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Microsoft's Next-Gen Challenge: Exclusivity and the Core Gamer

OnlySP: As the sun sets on the current generation of consoles, gamers have taken up residence on the edge of their seats, awaiting every tidbit of information and whisper of a rumor. Sony’s recent announcement of the PlayStation 4 might as well have dumped a few gallons of gasoline on the growing inferno of anticipation. Detailed specs for both Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles have been analyzed and compared ad nauseam. In spite of all the attention paid to this proverbial tech-phallus wagging, the horsepower fueling the next generation of consoles will have very little impact over which industry powerhouse will see the most success. The reality is that games are the primary motivating factor behind hardware sales and each company’s next-gen strategy, as it relates to software, will be vital.

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fluffydelusions1249d ago

Exclusives and core would be nice but if it was like the latter half of this gen it will be moneyhatting and casuals =\

classic2001249d ago

That is what I am worrying about, I almost cant trust them. I feel like they might pull another 360 on gamers. Launch with core games and then slowly focus on kinect using the forteleza glasses technology for casuals half way through next gen.

If microsoft can balance everything core and casual properly then I might be able to see myself get an xbox 720 but right now I dont trust them and it might take the entire next generation for me to actual trust them again if they produce core games yearly like sony.

stage881249d ago

Exactly how I feel.
I just can't trust Microsoft. I'm willing to bet their launch line up is good but I don't want to spend my hard earn money on their console only to find two years down the line they've switched back to casual gaming like they've done with the 360.

I will get a PS4 though because Sony have 3 generations of hardcore gaming which I can rely upon.

EVILDEAD3601249d ago

Exclusives was never a real issue in for Micrsoft then and it isnt now.

MS only has to satisfy its core fanbase that supports it's games by the millions and that is all that matters.

They already have one of the strongest line-ups of core franchises and system sellers in the industry.

What matters for next gen exclusive wise will be:

- A strong core of exclusive existing IPS

- A core line-up of New IP. They publicly have pusheed that there are 4 new AAA exclusives in the pipe and we shall see which ones they are at E3.

- A line-up for casual to support Kinect. They already have 2-3 IPs that are strong on the Kinect side that will have a chance to succeed next gen.

The key improvement is they are launching with a Blu-Ray so that evens the odds in that regard.

What could make or break the MS in terms of the install advantage they have in their key regions is the backward compatability.

If they have it at launch, the 720 wil fly off the shelves.

Evil

adorie1249d ago

TBH, I really hope Microsoft wises up and focuses on the core. Maybe the casual audience they're focusing on right now is just because they feel thats what will make them the most money, going into next-gen.

They could repeat the cycle and go fierce as next-gen kicks off.

Tito081249d ago

Honestly, I think Microsoft might get their focus back on the hardcore gamer, targeting them as their first console adopters, & when they get a good enough instal base, then they go after the casuals, sounds like a dirty & smart strategy to me, cause they likely got the memo that the hardcore are complaining a lot about the lack of new hardcore IPs, & at the same time they still want those soccer moms to spend $$$ for their products!

Gildarts1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

Man just look at the number of untitled projects and you will be rest assured that Microsoft won't disappoint us
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

They will keep the Xbox 360 for casuals and Xbox 720 for core.

NYC_Gamer1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

MS will offer core exclusives since they have to please the first crowd of supporters dropping $400-500 on the machine..

egidem1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

Couldn't agree more. They'll do this for the sake of momentum. They know core gamers will always buy the console at any price at launch, before the mainstream casuals jump on the train too.

joab7771249d ago

I dont agree. I used to but i have a new perspective. I think that MS saw what the wii did and what phones and tablets are doing and decided that the money simply isnt in AAA titles. Who am i to argue. MS probably feels that through windows 8 and the kinect they can tap into the tablets market while determining the way we use pcs in the future...and casual gaming will bankroll this. They are gonna take on the wiiU head to head with better tech and a cheaper price point. The icing on the cake will be all those that love the xbox brand. They will roll out 1st and 3rd larty titles and pay fkr exclusivity to keep hardcore gamers at bay, but their objective isnt going to be becoming the biggest most bad ass gaming machine that competes with pc for hardcore gamers. They will want to get alot of these consoles in ppls houses early on so the price is going to be astonishing, i believe. i know i am just bloviating lol, but its fun.

