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Power Member - Level 8
Back again all, and ready to type.
As most of you who have seen or heard from the Sony press
conference have heard, Sony won. Now I won't lie and say I haven't always
preferred them, but I think it's important to think about why they won, and
perhaps examine how Microsoft could step up their game. Competition is good,
and Microsoft needs to get its head out of its ass if it wants to ensure we
reap the benefits of said competition. I figure the best way to do this, is to
examine why Sony is winning in the court of public opinion. Obvious to some,
yet still important to try and begin dialogues to see how everyone feels.
Sony's used game
This was the most surprising part of the presentation for me,
as I expected some form of control, at least on a publisher level but nothing
was mentioned right now. That might be to ride the PR wave that has buoyed Sony
to this point, or it may be something that will never pop up but I think it's
great. By doing this not only does Sony alienate no core gamers or push
away Gamestop, but it actually encourages them and reaps the benefits of that
love they will get, when store shelves need stocking.
Now where Microsoft went
wrong with this is how blunt they were. I think Sony is playing the long game,
slowly making obsolete used games with a better service and fazing them out
later, when they have a more comfortable position and can either afford to take
the PR blow or when their customers are so much more satisfied with new product
they don't want used, though there will always be holdouts. Whatever your
opinion on this, it's important to note that by doing this they will sell a
good amount of systems, and garner good will, but over the long haul will
achieve that goal of killing used. Microsoft jumped too early, and too hard,
making it easier for Sony to turn the public against them. Microsoft desired
the result now, and instead of being clever they simply bluntly stated they
were doing it and provided so much misinformation as to create a worse image of
their product. That hurt their image, and on that subject.....
Sony vs. Microsoft in
the sphere of hardcore gamers
Ah yes, anyone who pays attention to games at all hated what
Microsoft was doing, on different levels obviously, but it was the way they did
it they pissed us off. This attitude of we need to force you to do because its
ultimately good for you permeates Microsoft's corporate culture from windows 8
to the Xbone, and it's not earning them goodwill. But their mistake was not
doing all this per se, it was doing it so ham handedly while alienating those
who tuned into their conferences.
Their pre-E3 conference was all about cable,
TV, *** we don't care about when we tune in. And it was mainly us tuning
in, because what casual audience tunes in to a middle of the day conference
from a gaming company? No this was their chance to woo gamers, but they spent
it on non-game stuff and made it seem as if this game system wasn't for us, and
that made it all the more unattractive. Additionally Microsoft's frankly
shocking lack of information or indeed misinformation spread and made the
system look even worse than it is, and it's already a very unappealing system.
That conference foreshadowed the main issue with Microsoft philosophy, namely
Sony was all about
Yeah, there was a bit in the Sony E3 conference about media
other than games. It took five-ten minutes.
Let that sink in, while thinking about Sony's E3 last year,
regarding a certain WONDERBOOK.
That was real.
See the issue wasn't a lack of supply of these features, it
just pissed us off that while at the Sony pre-E3 was all about games, and the
Microsoft pre was not. And when gamers tune in, we want to know about the
games. And Sony delivered, and delivered again while Microsoft talked only
about cable and sports tracking at its pre. And while these are actually not
terrible, in fact some could be very cool, they should've released this as a
press release, not as an event that only gamers would ever watch, pissing off gamers
even more when they didn't get enough games.
Microsoft mishandled its info and
only presented features that while nice weren't what we came to see. And that
lost them some goodwill, even though these features might be useful. Its
messaging came off as schizophrenic and that really hurt them, allowing Sony to
ride the wave of love that came in even though they didn't release all that
much info about their own system, which had the potential to be worse. And Sony
used that to their advantage, not even having to put out all that much PR, and
indeed mocking the Xbone at their own conference, firing direct shots and not
even trying to disguise it.
Simcity. Simcity is a lesson in not learning your lesson, a
lesson that Diablo III taught before even that, and one that Microsoft fails to
see which will be to its detriment. If its servers ever fail, it will mean not
only will online multiplayer be disabled, but unlike the PS3 outage crisis,
games will be disabled as well. The system has to check in every 24 hours, or
no games for you. And considering the *** internet a lot of the main
demographic of America has, that means it will be a no go for those without
internet. Yes, some will say we all have internet nowadays, but some of it is
sporadic and some of it doesn't work. If you buy a PS4, however, you can play
offline, and the PS+ benefits you wouldn't get anyway won't allow you to play
multiplayer you couldn't play anyway. But that's optional, and considering the
fact that Microsoft hasn't even brought up Microsoft live yet, which you will
have to pay for most likely, that should worry those who like to play, even
when the internet goes down or Microsoft's servers break. And speaking of that Xbox live, and PS+,
those are added onto the cost of a system. This is yet another problem for
How things have flipped. With the Xbox One at 500 dollars
and the PS4 at 400 dollars we see an interesting flip in perspective. Yet this
doesn't include the multiplayer fee, which brings PS4 to 460, and the Xbox one
to.....no one knows. And since they aren't bringing this up, that means you may
be paying upwards of 500 dollars for something that can't play games if the
servers die or if you lose internet for more than 24 hours. And that's going to
be a hard sell.......
What to do?
Microsoft needs to act, and it needs to act fast. I like the
competition it provides, hell it made Sony give us rainbows and Easter eggs
when alone it would've been a far grimmer market, but they need to start
changing their approach. It needs to be all about the games, which they may
have started to do, and they should really consider cutting some of the online
requirements, at least for now. But if they don't do that, they need good
bundles, cheap or free Xbox live, and they need to get their *** sorted out,
or risk taking a painful kick to the groin, because though I believe the system
will sell well, perhaps better than the PS4 which would be tragic considering
how pro gamer it is, it must always remember it could've done better. And them
not doing well is no good for any of us. And that's why unless they step up
their game in other areas, things may be a bit bleaker ahead for the industry,
though collapse is not something I predicate on a wide or small scale.
Share your opinion in the comments; I would like to hear
opposing perspectives, things I may have left out, or possible avenues for
either company to take, for good or for bad. I look forward to the sparring match.