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Microsoft Doesn't Actually Know What Gamers Want

Disastrous PR debacles have seen Microsoft’s Xbox One console slip well behind the PlayStation 4 in terms of sales, enthusiasm and future prospects. But Mark Butler argues that mis-judged announcements are just the tip of the iceberg.

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finite1147d ago

Like anyone really does, we are such a strange community and we all have difference of opinion.

nicksetzer11147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

Exactly not a single company knows precisely what every one of their buyers are looking for, hence their referral to feedback sites/forums like this.
http://xbox.uservoice.com

MS has already started working on these requests and it's actually pretty easy to see they are listening after comparing this site to reality.

The real issue isn't MS' lack of listening (may have been in the past) but rather a small, but loud, group who make it their goal to turn every move into a negative.

Sony's consistency in view is refreshing though, however, I am just as impressed by Microsoft's ability and willingness to adapt and change to fit consumer needs. (ie. monthly updates, kinectless sku, GPU free up, etc)

Axios21147d ago

As usual there is zero perspective here

Did he ever splint out that one sells in 13 Countries and the other 100?

xHeavYx1147d ago

@Axios
You keep using that excuse? Even if people keep telling you that the Xbox is being outsold everywhere it released? The denial is strong with you, son.

CYCLEGAMER1147d ago

The real issue isn't MS' lack of listening (may have been in the past) but rather a small, but loud, group who make it their goal to turn every move into a negative.

EXACTLY!!! Hit the nail on the head with that one.

MS pitched their vision on what they thought gamers wanted, people spoke and MS responded. However this small vocal group that is bent on hating MS is somewhat succeeding in confusing MS by talking bad about anything MS does to conform to gamers needs and or wants.

DARK WITNESS1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

I don't believe this crap about it just being a small group of people.

I was about as hardcore an xbox fan as you could get in the early 360 life and the original xbox days.

I had no interest in the crap MS was trying to pull off with their original idea for the xb1 and it's policies. Judging by the way the xbox forums exploded at the time and the lacking number of preorders I was not alone.

Make no mistake, MS didn't listen to a small bunch of winning internet warriors, they listed to what mattered most to them, sales charts and projected growth numbers.

When sony finally showed their full hand and gamers could finally pre-order, they made it clear which system they backed. That was when MS started paying attention and making changes to policy.

honestly go look the official xbox forms and the gamertags of the people who were unhappy, these were people that have been on live for years and years.

nX1147d ago

Microsoft is just a huge company that forced it's way into the gaming industry with truckloads of money. Just recently they started to actually "care" about gamers (and indies) when Phil Spencer took over but still, you'll never call them a gaming company. They announced that their focus currently lies on mobiles and the cloud so I don't think Xbox will change that much anytime soon - especially when you still have timed exclusive deals and and no fresh IP's, while the competition grows stronger every month.

kreate1147d ago

@melman

'However this small vocal group that is bent on hating MS is somewhat succeeding in confusing MS '

How is that so?

gangsta_red1147d ago

That's why MS is rolling out the updates that their users has been asking for.

They are making new IP's and bringing out more games like their users asked for.

They reversed a lot of policies that their users asked for.

The only people MS is not (and shouldn't)listening to are the Sony fanboys who keep putting unrealistic expectations on them in their blind crusade to cause an uproar over everything they do.

How can MS not know what gamers want when they are providing everything for their gamers?

vishmarx1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

but you do know what nobody wants.
dlc, on disc dl, drm, microtransactions, always online , no used games , $30 worth of content on a $60 disc,no 3rd party support,objvectively weaker hardware, false marketing, using money not to make new studios and games but to stop games from coming to other consoles.

so by approaching it from the other side we can atleast narrow down who's closer to understanding gamers and who's not

vishmarx1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

edit:eh double post

bennissimo1147d ago

And saying MS hasn't ever cared about gamers until now is hogwash. Bungie and Bioware owe their skins to MS, and everyone benefits because of that past support.

nicksetzer11147d ago

@dark

You are referring to something that many found to be an issue, by small group

I mean the people who say MS needs to do ___ then bash them when they do. For example, they say MS needs games to be 1080p then bashes MS because they helped make sure diablo 3 was 1080p, and claim it is "unstable" because it VERY RARELY drops to 53fps. (Despite the fact that it also drops, again VERY RARELY, on PS4) Or the people who said MS needs to drop kinect, then bash MS when they do.

