Where Microsoft Went Wrong with the Xbox One?

xbox one

I’ve always been a Microsoft guy when it comes to computing & even for the smartphones, their products have always attracted me,. Although they never became my top choice. In game consoles, however, the scenario is a bit different. My favourite consoles have been Sony’s and I even developed a liking for Nintendo’s products but never did I get such feelings for the Xbox, mainly due to the high price and exclusive game library which apart from Forza and a few others I never really liked that much but that’s a strict matter of personal taste, I agree.

So when Microsoft was on the verge of announcing its next-generation game console, I thought it might all change this time. This excitement, however, evaporated as soon as the console was announced, and even more so in the next few days.

Just compare the console launches and even the features of the PS4 & Xbox One and you’ll see that Sony’s package has trumped the Microsoft package in almost every possible way. It won’t be changing, at all, this time.

Lack of quality console exclusive titles

Microsoft’s Xbox One launch was mostly a hit-or-miss affair. They tried to show that the console was as much of an entertainment centre as it was a game console. That move hit them back, hard, as gamers didn’t got much know-how of the capability and compatibility of the console.

At E3 however they did demonstrate the console’s powers where it really showed its power. The console exclusives looked and played amazingly but PS4’s console exclusives did outnumbered them. And also looked better. The Xbox One will get their own list of exclusive titles too, including the all famous Halo and Forza (which is my favorite racing game of all time), but that’s again a matter of personal choice.

According to Sony, over 140 titles are in pipeline for the new PS4 (including the newly announced The Order: 1886, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Gran Turismo 6), with 100 games coming this year. This will certainly be a worrying issue for Microsoft.

Lots of restrictions

Restrictions are the Xbox One’s Achilles Heels. Microsoft’s self-imposed limitations have themselves created certain question marks over the console’s success.

To start off, there’s the issue of used games where the user will have to pay a small amount of money to install a game from a used CD which I find totally absurd. Also it will have to be connected to the internet (atleast once every 24 hours) for cloud and other services. Connection with the Kinect accessory is also mandatory.

To play games in the Xbox One, the game will have to be installed from the CD to the console hard drive. The problem is that it can’t be replaced with one with a higher capacity unlike the PS4.

If you thought those were big issues, then probably you should think again because both the Xbox One and its games are region-locked. That might prove to be the real deal-breaker for countless people all over the globe.

Price and availability

The Xbox One will be available for $499. Compared to that the Nintendo Wii U’s base model costs $299 while the Sony PlayStation 4, its archrival costs an aggressive $399, a whole $100 cheaper. It won’t be coming with the PlayStation Eye though, unlike the One which comes with Kinect.

But its price, coupled with the fact that it carries more power under the hood makes it an obvious winner. Now obviously, sometime is still left before the launch of both consoles (which is sometime in the fall season) and Microsoft should definitely address these issues in that time.

The success also depends upon the launch date. If the launch date of the One is before the PS4, then it might gain a huge advantage over its nemesis. In the opposite case though, a tough competition is expected.

The One is marketed as being as much of an ‘entertainment center’ as a game console. But why will you buy the thing in a country where Xbox Live, the online hub of the console isn’t accessible and most of the services unavailable, along with the substantially higher price? The answer to the question of the game console being better here seems a no-brainer.

Microsoft can atleast learn some lessons from Sony. It launched its PS3 with an inflated price tag and garnered loads of criticism. It did, however, got some serious acclaim after a redesigned, more competitively-priced second iteration. Microsoft is in a similar, if not exactly the same situation right now. All eyes are on them. If they want to succeed they must act quickly.

  • The DRM policy regarding used-games for the Xbox One was actually clarified later by both Nelson and Spencer. The decision to charge for an activation fee or to put some other restrictions on used-games is entirely on the publisher.

    If the publisher decides not to implement it, then there won’t be any fee. Many people though have missed out on the fact that Sony has played everyone. While they did announce no restrictions on used-games; they have ‘also’ placed the decision on publishers themselves.

    Secondly if I recall, the PS4 releases three week before the Xbox One.

    I don’t think Kinect being mandatory is a restriction. It’s expensive yes but if you saw their E3 demonstration, then the Xbox One is completely integrated with the new Kinect. This is an evolution, not a restriction.

  • Probably the fact that you a Sony guy (when it comes to consoles) is probably the reason you don’t get the Xbox One. Take it from someone who has experience on both sides.

    Microsoft’s decision to implement the online check-ins is only because it is introducing amazing new features, my favorite of which is the ability to share games with your friends and family while you get to keep playing as well. On the PlayStation 4, the only way to do that is to lend your disc to someone so you can’t play the game yourself. But since games are installed on the Hard Drive on the Xbox One, you can share a game with up to 10 designated family members who can play it on a separate console at the same time for life.

    Also, the ability to share Xbox Live Gold with your family members on the same console is a big win for me because previously I had to buy 4 different memberships each year (or the Family Pack). On the PlayStation 4, you’d have to buy PS+ for every family member instead (and online multiplayer will only work if you are a paying PS+ subscriber).

    And having the Kinect always plugged in is a big win (my console is always connected to the internet and Kinect anyways) since it means now a ton of developers would be adding support for it in their games (like demoed at E3).

    Finally, even though I find the $500 price tag a bit steep for the Xbox One, it does have more features compared to the PlayStation 4 at launch (Sony has said that the Gaikai cloud related features will only be available sometime in 2014). Also, the new Windows Azure powered cloud servers augmenting the gameplay is much better than Gaikai’s cloud streaming.

    I’m more partial to the exclusives on the Xbox (the only PlayStation exclusive title I’ve liked are the Unchartered series and The Last of Us).
    At the end though, Xbox One will probably be useless in Pakistan since it isn’t a target market (and my sources at Microsoft say it wont be for a couple of years) and the console might not work from an unsupported region.

    • Sir go fuck ur mother Iam a game designer and have been part of god of war ps4 is best go fuck ur mother with that xbox

  • I never thought I’d say this but including the author of this post (who could probably get some help in the writing department from an 8 year old) along with Uzair Sajid and Saqib have got their facts wrong.

    I would LOVE to correct you all but right now, I don’t have enough time to write a long, detailed post.

    I’d however ask you all to please watch the Sony and MS E3 conferences again, read Don Mattrick’s interviews (post E3) and see what Jack Tretton had to say along with other host of Sony execs regarding PS4 and Sony’s future policies.

    I have had both PS3 and Xbox 360. I have been gaming for a long time and I’d like to see Sony, MS and Nintendo competing for our dollars but frankly, I believe come holiday season 2013, Sony’s going to take a major lead over MS.

    I was at BestBuy and the guy asked me if I’d like to pre-order PS4 or Xbox One and I told him that I have already pre-ordered PS4. He turned to his team member and said, “See, everyone! Everyone I know”. That’s all he said. I believe he was implying that everyone he knew was pre-ordering a PS4 instead of X1.

    MS have set themselves up in a very difficult position. If they can recover from this disaster that was E3, It would be a beautiful and a fantastic story! As it stands (for now), Sony’s won the hearts (and apparently pre-orders) of gamers.

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