Daily Reaction: “Xbox One, What Was Microsoft Thinking?”
As there are so many questions surrounding the Xbox One announcement, the Daily Reaction crew of Seb and Dan decide to question a few things that just don’t seem to make any sense.
Dan: With the importance of brand awareness, why on Earth would Microsoft move away from a simple format of naming their console? Especially, by using the title Xbox One, they not only confuse the market about which Xbox 1 they are using, but it is also a lie about it being a unification of entertainment products.
Seb: Yeah, their claim is that it’s because it’s an ‘all-in-one’ device it makes sense to call it One as it’s the one device you need under your TV. But, you need a cable box plugged in to watch TV, and a games console like a PS4, so it’s already wrong. It sounds terrible, and makes no sense… I don’t get it.
Seb: I can understand why Microsoft wants to target a broader consumer base (more people = more sales) as a market strategy. But the thing is, only core gamers and tech people even knew or cared that the reveal event was happening, and they don’t care about TV stuff. They want games. Microsoft obviously have some games in development, why didn’t they show any and at least pretend they cared about gamers?
Dan: Yeah, I also understand the reach for a broader market, but saving that bit of information for a different demographic would have been a much better idea. Getting your new strategy out to your target audience is proper etiquette, but an announcement that has millions of gamers watching who loved played games on your console, is not the place to show your new push to the TV market. There is a chance that we will see a much bigger game presence at E3 this year from Microsoft, but as we keep hearing more about them trying to expand beyond the gaming market, it feels more like they are just ignoring it.
Dan: Television has been around for generations now, and has definitely made advancements in how we go about consuming material, but why would Microsoft think that adding another box is going to simplify an already brain dead activity? Short of not having to find a remote to change channels, people will still need to turn the TV on with a remote (some TVs can be turned on via HDMI though) negating the point of it being a hands-free device.
Seb: There are a lot of stupid people out there, but this device doesn’t make things simpler. They still need to set it up, they still need their cable box and they need to learn a new UI. Really, the only reason I can see for this is that MS saw the success of Netflix on Xbox 360 and realized that Netflix players have no reason to upgrade to a new console. They desperately tried to think of a way to next gen Netflix, couldn’t think of one, and came up with this. But it’s the wrong approach… I don’t get it.
Seb: There’s a lot of confusion over just how the XBO will handle used games, but it is doing something odd with them, we know that much. The prevailing rumor is that MS will charge players, and maybe even retailers, for using used games. Considering how powerful GameStop is in the industry, why the hell is MS risking angering them? It’s a dangerous business move that could see retailers pushing other platforms, not to mention it’s an insult to consumers.
Dan: We have been hearing rumors of the next-gen being the death of GameStop’s grasp over the used games market, but I really never thought it could be possible for it to seemingly come into fruition. As everyone is still unsure on the specifics about how the XBO will handle used games, it leaves us to wonder why Microsoft isn’t killing rumors that are destroying their reputation, if it wasn’t true. Hopefully, as we are still awaiting details on how Sony will be handing used games with their PS4, they will realize just how big of a blowback they will get for following suit. Simply by not doing anything, Sony has a huge market advantage to both consumers, as well as with GameStop, who will be able to get a much bigger return on used products than they would for an XBO game. GameStop really could shift gears from this generation and push PS4 instead of the blatant 360 shilling we have seen over the last few years.
Dan: Even though Microsoft did denounce the presence of having to ‘always be on’, the fact that they are requiring a daily check-in is pedantically splitting hairs, as no one will be just plugging their XBO in to ‘check in’. This requirement, while not an issue for some who don’t disconnect, will still have problems as networks need to be updated, maintained or simply out due to potential hacks. Anyone who has any form of internet outage is left locked out of their system, not to mention there are countries outside of the US that are still building their online infrastructure. What was Microsoft thinking?
Seb: It’s bizarre. The check-in system, which apparently stops you playing games unless you connect every day, is there presumably as part of the used games check. For the average gamer, it’s irritating and puts you at the whims of any server outages, but for people outside of central cities, people in less connected countries, people with consoles in their basements… they’re not going to be able to use this machine. It’s a narrow minded US-only approach, that was only echoed by a reveal event that had US only TV options and US only sports shows.
Microsoft have said that they think the One could go on to move a billion units. That’s more than the 900 million Android phones (and, at most, a family could have two Xboxes, but may have 5 phones). There aren’t a billion US people, let alone households. They’re insane, deluded and arrogant. Who do they think they are, Sony in 2006?
I don’t get it…
Why do you think Microsoft have made the choices they have? Are we going to see big changes to their model at E3? Could announcing more games make up for the decisions they have made? Why aren’t MS being more upfront on the details regarding these issues? Let us know what you think in the comments below, email us at DailyReaction@PlayStationLifeStyle.net or tweet us a ‘WTF’ at Seb and Dan.