MikeMyers1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

We've seen Microsoft surround themselves with proven franchises like Call of Duty and Gears of War while slowly distancing themselves from less successful games like Lost Odyssey and Kameo. This is what worries me, they seem to be taking very few risks with ip's they market and support.

The Xbox 360 came out pretty strong with hardcore titles that were exclusive like Condemned and Crackdown. We seen that deteriorate over the years. Perhaps they also see Sony struggle with that and have many exclusives that are not big sellers. At least they take some risks. The other problem with exclusives is you don't have as many potential customers to sell to because they usually only sell to a single platform. That's why timed exclusives and DLC became so common instead.

So the question is, do they compete with someone like Sony based on exclusives or do they try and offer a different direction? Nintendo likes to beat to their own drum and I think the market might be better off having 3 different systems that offer 3 different experiences. Sony kind of takes the interest of the Wii U with the Vita combo but Nintendo still has the advantage of asymmetrical gameplay out of the box with every system. The PS4 also seems to advance itself into Kinect territory so they seem to be covering everything. But Kinect had more success (in sales) because Sony wasn't using Move as their main focus like Microsoft did for a couple of years.

Microsoft will need some convincing on their part for me to continue to support them. What I have seen of the early showing of the PS4 is very promising to me, let's see if Microsoft can do the same.

Microsoft can no longer expect Live members to simply stay because their friends are there. Nor can they rely of 3rd party publishers now that Sony is working much closer to them and made a system they want. That means exclusives and some different form of a gaming experience will come much more into play than every before. Aligning themselves with apps and social gaming isn't going to do it imo.

Tapani1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

M$ doesn't feel, it's a corporation. They look at statistics obtained through market research and act according to the numbers.

My guess is, that all companies are going after different markets. Sony tries to expand hard core market and grab it by the balls, while Microsoft goes for casual + TV box + services (basically Wii, but with kinect and loads of desperate drum banging and fanfares in their family ads). Nintendo is most likely going to fall, unless something miraculous happens.

Now, what makes this whole scenario interesting: China. Japanese technology sells well in China; Chinese people blindly hate everything Japanese, with the exception of Japanese tech (and porn,anime,manga and drama), so PS4 has a good chance to expand the market there and do something phenomenal. Plus, gamers are young in China (around 20-35 years old), usually Uni students so they have money (only elites go to Uni in there) and they are informed enough to avoid blind rage and propaganda. They just want to play games.

I honestly believe that the core market will be 1.5-2x bigger than last time around (expecting total of 400-500 million sales for all three + handhelds). Only if China is part of the equation, however. Latin America and some other Asian (including middle-east) countries with emerging economies might increase the overall business as well. (although mobile devices are what they prefer now, they act as a gate towards core experiences)

I'm no analyst, but I am a biz man. And this is just how I see it from a business point of view.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

I think it needs kinect to work according to the guy whos door they busted down.. Also he might get 20 years to life for leaking 720 documents. Which is bull.

"Allegedly, SuperDaE could be looking at 20+ years in prison with a possible consecutive life sentence if convicted."
http://www.eurogamer.net/ar...

I wondered if they considered death penalty for this also.

Knight_Crawler1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

Actually he could go to jail for a very long time.

"Considering its civil laws in this area weak, in 1996 the US Congress enacted the Economic Espionage Act, which criminalised industrial espionage. The Act provides for action to be pursued outside the US if necessary and increased penalties from ten to 15 years maximum imprisonment."

http://www.aic.gov.au/media...

Corporate espionage is no laughing matter and MS is a USA company so America will not allow for other countries to steal MS or Apple secrets - plus the FBI is also trying to charge him for other hacking matters and for trying to sell the the Durango kit on Ebay - that alone is 3 years in prison.

Technology is key and the country that posses the most modern tech will always be on top...look at Korea trying to build a long distance missile rocket but have failed - the USA has rockets that can reach from here to the moon but we no nothing about it.

Edit: In Iran or other Arab countries what SuperDAE did would be considered treason and is punishable by death but not in AMERICA.

JohnnyBadfinger1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

Well considering it happened here in Australia. He will get a smack on the wrist maybe a damages fine... and probably a job out of it. He wont get jail time and wont be extradited to America... our government wont allow it and he will be defended ferociously by them. And because these crimes all happened on Aussie shores Microsoft America cant do shit... other than sue... but thats where Microsofts Australian division will take over.