Basically it is a small group of hypocrites who spend their entire lives spinning negativity in everything MS does.

tgunzz1147d ago

@bloodborn, MS forced it's way into the gaming industry?? I thought microsoft, and sony got in the same way (through existing game companies)?? Sony was hired to help develope the nintendo 64, and MS was hired to help develope the sega dreamcast. Would you mind detailing how MS introduction was forced?

redwin1147d ago

I was fine with the original Xbox, the only thing was the 24/7 signing in, but we would have that overturned . But what is really going on here is a double standard. No Man Sky, is a ps4 exclusive, Xbots did not cry, tomb raider is exclusive, this evil villain MS. People may argue, that tomb raider started in PS, well, why didn't Sony do the exclusivity then? They don't care, they know you will buy other games from their ps4 anyway, and they know that you are more upset with MS than to argue with them about anything, did any of you say anything about the prices in PSNow? If it was MS, forget it, evil MS with their evil $. Seriously ? Is that hard to believe?

AngelicIceDiamond1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

Yeah I was open to reading this guys perceptive. He mentioned PS4 which is fine but of course he starts to compare and state what the PS4 has that's somehow better or over the Xbox.

"Look at Sony’s upcoming exclusives roster, and you can see that they get this. Compelling Triple-A originals on the way include Bloodborne, The Order: 1886 and Until Dawn, while Jonathan Blow’s intriguing puzzler The Witness is coming to PS4 – but not Xbox."

Forza'a big racing franchise that's innovating. He fails to mention Sunset Overdrive this year, Ori And the Blind Forest and that very nice looking Quantum Break showcase.

Scale Bound and Phantom Dust are new and innovative games while Crack down is getting rebooted. Project Spark is new and Rare's brand new games are in development.

As far as I'm concerned MS didn't release a shooter at their launch. Ryse, DR3, Forza and Killer Instinct.

It bothers me when people fail to mention the significant strides MS is taking in its first party offerings. Phil just isn't sitting there and doing nothing about it like some other former Xbox boss.

The Witness is not coming to Xbox if your a JB fan that sucks but there are so many indies releasing its hard to keep up with them anyway and a good amount of them get lost or not mentioned allot of the times.

I'm not taking absolutely nothing away from those PS4 games, but rather his logic and facts have holes in them as well as half truths.

This guy comes off as bitter and snobbish. The Witness is on PS4 and PC...but not Xbox.

Lol ok.

nix1147d ago

@redwin

Sony didn't pay to get the (timed) exclusive. MS PAID to get the timed exclusive.

there is a difference.

jmac531147d ago

Their willingness to adapt is all about the bottom line and less being in the good graces of gamers.

N4GDgAPc1147d ago

Lot of people here forget that when PS3 first came out they got a lot of crap for being arrogant. It took Sony almost the whole life cycle of PS3 to turn it around. Microsoft is going through the same thing now. Sony learned from there mistakes from PS3 and went with a bang for PS4. Microsoft is doing a good job changing from when they first revealed but like PS3 your not going to win someone over. Especially under a year.

SilentNegotiator1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

"However this small vocal group that is bent on hating MS is somewhat succeeding in confusing MS by talking bad about anything MS does to conform to gamers needs and or wants"

Yes, PS fanbois ruin everything; even Microsoft's own vision. It has absolutely nothing to do with the company at large being out of touch. /s

4Sh0w1146d ago (Edited 1146d ago )

I'll gladly take all the disagrees but "listening" isn't always good.

Listening to those that want the status qou vs your vision of a unique product has resulted in making X1 LESS of what it could be. I would take the initial vision of kinect standard in every box, always connected, multimedia entertainment hub, without blinking today. Even if X1 sells less truth is its going to sell plenty to be supported. Sales aren't much different than before anyway. They could also enable the 10% GPU reserve for non dedicated kinect games just like now, it all is available depending on what the dev chooses. Think about how games coming in 2015 could have benefited with devs knowing everyone has kinect and everyone is connected. At the end of the day alot of companies are proud to be #2 while having healthy sales vs close to #1 because both companies have quality products that offer SOME different content but are otherwise very similar.

Listening to folks about adding features that naturally make the product better is great, but those type of changes/updates aren't fundamental to the core vision and would eventually happen like most refinements introduced to tech products.

