The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
We may all be getting geared up for the next generation of home consoles, but that doesn't mean there aren't glaring holes in the games of even the largest companies. I'm going to attempt to layout a gameplan for each of the big console manufacturers, publishers, and finally the industry as a whole when it comes to moving forward. Keep in mind that this is just what I think they need to do in order to be successful, your opinion as well as what they chose to do may be completely different.
Where They're At
At the start of this generation Microsoft was a relatively small player in the videogame industry. Sitting in their laps was what amounted to little more than a larger, slightly upgraded and rebranded version of the Sega Dreamcast that they collaborated with Sega to develop just a few years earlier. Xbox Live was little more than a shell of what would become a revolutionary online platform. While most people likely thought that Microsoft would play a larger role in this generation, it's highly unlikely that anyone predicted they would outpace the established brand and large stable of high profile exclusive titles that was Sony's Playstation.
Fast forward to the present and Microsoft holds a lion's share of the online gaming space for home consoles. The reason for that is up for debate, whether it be Sony and Nintendo's relative neglect of their online services for at least the first half of the generation or Microsoft's extra year with a console on the market. While they may not be the all encompassing kings of this generation that they claim to be, they have still put up fairly impressive sales numbers for a company launching at the start of a generation for the first time. That's not to say they haven't tripped up along the way though.
The Xbox 360 launched with some fairly serious hardware issues. Enough issues that they redesigned the motherboard specifically to fix overheating issues that caused consoles to experience the now infamous "Red Ring of Death". How those related failures factored into their overall sales is a question that we likely won't be answering anytime soon. Also lacking at launch were HDMI ports, sufficient HDD storage space, and built in WiFi. All of this is coupled with some not-so-user-friendly dashboard revisions and lack luster support for their motion peripheral. While they're far from on the verge of disaster, there's certainly room for improvement.
What They Need To Do
The Xbox 360 has a strong following, tight - if slightly barren - online service, and a boatload of money backing it. All of this is fine and dandy, but doesn't make for a complete package. There are a few area that I think Microsoft could at the very least consider when readying their new console for the market.