AngelicIceDiamond1249d ago

@NYC spot on, MS will have to please the crowd of supporters first. And not only that, but MS obviously has a line up of core games anyway.

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greenpowerz1249d ago

Core gaming has never been an issue there has been enough exclusives. Sure not tons of shovelware to fluff up lists.

PirateThom1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

I sold my 360 due to lack of exclusives so, no, there wasn't remotely enough.

Two or three exclusives games that are even remotely interesting does not make for a good exclusive line up, especially when it's Halo, Gears of War, Fable and Forza and nothing else..

The shovelware has become 360's biggest problem since Kinect released.

greenpowerz1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

Sold my PS3 after I beat Killzone when it came out. sat there for a few days and got rid of it. Games are not fun and over hyped.

Don't like Japanese games much unless they're westernized a bit(or grounded) Controller not designed for hardcore gamers(adult hands size and play time duration) The PS brand screams follow the leader.

PS4 reveal was a response to MSFT 's plans I would take Sony's plans with a grain of Salt you guys need to take it down a notch. PS4 doesn't exist No hardware, with games running on PS4 spec PC due to Sony changing the specs.

I couldn't find the article I was talking about in the 720 March Meeting article when I got attacked but I do have something better with trusted(sometimes)media http://n4g.com/news/1179674...

"Durango is a memory monster, shipping with 8GB of RAM up against 'just' 4GB in its Sony competitor. It's an ambitious strategy, made necessary owing to Microsoft's hopes for the new Xbox to be more than just a games machine"

http://www.eurogamer.net/ar...

http://www.vgleaks.com/worl...

This is starting to smell like "PS3 is 10x more powerful than a super computer" "PS3 [email protected]"
"PS3 will launch in winter, no spring, no summer, oh wait fall!"

MSFT has a lot of studios mostly new now working on 720 games. The goal of this generation wasn't to compete with 3rd party devs but to help them thrive building them up enough to stablize their future and to win them over as the platform/brand to go to. MSFT can now do what they're doing because of this. MSFT had announced this strategy before the 360 even launched they modeled it after the PS2 effect.

Virtual_Reality1249d ago

Fable 3 is not even exclusive, is multiplatform (available on PC).

Root1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

@greenpowerz

Good grief

"PS4 reveal was a response to MSFT 's plans I would take Sony's plans with a grain of Salt"

Like how you guys still think MS give a crap about us core gamers, despite them focusing on Kinect for like 2-3 years now. You keep telling yourselfs "They care about us...just you see" and nothing happens, we get a Halo game or a Gears game every so often. Alan Wake 2 will be on the Nextbox but then what...Halo, Gears, Forza and Fable again. Least with Sony you see new and old games and I'll tell you what you won't see another inFAMOUS or Killzone for a while after their next ones come out, they are obviously using old franchises to test the PS4 out and to gain an install base on the PS4, then you'll see new IPs from their studios.

"you guys need to take it down a notch."

and people like you need to wake the f*** up and not be blinded by Microsofts false hope

I'm not a fanboy but it's pretty obviously that recently Sony are the only ones still aiming towards core experiences and staying true to what gaming is all about. You don't need to be a fanboy to work that one out, just a gamer who wants some good core experiences.

"Sold my PS3 after I beat Killzone when it came out. sat there for a few days and got rid of it. Games are not fun and over hyped."

So what about Uncharted, God of War, Journy, Flower, Resistance, inFAMOUS, Heavy Rain, GT5, Playstation All Stars, Dead Nation, Ni No Kuni etc

"Durango is a memory monster, shipping with 8GB of RAM up against 'just' 4GB in its Sony competitor"

You do realise Sony has 8GB of Ram as well

"MSFT has a lot of studios mostly new now working on 720 games."

and how many of them will be Kinect games or games which will force you to add Kinect to have a "better experience".

Even if the launch games aren't all Kinect what about after. They'll just have games to have an install base for the Nextbox and then they will resort back to aiming towards the casuals to buy their new system and put a massive focus on it being a entrainment box.

Seriously come on man, wake up and smell the roses.

I'll buy the nextbox...I'mm a gamer and will want to play on Alan Wake 2 and such but I'm not blind that MS just don't give a crap anymore. With the amount of studios they have and we've had the same games...hell they cancelled Conker 2, Kameo 2 and the Perfect Dark sequel for Kinect....that ticks me off enough

MikeMyers1249d ago

"and how many of them will be Kinect games or games which will force you to add Kinect to have a "better experience". "

Nobody on here actually knows, that's the whole point. But I'm sure that's not going to stop you from fear-mongering until then.

