the strategy employed by Microsoft and Sony with the Xbox One and PS4 continues to diverge by the day.
At this point, it is abundantly clear that Sony are following Microsoft’s strategy with the Xbox 360 to a T with the PS4: create a strong, powerful, developer friendly console, emphasize third party development and relationships, focus on niches such as Japanese and indie game development, create some compelling exclusive franchises, emphasize the console and its experiences as being for the players, but steadily add multimedia capabilities over time, introduce a new peripheral and revision midway through the console cycle…
Microsoft, meanwhile, are doing something else entirely- something that may well be unprecedented when it comes to the console market. Xbox Anywhere may succeed, or it may well fail, but no one can deny its audacity and ambition. But that strategy is not something Microsoft came up with in response to Sony. Speaking to The Guardian, Xbox head Phil Spencer reiterated that Microsoft’s strategy for Xbox is its own ting, rather than being something that was formulated in response to Sony.
“Sony is doing incredibly well with the PS4 but they’re doing something fundamentally different from us,” Spencer said. “We’re not building a strategy in response to what they’re doing, we’re building a response to what I see customers and gamers asking us for.”
This is actually something I believe- whether one wants to argue that Microsoft’s moves here are motivated out of a financial desire to salvage as much as they can from the Xbox One, or because they have a long term vision for gaming that they are trying to enact, or quite possibly both, at this time, it is clear that no one can accuse Microsoft of just trying to ape Sony.