Quantcast
What would you do if you were Microsoft today? - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android



What would you do if you were Microsoft today? photo
What would you do if you were Microsoft today?

5:30 AM on 06.11.2013

Consumers bail the impasse


There is little debate over who "won" E3 this year: In our internal poll following the conference most of our readers chose the PlayStation 4 as the superior contender.

Sony put on a quite a strong show, came $100 under Microsoft's next-gen offering, and reassured gamers that no online or DRM restrictions or used game policies would impede them from enjoying their console. Still, to say that Microsoft has lost the battle would be underestimating one of the most capable companies around. The Xbox One launch is still several months away and there is time for the Microsoft PR machine to get their act together.

Now, imagine if you were in that hot seat tonight in Redmond.  You've got a gazillion dollars to patch that hole in the wall. How would you "fix" this?

The next-gen console wars, as one PSN brand manager put it, is a "game within a game", a real-world chess battle between two longtime adversaries. Coming to E3 to watch this drama play out is one of my favorite things to witness as a games critic, and tonight's climactic turn of events was great theater. What sort of defensive strategy might comfort the core gamer to think more favorably of the Microsoft machine?

Code Yellow: Microsoft needs to add more context and value to that $499

It would be unlikely for the Xbone to magically drop a hundred dollars to match the PS4 toe-to-toe on price. What might be more realistic is to bundle in digital content that makes the system seem more robust out of the box. For example, what if the Xbox One came with a year of Xbox Gold and a handful of digital download titles of your choice? That's a hundred dollars in your pocket you get back the moment you plug it in. It's already on their mind.

Yes, the Xbox One has great exclusive franchises, but so do Nintendo and Sony. Back in the 16-bit era Sega went to the mat to justify their more expensive machine. Pick that fight and make it good. Give that loyal Xbox fan a legendary vernacular to make your case.

Code Orange: Always on DRM should be the default. Force studios to switch it on

People hate this with a burning passion.  We want game ownership. Period.

Microsoft could side-skirt the whole DRM thing more gracefully by turning it off by default. Just as with our PCs, the capability is there -- we just assume most games don't go there.

A move like this puts the onus on companies to pick that fight with gamers on a case-by-case basis, like SimCity chose to do, and we'll pick that fight with the game maker when they flip that switch. Instead of a global 24-hour ping, make it on a per-game basis and be good about putting an ugly sticker on boxes of games that do that so we, the informed, can avoid them.

Of course, Microsoft has said their console must be online to work, but this little fib is always debunked in every shape and form. Its not like games are rendered on the cloud. C'mon!

Code Red: Add a new SKU and just unbundle Kinect, geniuses

Humor me with a sweeping generalization: Unless they're nuts about dancing, most core gamers aren't exactly wild about Kinect. I'm sure there is a bar graph somewhere that says the opposite, but its increasingly clear that merchants of doubt will produce anything for a buck. You know, the same people that told & sold you that Wii Fit is the way to living well.

Kinect, like Sony's Move controllers, are a running joke among critics. Kinects is no different than a steering wheel controller: a niche small-cap products. It's an unpopular analogy to Microsoft's people. We tell public relations this at every press event that we just want to drop our #girlwood on the sofa instead of willing our arms around, and they spoon-feed motion waggle back to us like nutritious carrots. Save it for that certain folk who may genuinely be curious about this thing. 

Price aside, following Microsoft's PRISM connection people are going nuts over privacy, and with good reason. There are enough people with mixed feelings about having this device in their home, and forcing them to buy one makes the console less attractive.  Instead, it is simply going to encourage the modders to hack circles around it (and you know that they will).  

Just as it wouldn't make sense to add another $400 to include a Smart Glass tablet with the Xbox One, an optional Kinect is a pawn they must sacrifice in this generation if they don't have a true killer app for it (will we see one this week?). 

Or they could just ride it out

Maybe I'm wrong, and they don't need to do anything at all. Maybe mainstream consumers are so poorly informed of the shortcomings of the system that pre-orders for the Xbox One are selling like gangbusters, and a vague press release sent to investors next week is all the reassurance they'll need. I'm sure its forthcoming and we'll be quick to jump on sweeping adjectives and tricky numbers when this statement hits, which again, the mainstream will gloss over until they take Timmy's Xbox to the grandma's house in the woods for the weekend. 

Microsoft failed to serve up any humble pie during its press conference, perhaps hopeful that Sony would make the same draconian policies and give consumers little option in the way next-gen just is. That didn't happen, and Jack Tretton could have beat them over the head with it today in a far more brutal delivery. I thought he was pretty classy about it, and I'm sure Sony will remain humble this holiday as they prepare for Microsoft's response.

I'm sure someone at Microsoft will pound a conference room table tonight and encourage their staff to stay the course...and that will be as popular as the absence of the Windows button in Windows 8. It seems to me that Microsoft is increasingly confident that it can train consumers to adopt products and habits they're not entirely demanding, and that's the sort of hubris that will cost even the most formidable opponent its game.

What about you, what might you do if this was your console?

Photo Credit: KnowYourMeme






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.







Destructoid Originals

8:00 PM on 10.20.2014
We learned Fiddy doesn't need to move his mouth to swear in 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand

Watch the slow progression of our drunken stupidity as we continue to trudge through 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand. In this segment, I try to make my Bacardi and Vitamin Water cocktail less terrible with lime juice, sadly to no avail. Then Max and I poop a bunch of nonsense from our mouths, as usual.more



7:00 PM on 10.20.2014
We don't recommend eating a whole turkey before you play Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Max and I round out the first hour of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel with groggy, terrible jokes. We also talked about the mysteries of Boz Scaggs. And... stuff.more



5:00 PM on 10.18.2014
We formed a gang called Youngsters With Gumption while playing 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand

Max and I got drunk and played 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand on Destructoid Twitch channel, because we’re idiots. In this installment, the boys discuss Eazy E, Rocky IV, Obie Trice, and ghetto workout videos.more



View all Destructoid Originals






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more