I like my X1 just would have preferred the original they presented.

LeCreuset1146d ago

I can't believe so many people think MS is responding to a "vocal minority."

Newsflash: YOU are the vocal minority.

wsoutlaw871146d ago

lol really guys? you are going to try to blame it on fanboys? Tell me one leading company that doesnt have haters. Sony has tons of people doing the exact same thing. Have you ever seen it all smiles in the comments on an iphone or android article. No but they still sell and dont blame fanboys. Everyone has them. You would be stupid to think that comments here or anywhere else have any sort of power at all on console sales.

I would say to MS that it isnt just what you are doing now. Consumers develop their opinion of a company and its systems over time and by their image. RROD, charging for live when psn used to be free, switching focus from gamers to kinect, and the lack of any big exclusives at the end of the generation frustrated some people. The fact that they seem to try to change their image/focus when ever they want really hurts them. They tried to change their image from the hard core multiplayer shooter system to the kinect, family system last gen. Then the xbo reveal and everything after that was just bad for them.

Consoles have always had the effect where the first to jump to a sales lead early, keeps getting more because thats what your friends have or what you hear about more. You arent going to announce one thing, or have one good conference and become #1 overnight. I took sony a while last gen to really catch up and not have doom articles written everyday.

redwin1146d ago

@4sh0w, that was so well said, that I think I hate you...

MannGamer1146d ago (Edited 1146d ago )

"The real issue isn't MS' lack of listening (may have been in the past) but rather a small, but loud, group who make it their goal to turn every move into a negative."
And this where you are wrong. Microsoft did listen to a small, but loud group but it was the wrong group, they listened to their blind fanboy telling them it's all ok and we are 100% behind you with DRM, Always Online..
Then when pre order numbers came it suggesting they were loosing the US 2-1 and Europe 5-1, they were like: "But what happen to the people that were saying it's all ok, that kinect is the future, oh non don't tell me they were only a small, but loud group..."
That is why they are having problem now listening because those blind fanboy keep telling them it's all ok while others suggest them what to change. This is why Phil is now the leader because he has a closer relationship with gamers. He has done a good job so far but most people and gamers are not going to forget E3 2013 just like they did not forget Sony E3 2006.
A lot of damage have already being done. What ever good Message MS is putting out now, the competition has already convey that message or make another better message.

Gunstar751146d ago

It's starting to feel like MS are listening to Sony zealots and not so much the people that bought an XB1

dcbronco1146d ago

I think the main problem is a small group of PlayStation fans that cry everytime they don't get something. They aren't really gamers in the traditional sense. They chose a team and they want It to win. But they are shortsighted and unimaginative.
People can say they didn't like Xbox One policies in the beginning. There were things that were questionable. But no one knew the full vision and so its is hard to say if we wanted it or not. The sharing games with friends and family was a good program. You can't just hand it to them if they live in another country. Also the silence was amazing when Sony announced a similar limited program recently. It would require always on. Lets say teh cloud does work. Always on. Parity across all systems. Media device? PlayStation users stream more Netflix than anyone. So that vocal minority doesn't even know what they want or even have.

But this is where I thought always on would have helped gaming the most. And that vocal minority would never be capable of seeing something like this coming. RPGs are a huge genre. But dialogue can be repetitive. Looking at the direction AI is going and using the internet as a source of information like Siri, Cortana and Google Now do. Imagine a AI server that uses the internet and previous player queries to ask and answer questions in real time. Something like Watson that won Jeopardy. That would move RPGs' toward living worlds instead of lifelike ones. But they would have to be always on.

I think Microsoft was trying to give gamers what they want. But if you're competing you can't just blab all of your plans on day one.

r2oB1146d ago

@ angelicediamond

You state it bothers you when people fail to realize the significant strides MS is taking with its first party offerings. Think about the titles you named; Forza, Sunset Overdrive, Ori and the Blind Forest, Quantum Break, Scalebound, Phantom Dust, Crackdown, Project Spark, Ryse, Dead Rising 3, and Killer Instinct... 11 games, only 3 developed by Microsoft. How does your list lend itself to your point of significant stride in first party offerings?

Microsoft has been reactive rather than proactive with pretty much everything, which is a clear indication of not knowing what the majority of gamers want. Sure they have made 180s for the better, but it's always after heavy backlash, hardly ever before.

