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Pixie The Fairy avatar 8:06 PM on 05.31.2013
Looking at the bright side of a dark future.

Okay, so my last post was a bit on the grumpy side about the Xbox One. Let's look at the bright side for a moment:

Those that fight what consumers want will fail and fall to a someone that didn't. A new market leader or familiar face may emerge to embrace what other corporations have been fighting or to establish the new business model those corporations wouldn't. This has happened a fair bit in the last 15 years. Sony has learned this lesson time and time again. I'm not sure they've really learned it or they're just faking like they did learn right now, but whatever the case might be I've learned the lesson.

Microsoft was apparently sleeping in class, though, so let's just review here, shall we?

Sony once banded with other big record labels and the RIAA to fight off the MP3, filesharing sites, the burning of CDs and they did this all because they liked things the way they were. They liked the money they made on CDs and didn't want the revenue to change. Additionally, the very fact that people were downloading and popularizing music by artists the record labels were not pouring millions of marketing dollars into terrified the industry. The recording industry was spending beyond their means.

Sounds a bit familar, doesn't it?



So in the grand scheme of things MP3s, filesharing sites and CD-ripping were scapegoats for the real problem - the recording industry. Rather than change with the times, accept less money through different and additional revenue streams and give the consumer a better deal the record industry chose to fight their strawmen. That's how Apple resurfaced as the force they are now. Apple saw a market the recording industry was neglecting and established the new business model the big record labels would not.

Sony, Hollywood and video streaming? Lather, rinse, repeat. This time many new options surfaced like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Video after Youtube emerged on the scene. And again, overspending and overmarketing were bigger problems that any feature-length movie uploaded to Youtube ever was. 



Anyway, Sony's been down the dark road Microsoft apparently wants to walk down. Maybe Sony will walk down it again, but after so many times of having to learn this lesson I would hope they know better at this point. Sony's had plenty of chances to.

Each time corporations fight the consumer and look for scapegoats some old innovator or fresh face has emerged to give consumers what they want - take comfort in that. While the gaming industry proceeds to suppress used game sales and possibly prevent you from putting a great game into the hands of a friend - someone is looking at a better way to get games into the hands of everyone and the company that figures that out will walk away an industry leader.

It could just be as simple as not running your business like a total douchebag. Nintendo, Valve, GoG and Green Man are all pretty awesome in that regard. That's why they'll get my loyalty and business this upcoming generation, so its not going to be all bad news, I think.

Much of what's coming might not be pleasant, but its looking like this industry is condemned to repeat history and that's actually a good thing in the long run.

 
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