Well, the cat is out of the bag. Microsoft IS making a new console!!!! We already knew that though, didn’t we? So why are people so angry? It’s a console that seems more powerful than the one previously. I guess the problems begin after that statement. If the Xbox One was simply a more powerful Xbox 360, would just as many people voice their displeasure by pointing out that “it’s not enough!”? Obviously that’s a moot point, as we’ll never know. As it turns out, and in case you haven’t heard, there are the questions of:
Does the system require an Internet connection?
How does it handle used games?
How much does it cost?
When does it come out?
Tons to this point have been written about these questions. Folks all over have held their faux roundtables and discussed their thoughts and general feelings about these questions.
The problem is, the longer these questions remain, the more folks tend to become more and more polarized about them. I remember reading an article Edge Online published mentioning that the next Xbox would require an active Internet connection.
Edge published this story back in February. That was plenty of time for Microsoft to read consumers reactions, and formulate a response to those that may not agree with these rumored decisions.
So we fast forward to the present. Microsoft reps take turns standing in front of the gaming world, and talk about Sports, TV, and Call of Duty.
Now, this would be a typical hardware announce if not for the fact that several elephants were present in that conference hall at the time of the announcement. Folks tuned into this much the same way that folks tuned into a series finale of their favorite TV show. Folks went into this expecting answers to long asked questions. Instead … well, just rewatch the above video.
So is this really THAT bad? Right now, sure. This is the Internet, and we want answers NOW. Of course, Microsoft may be banking on another truth about the Internet. Namely, “This is the Internet, and I forgot what I was mad about 5 minutes ago because I want to go and be mad at this new thing!”
Who knows? But as anyone with sense will contend, if the games and product are good, then people will indeed support you.
However, Microsoft should refer to console history and take note: Console manufacturers seemed to lose their foothold on that elusive #1 spot based on very complacent decisions. Think about this:
Nintendo dominates the market, but makes a severe slip up by launching the Nintendo 64 as a cart based console at a time where CD’s were the standard. CD’s were cheaper and held much more info, which drove developers to support Sony. Sony’s Playstation was the market leader, carrying over to its Playstation 2. Sony held the top spot by a big margin, but was passed by Microsoft. The reasons for this can be attributed (but not limited to) releasing a year after the Xbox 360 with a pricey system with an unrealized Internet solution. Sony, like Nintendo before them, seemed to leave an opening for their competition. Whether it was Nintendo’s decision to maintain an aging storage medium with the Nintendo 64 or Sony’s decision to release the Playstation 3 as late as it did, at the price they chose, without an online service to rival Microsoft’s Xbox Live, it seems that every major player this Industry has ever seen has made some pretty severe mistakes that cost them dearly.
So what’s the point of this ramblefest? I’m just a person who loves technology. I do feel that this Industry has grown by learning from its mistakes. I hope Microsoft isn’t following the trend above, and lose their market position based on a series of questionable launch decisions. In my opinion, what’s their biggest “questionable launch decision”? Considering we know so little right now, the biggest mistake was not addressing those elephants in the room while announcing their new super machine. With the system due out later this year, the direction of the console is firmly established. Microsoft is fully aware how their new machine is to operate. If you’re going to call a press conference, then do your consumers the service of at least answering their questions.