The fact that the Xbox One is so different from its original vision, shows that Microsoft was less concerned with understanding what majority of gamers wanted and more concerned with telling us what we wanted.

Perjoss1146d ago

Well so far this gen MS has crossed off 3 things from the list, DRM, TV and Kinect, so I guess they are at least moving in the right direction. But I really dont know about this trial and error approach they are going for :P

Tito081138d ago (Edited 1138d ago )

@tgunzz- Sony helped Nintendo with the SNES, not the N64, learn your research.

+ Show (25) more repliesLast reply 1138d ago
DARK WITNESS1147d ago

Well... I'll take a shot at it.

Here is a hint MS, the clue is in our name "Gamers"..

We just want "games".

Granted we all want different types of games, but if you cover all bases, you should do ok.

Now where MS seemed to have got it wrong, they focus on one group that want one type of game and neglect the other group that want a different type of game.

That's just my opinion though... F2%^6k what do I know, I am just a gamer :/

nX1147d ago

I think the Tomb Raider deal shows just how out of touch and business focused Microsoft is. They forced this game to exclusivity just to have a few months advantage while they could have used that money to build up own IP's. Now Xbox gamers get early access to a multiplatform game and only more Halo and Gears, two franchises that dropped in quality with their latest entries.

HanzoHattori1147d ago

Agreed. No one pays 400 dollars for a gaming console to watch TV or cycle through apps. Since I've had my PS4, I may rent a movie from Amazon or from the PlayStation Store once or twice a month. The only app that I do use almost daily is IGN for gaming news. Other than that, my focus has been solely on playing games. GAMES AND GAMERS FIRST Microsoft! If Microsoft follows that formula, they'll sell more consoles.

nicksetzer11147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

Well, phil spencer seems to be in that direction, games.

AngelicIceDiamond1147d ago

@Bloodborn

"They forced this game to exclusivity just to have a few months advantage while they could have used that money to build up own IP's."

I'm pretty sure its more than a few months lol what would be the point in making the deal?

I'd say a year at the most.

Well once again MS is making strides in its first party offerings Phil stated he's strengthening his first party offerings numerous times.

So making buissness with CD doesn't have any effect on what they're doing in 1st party. Two different buissness transactions.

700p1147d ago

Uhh...what do you think microsoft has been doing? All their exclusives are from different genres.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1147d ago
styferion1147d ago

- most media feature unavailable outside NA/UK
- multiplayer focused console, while here outside NA/UK barely anyone's friends have XB1, what, we're supposed to play against random dudes across the globe with god knows how many latency?

and they're still dreaming about selling big on other countries.. maybe pay attention to the rest of the world first?

DiRtY1147d ago

Titanfall
Sunset Overdrive
Forza Horizon 2
Masterchief Collection
D4

in 2014 is pretty much what I want.

Quantum Break
Halo 5
Tomb Raider
Scalebound
Crackdown
Phantom Dust
Gears of War 4
Fable Legends

for 2015 and beyond is not too shabby. Softwarewise Xbox One is doing fantastic. Yeah the PR fiasco with Don Mattrick hurt them and only 13 countries to sell your console is not too good either, but the gaming side is shaping up really great.

holin41146d ago

lol WELL SAID BRO sooo true

VforVideogames1146d ago

another click bait article, we have about 10 of those a day on n4g alone.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1138d ago
DanJenkoFMV1147d ago

I've always bought PlayStation consoles so perhaps could be accused of bias, but I do agree the messaging for Xbox One has been rather dire. The launch of the console really resembles the launch of the PS3 in terms of the mistakes Microsoft are making.

Still, I'd argue the Xbox One has a stronger set of games at the moment.

kreate1147d ago

Hey just wondering. What games in ur opinion makes the x1 lineup of games better?

DanJenkoFMV1145d ago

Wasn't that impressed with Killzone: SF or inFamous: Second Son (as a fan of both series), whereas Dead Rising 3 and Titanfall were both pretty strong.

coffinxnails1146d ago

It is the curse of third concole

Nintendo 64 was a flop overall due to nintendo wanting to stick with cartridges

The ps3 suffered from terribly ported multiplatform games due to their use of cell processors.

