Now that the Xbox One and the PS4 are nearly identical in terms of feature sets and policies, Microsoft is going to have to go back to the drawing board in order to stand out. I have a few suggestions towards that end, so here goes.


* In a more limited fashion, bring back the family share option. If you must, make it something that you can only access from an even higher tiered pay wall structure, Xbox Platinum or some such. I don't need this feature to have a list so large as 9, but it should be at least akin to the family gold plan. In that setup, up to four family members were enrolled on gold subscriptions. With the Platinum version, limit access to features like multiplayer in shareable games. Or lock achievements on single player campaigns for those I'm sharing the game with. This will help ensure that if someone on my family list likes a game enough to want to play more than say, 10 multiplayer matches, they will buy their own copy. While at the same time giving them a much better feel for games before purchasing. We like good multiplayer, and we like achievements, this will help sales,guaranteed. While you're at it, I say again in the strongest possible terms, get services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video out from behind any kind of pay wall. There is absolutely no excuse for those services to be unavailable to Silver members. Not with every single other device in existence streaming them for no extra charge.


*Your are a global powerhouse, if you want things like Smartglass to succeed, start making well thought out deals that make sense in more pragmatic ways. For example, I have the Smartglass app on my Kindle. I often buy game guides for large open world games like Skyrim or The Witcher 3. What I would really like is to see you strike a deal with Amazon and Brady games to bring me digital versions of those game guides, complete with Smartglass functionality. Maybe while connected to my Kindle, the guide knows where I am at in the game and in real time can give me tips, or hints to help me find that last collectible. Pragmatic, useful, and something that isn't going to work nearly as well for the Wii U or Sony's vita connectivity.

*Continue to add value to your premium subscriptions. You rested on your laurels for a long time in this respect, and now sony has overtaken Xbox Live in terms of value, even with them sticking multiplayer behind a pay wall. You're going to have to spend some money here for a while, but it will be worth it. Make so that Silver members only get a 5 dollar discount for digital downloads, gold members $10 and Platinum members $15. do it in the same basic way Walmart sells new DVD's in the first week of release. Have the discounts apply for the first three or four days, to reward first adopters, then bump it back to full price. And make sure as older games get cheaper, that you have price parity or better with brick and mortar stores. Two free games a month is a good start, but you need more, and frankly, the new system won't have any OLD games for you to give away yet.

*Roll the Brinks truck up to those developers and publishers whose 360 games were huge hits, and pay them to alter the coding enough in games like Borderlands 2, or Crysis 3, to be sold as  massively discounted digital only downloads. Since the Xbox One has a much more PC like architecture, this should not be very expensive or time consuming for those developers, since they already have PC versions of those games. Getting the jump on Sony's Gaikai service would be huge.

*Start looking at upgrading the components in the box. I understand that the first run of consoles is what it is, but achieving hardware parity with the PS4 will be important down the line. Just don't wait too long.

*This isn't something I personally care about, but a lot of others do. You need to open the system up more to Indie devs, and repair your relationships with them. I have a hard time giving this a lot of weight, but that is because I don't purchase most smaller games. A large portion of your fanbase does however, and you can't let Sony corner the market on smaller Indie games. Which they are doing as we speak.

*As soon as humanly possible, include the ability to control my DVR the same way I can switch channels on the system. TV functionality is incomplete without it. If you want to try and sell this as an all in one device, make it an ALL in one device, not a mostly in one.

*Don't lose sight of the vision you had in mind. Gamers can be a short sighted, knee jerk, closed minded lot. Giving in to their every whim is not a good idea. Lead the way into the future, but don't force it either.

*Explain in detail what your cloud capabilities are. There is a lot of confusion. find someone  that can readily explain why it is a stand out feature of your platform in easy to understand , no nonsense (anything resembling marketing hype qualifies as nonsense) terms. Let us know EXACTLY what it can do for the games we play.

*Get as many of your heavy hitter exclusive games out as quickly as you can without sacrificing quality.

*Put out a subscription model of the Xbox One. Announce it well before launch, price it under the PS4. I'll pay full price for the lower subscription fee, but a lot of folks will just see that initial price tag. Make it lower than the competitor.

Give everyone as many reasons as you can for why the Xbox One is the true next gen experience. Without some serious differentiation, yours is just a higher priced box with prettier graphics, as opposed to Sony's more affordable box with prettier graphics. In terms that stark, what would you spend your money on, Microsoft?