Microsoft has been taken a beating from fans on their Xbox ONE entertainment console. The gaming press has been pretty balanced on this, reporting what was seen and heard from the presentation last week, but get into personal opinion articles on the topic and everything goes in varying directions. Polls on gaming sites have shown that not many are feeling Xbox ONE based on its mostly TV/sports presentation which really made the Xbox ONE look like more of console for an American market than one for a global market. There’s also the privacy and licensing concerns presented by the console which aren’t even issues with the other two next generation consoles.
It’s not even known where else outside the U.S—it’s strongest market—the console will be released. There’s even been one aggressive promotion of the Wii U—something that isn’t in Nintendo when it comes to promotion—on the German eBay’s Facebook as
“Keine Gebraucht-Spiel-Sperren, Kein Online-Pflicht, Kein Gedons” which translates to “No used games blocking, No mandatory online, No fuss”.
Rival gaming company—one Microsoft’s elder in the home console market by one console—Sony have been watching all of this happen. The snowball of public opinion rolled past Sony’s offices prompting Sony CEO Kaz Hirai to state at the AllThingsD D11 Conference that the PlayStation 4 would be focused on catering to gamers first and foremost. “The most important thing we need to make sure we do, at least initially, is that we all agree and understand that the PS4 is a great video game console that appeals to video gamers,” said Hirai. “If we miss that part than I don’t think we get the initial establishment of the console.”
If we remember gaming history of the later part of the last decade, Sony’s PS3 took a while to make waves due to a high price point and oddly enough, promoting itself as an all-purpose entertainment console with its in-built DVD player. This resulted in Sony taking a different approach to promoting the PS3. It seems like Xbox ONE could be following the same route as PS3 especially if the price point is higher than competitors.
While Hirai made it known that the PS4 would be gaming oriented for the most part, he also made sure everyone knew that the console would have non-gaming uses. “We take a look at this first and foremost as a game console. We don’t want to end there. That’s an area we will obviously reveal and talk about in the coming months.”
The Xbox ONE will be at E3 where Microsoft said the gamers would get their showcase. If one were to look at Microsoft as a clever company in the gaming area, they could say that Microsoft decided to get all the fluff and stuff that doesn’t matter for a gaming console out of the way. Liken it to pulling the vegetables off a burger or eating the salad first so you can enjoy the meat. On the other hand, E3 could be a saving a saving grace for a presentation that was mostly panned.
The placing of the reveal does give them a few weeks to change minds and it’s really better they didn’t run with that presentation at E3. First impressions are very important, but Microsoft has an extra life here to make the Xbox ONE not seem like a wonk prize.
Sure there will be some lemons at E3. Last year Sony had the Wonder Book which took forever to showcase, Nintendo didn’t hype the Wii U as they should’ve, and Microsoft had the SmartGlass—which had the better showing of the three flubs, but who has a SmartGlass? Can a company bounce back from a salty E3? Of course, they can. It’ll be difficult since that’s the showcase everyone tunes into. It’s the Super Bowl or WrestleMania with the following big events being more of the Pro Bowl and Survivor Series: important, but not as huge an event as the big events before it.
What do you think of Sony CEO Kaz Hirai’s statements? Do you believe Microsoft will make the best of E3 next week?