BlueTemplar1249d ago

@greenpowerz are you on drugs?

"Durango is a memory monster, shipping with 8GB of RAM up against 'just' 4GB in its Sony competitor. It's an ambitious strategy, made necessary owing to Microsoft's hopes for the new Xbox to be more than just a games machine"

WRONG! Durango has 8gb of slower ddr3 ram and the ps4 has 8gb of much faster gddr5 ram. This is not a rumour - this is something thats been officially announced.

Dont know why im arguing with you really, you are clearly a deluded mentalist.

ALLWRONG1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

You sold your 360 because of "lack of exclusives" when the 360 has more exclusives than the PS3.

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Cupid_Viper_31249d ago

@ greenpowerz

"PS4 reveal was a response to MSFT 's plans I would take Sony's plans with a grain of Salt you guys need to take it down a notch. PS4 doesn't exist No hardware, with games running on PS4 spec PC due to Sony changing the specs."

The normal fasting period before a colonoscopy is normally 24 hours. I bet your doctor would recommend you fast for a whole week because you're so full of sh!t son.

In descending order, there are fanatics, then their fanboys, then there are crazies, then there's you.

bicfitness1249d ago

"Evangelists".

I think that's the term you're looking for. Blind and fervent faith in something intangible (like the love of a corporation for its customers).

More to the point, MS won't change their hardware; its too late in the game. What was leaked is what we'll get, just like with Orbis. They could add another 4GB of DDR3, but what's the point? The mobo was designed for DDR3 (see the EDRAM) and having more low-bandwidth RAM won't count for much.

grayfoxx8811249d ago

You just can't resist trolling. PirateThom brought up an extremely valid point, one that many core gamers and websites have been echoing for the last few years now, and you seem to think it's nonexistent. You are pathetic.

What's even worse, he makes no mention of Sony or Playstation, but you feel the need to insult people that enjoy that console. Can't you just post something without including propaganda and nonsense?

I think everyone gets it by now. You like MS and Xbox. So do many others on this site, myself included. The thing is, are you so insecure about what other people may like that you constantly have to spew desperate comments? How old are you?

DigitalRaptor1249d ago (Edited 1249d ago )

Sony will bring the awesome with PS4 and for the first time in a generation, they have the support of an outrageous number of publishers, their tech is very very developer friendly (and very very powerful). The "inferior ports" argument will no longer be relevant (or perhaps reversed. The OS complaints will no longer be relevant. The "waiting to play your games" argument will no longer be relevant. They have the Gaikai team on board to develop one of the fastest and most relevant online gaming networks, they have the highest-value subscription service in gaming with Plus, and they will have free online to compliment their premium network expansion.

He's scared that Xbox brand won't maintain the same level of popularity over PlayStation as it has this gen. Sony have admitted past mistakes and put into action a solution that is good for developers and gamers. Their conference proved that, and he's worried that what they showed on the 20th will actually comes to fruition, so denial is the best option. It's THAT simple.

TheSauce1249d ago

Games I think MS will show at the show:

First Party-

Black Tusk's new game
Lionhead's MMO
PGR 5
And 2 other new IPs from various studios

Third Party-

Next COD
Epic Game's Fortnite
Bethesda's Fallout 4
CD Projekt's Witcher 3
And some exclusive content deal

Y_51501249d ago

And of course to show the inevitable new Halo game coming for the system during their E3 show.

Grap1249d ago

they will show at least six exclusive IP. Ryse one of them

Kalowest1249d ago

I love your list and I really want that to happen.
MS wants "Black Tusk's new game(actually 4 new franchise)" to compete with halo and beat it.

MagneticDeath1249d ago

Fortnite is a pc exclusive.

TheSauce1249d ago

Yes but that was said over a year ago and Epic still hasn't shown any footage of it. The game has gone dark. Usually games that go dark have a tendency to pop back up in some surprising places. Much like Watch Dogs.

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ThatKanadianKid1249d ago

Great article. I love a good competition, and I would love to see Microsoft rival Sony in exclusive content next-gen. My 360 is primarily used for playing games with my friends now, and the funny thing is we still play a lot of the exclusives from the early days of the 360. PGR3, The Outfit etc.

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