Is The Xbox One Running Out Of Time?
Up to this point, Sony has made a great reputation for the company and its newest console, the PlayStation 4, while Microsoft has arguably done just the opposite. Microsoft has made fans angry and press laugh with their ridiculous moves. There are fans that have picked their sides, and fans haven’t picked their sides… yet.
The most important part of a console is it’s image. Not only the image it maintains throughout it’s lifecycle, but the one the console makes for itself before it releases. While the image it maintains throughout it’s lifecycle is important in terms of what the news says about it, the image it has before it releases makes up the minds of potential buyers and enriches news deprived websites. I am going to, as briefly as possible, go in to how the Xbox One’s image was destroyed.
In the beginning, the PlayStation 4 had only one bad rumour. Sony decided to patent a technology that would block used games. This started a short news cycle about the PS4 not allowing used games. After this Microsoft announced their DRM and always online policies. Basically what Microsoft said to the public was ‘We are going to charge you a lot of money, for a device that restricts more things than our competitor, and you won’t be able to play games previously owned by someone else. Oh and you will always have to be connected to the internet.’ Wait I forgot one more thing, I apologise. ‘You can connect it to your TV!’
Sony seized this opportunity to make the PS4 the savior of the next-gen consoles. When Microsoft said you couldn’t play used games, Sony said of course you can. Microsoft said you would need to have a constant internet connection to use the Xbox, Sony said they would have no such internet restrictions. Gamers fell in love with Sony and the PlayStation 4, and began to hate and mock Microsoft and the Xbox One.
The time for prices and hardware announcements came. The common pre-judgment was that the PlayStation 4 would be very expensive, and the Xbox One would be cheap. Boy were we wrong. Sony announced that the PS4 would have a $400 price tag and a very nice hardware lineup. Microsoft revealed an odd combination of higher price and inferior specs. The majority of the gaming industry laughed while the other part was busy attempting to defend it.
Now we have gone through how the image of the Xbox One has taken some brutal hits, but what of the future? Will Microsoft be able to pull in the undecided gamers and boost the console sales? Is the Xbox One running out of time? When I say is the Xbox One “running out of time,” I mean running out of time to show why it is not a bad console and why it is not a waste of money. Initially when I asked myself this question, I dismissed it as foolishness and said no. The Xbox One has only been out for 4 months and the first year of a console does not always represent it’s success or failure. After deeper thought my answer changed instantly. Despite it’s young age, the Xbox One is definitely running out of time. Allow me to explain.
In order to grasp how it is running out of time, let’s put ourselves in the consumer’s shoes. The console has only given reasons why you should not buy it. Among the previous reasons…
- You can not play games that were previously played on another console
- You must always be connected to the internet
- You may not disconnect the Kinect
- It is possible you may have to pay more money if a certain amount of people are watching a movie
- It is possible that you cannot block the Kinect sensor so that it cannot pick up an image.
All of these things were scrapped in the end. Only two cons remain presently, but they are significant.
- Hardware is inferior to competing console
- $100 more than superior, competing console
Those are only some of the damage dealt to the Xbox One. The spokespeople used to represent Microsoft in Xbox One events are people who seem to only understand the business side of the gaming industry. When they told us about the Xbox One it didn’t appear that they were telling us how good it was. It felt like they told us that they would sell a $500 machine that we would need to spend even more on to get a decent experience. Not to mention that it’s competitor was $100 cheaper and better. To finally answer the title of this piece yes, the Xbox One is running out of time.
But it doesn’t stop there. Running out of time is not out of time. There are rumours that Microsoft plans to re-image itself in Japan. Microsoft’s appeal usually lies with fans of ‘western games’, thus their audience is limited. Say they were to acquire a core audience in Japan, sales and positive coverage would go up. It seems that Microsoft may be catching on, but will it be enough to stop the clock from ticking? I believe so. What do you think? Leave a reply below.