The Number 350, Not 360; Microsoft’s New Number Won’t Win the Console War

Inferior Specs.

DRM Controversy.

Fake Applause;

Champion of the Console Wars?

There are two things that determine the fate of any product. These things are image and effectiveness. If a product is great, but it has a bad reputation, it will have very low demand. If a product has a great reputation, but does carry out it’s function well, consumers will not seek to waste funds on it. The effect of this principle gets stronger as the price of said product rises. Home video game consoles are not cheap, thus the importance of the reputation and the effectiveness of each device is high. Almost like gum on a shoe, Microsoft seeped to step on new controversies on it’s road to the Xbox One launch. Sony, however, stepped on something else. They were stepping on the stairs leading to the throne belonging to the victor of the Console Wars. As the butt of Sony rapidly descends into the figurative chair of the coveted position, what has Microsoft done to combat this massacre? Is it effective?

Last generation’s global sales of the Xbox 360 came incredibly close to that of the PlayStation 3, trailing behind by around 600,000 units. This is a complete and utter embarrassment. Why do I say this? Hollywood. You may of heard of this place as it’s only the heart of the arts and entertainment of the most powerful country in the world. Guess what? The American video game market is larger than that. Larger than rest the red, white, and freakin blue’s entertainment powerhouse. Despite this, the Xbox 360 couldn’t outsell the competitor. The 360 bid win the “Console War” of last generation was a failure. With the next generation on it’s way, Microsoft worked on it’s attempt go at things. As if instructed to say the first thing that came into their heads, Microsoft had come up with the number to it’s new strategy; One. With a higher pricetag and inferior specs, this initial strategy didn’t work without widespread critical feedback. Where did One go wrong?

One is for mistake after another.

Sony filed a patent for a technology that would block used games. This was the start to a news cycle that revolved around the idea that the PlayStation 4 would not allow used games. Microsoft announced their DRM and “always online” policy for the Xbox One. 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 apologize. ‘You can connect your CABLE BOX to it!’

‘Sports! Sports! Sports!’
‘TV! TV! TV! TV!’

‘Oh we almost forgot video games.’

Following this Sony announced they would have no internet restrictions and that the PlayStation 4 would play used games. Microsoft stuck to their very, very unpopular guns. Sony broadcast a $400 price tag and a pretty nice list of technical specifications. Want to know Microsoft’s follow up?

They stripped it down to a higher pricetag of half a grand and inferior technology. Microsoft revealed a combination of a $100 higher pricetag at $500, and the following:

  • 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.

Here we are now. February 2015, and now the Xbox One is $50 less than the PlayStation 4. What is Microsoft’s latest change in approach?

Microsoft’s new strategy: 350

Ignoring the overwhelming negative pre-release, and post-release, does $50 cut it? Is $50 worth noteworthy inferior graphics? Is $50 worth needing Xbox Live to do anything but play a single player game? The answer for people will very quickly be no. A common attitude among many people in these days is ‘If I’m going to spend this kind of money it needs to count’. $50 more for better performance and free online is worth it, and consumers know it. In fact you may save more money spending more to buy the PlayStation 4. Sparing themselves the burden of a yearly $50 Xbox Live gold membership fee to play online and stream media takes away from the new 350 strategy.

Microsoft is definitely trying hard, launching a directive to reimage in Japan, reaching out to the community for feedback, and yes lowering the price of their console. Sorry to say this is something they have to do in order to remain a respectable contender for Console War victor. Unfortunately going from always online, sports, tv, vague mentions of video games,  fake applause, and $350 will not cut it. Microsoft’s new strategy just isn’t enough.

Do you agree? Disagree? Don’t Know? Let us know! Follow Dual Pixels on Facebook and Twitter, tweet me directly, or leave a comment and let us know what you think.

The opinions expressed in this piece do not reflect how Dual Pixels feels about t as a whole. They reflect the opinions of the author

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Alexander Maier

Alexander Maier

My name is Alexander and I am a News Editor, Opinion Writer, and Nintendo/Sony Analyst here at Dual Pixels. When I write news articles, I write the news and nothing more. When I write opinion pieces, I share my opinion and try to make you, the reader, think. I have an Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, PC, and PlayStation Vita. My favourite genres are RTS, RPG, and Adventure.


  1. phony samestation
    February 26, 2015 at 4:01 PM — Reply

    Starting around August to December the console war will be very close. Why? According from insiders within the gaming industry… Microsoft is planning to release some custom made limited edition Xbox One consoles with Halo, Forza, and maybe Tomb Raider themes. And lets not forget their upcoming AAA blockbuster exclusives in 2015 like Halo 5: Guardians, Quantum Break, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, and Fable Legends. I will predict that PS4 sells will decline during these months because of both Xbox One and WiiU exclusives are going to be more competitive. More competition results in better quality of products. I’am not a fanboy… I own both the Xbox One and PS4. But Phony Samestation sounds funny and I like that name.

    • datdude
      February 26, 2015 at 9:15 PM — Reply

      This just in….you’re a loser. And on top of that, you’re not fooling anybody but yourself. Good luck with that.

      • phony samestation
        February 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM — Reply

        You’re the fool. Stupid Sony fanboy learn about how capitalism functions.

        • datdude
          February 27, 2015 at 10:53 PM — Reply

          Whatever helps you sleep at night. Loser.

    • Revolver Ocelot
      February 28, 2015 at 1:38 AM — Reply

      You said that at launch with your mediocre launch games, which did nothing.

      You said that last March with Titanfall, which did nothing.

      You said that when they unbundled Kinect, which did nothing.

      You said that last E3, which did nothing.

      You said that with your mediocre holiday games, which did nothing.

      There appears to be a pattern developing.

  2. Deadred
    February 27, 2015 at 3:24 AM — Reply

    What a shit article, quoting policies that are long gone just comes across as being a douche bag. Hey why not bring up Sony’s rootkit debacle, or that everyone whinges about Xbox paying for timed exclusives when this is exactly what Sony did during the original xbox/ps2 time. Sony is no saint, and would of happily announced DRM in the PS4 if there hadn’t been such a backlash against MS. Here is one simple fact, neither Sony nor MS care about you at all, they are companies doing whatever it takes to increase their bottom line. Sony is not ‘gamer friendly’ it is Sony friendly.

  3. phony samestation
    February 27, 2015 at 1:14 PM — Reply

    This just in… Nintendo 3DS has outsold the PS4 and Xbox One sells has risen around 18% just think about with truly AAA exclusives coming to Xbox One and WiiU later this year those weekly sells will be incredibly up for those platforms.

    Xbox One exclusives:
    Halo 5: Guardians
    Quantum Break
    Rise of the Tomb Raider
    Fable Legends
    Forza Motorsport 6
    Viva Pinata?

    WiiU exclusives:
    Star Fox U

  4. Revolver Ocelot
    February 28, 2015 at 1:37 AM — Reply

    How low can the Shitbox go? I’m feeling $299 by the end of the year.

  5. phony samestation
    February 28, 2015 at 2:26 AM — Reply

    I guarantee Xbox One will be the best selling console by the holidays. Sony has failed and lied to gamers. We are already seeing in how both Xbox One exclusives and multiplats are outperforming the PS4 versions. From GTA 5, Destiny, Diablo 3, the Crew Xbox One versions are superior in resolution but most importantly on frame rates. That’s why I bought an Xbox One and keeping my PS3… this time around I’m going to skip Sony’s console.

  6. phony samestation
    February 28, 2015 at 2:29 AM — Reply

    Microsoft is an American/British company… So buy an Xbox One and support western civilization.

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