Xbone is suffering from their decision to use esram and sacrificing raw power so they could include a microsoft kinect

Next Generation consoles will probably be in development in the next 6 years so microsoft will learn from their mistakes (although they should have learned from sony's mistake when they launched the ps3 at 600 bucks)

Microsoft may not be as popular as they once were but they are doing just fine with me. I have plenty of games to choose from and this holiday season/ next year is looking great. The only thing both companies should really be looking into is more AA games that are released for around 40 bucks.

mhunterjr1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

Smh...

Gamers want to play games... It's no coincidence, then, that games can be played on Xbox.

I think the better statement is "MS doesn't know what gamers want to hear", and frankly, I don't either... We're such a fickle bunch, honestly.

Spotie1147d ago

So LG and Samsung know what gamers want, because you can play games on their phones? HP knows what gamers want because you can play games on their laptops?

Fielding a product that can play games is nowhere near enough to say you know what gamers want, otherwise cable companies like Dish know what gamers want, too. Hell, even some companies that make games (looking at YOU, Capcom) don't seem to have it figured out.

And it's really not that hard. I know you and a dozen others will be happy to rip into me for it, but look at how Sony has approached this gen in contrast to Microsoft. Even Nintendo- if you take into account that they're really only appealing to Nintendo fans- is doing a better job. Microsoft SHOULD know, considering they had it pegged at least part of the last two generations- but they've spent the majority of this gen looking clueless.

The worst part is that gamers were loud and clear BEFORE all the nonsense; for some reason, Microsoft thought they could disregard that and be okay.

That some people can look at the overall- and in some cases, continued- message and image that MS put forth and say Microsoft knows what gamers want is laughable. And, maybe, exactly what Microsoft wants.

mhunterjr1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

MS didn't just fielding a product that can play games. They didn't field a cellphone, they didn't field a laptop. They put out a gaming console. And no matter how more there messaging has been, there's never been any REASONABLE doubt that this devices primary function is to play video games. It comes with a freakin controller for crying out loud.

Tell me one thing that gamers generally want that MS hasn't delivered or isn't actively working on...

Volkama1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

You just have to look at the evidence and follow the trends!

Let's see... Gamers hate drm. They love Playstation plus. They hate EA Access.

They love new IPs. Fresh gameplay. FIFA and COD are frequent chart toppers.

They hate it when a developer doesn't take full advantage of their hardware. They hate it when a developer does take advantage of an internet connection because some people may not have those.

If you just take a step back and start connecting the dots you'll see it is quite obvious. There are no patterns to be found, gamers as a collective are just irrational and and stubborn at the same time.

If MS try to cater their strategy to the wants of gamers they have no chance. The only option is to try to steer and manipulate gamers to make them believe they want whatever is already planned.

That isn't an exclusive trait of the games industry though.

n4rc1147d ago

Funny.. They kept me happy..

So either I'm not a gamer.. Or the crazy possibility that we "gamers" are not one person is true.. Lol

Arrogance seems to be a prerequisite of being a "gamer" to some people.

mezati991147d ago

you must be very easily pleased ;)

m0lt0n1147d ago

I know you are making this quip in jest... but in all seriousness, this is the kind of stupid stuff that splits a community. I own both X1 and PS4, and I'm more happy with what the X1 is offering right now. More games i want to play, and more functionality. Thats not to say there isnt value in PS4, but FOR ME, X1 is living up to my expectations, PS4 (games-wise) is not.

Frankly, it's not up to anyone else to decide what i should be happy with. And it isn't right for me to criticize others for enjoying their own purchases. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and preferences. The sooner people realize this, the better of the *mostly* shitty gaming community will be.

n4rc1146d ago

Not easily pleased.. But my preferences are different from others..

I love my Xbox.. I don't regret my choice in any way and I'd do it again today..

Don't confuse fan with fanboy.

mcarsehat1147d ago

I play games but i'm not a "gamer."

Gamers are whiny spoilt bastards.

HanzoHattori1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

You're not a gamer. I don't even think you even enjoy the games you play. If you were a gamer you would have never tried to equate a gamer to an entitled, whiney, @sshole who plays video games. Gamers compete. Gamers debate. Gamers share their knowledge and experiences with one another. Gamers want to play games first and debate about their choice of console second. You are an entitled brat who thinks he's "above" it all. You get upset when a game isn't presented in 1080p. You are the type that gets upset when a games "looks" last gen, whatever the hell that means. You are the type of person who cheats at games, gets banned, then blames Sony, Blizzard, Microsoft, and other online gaming communities for YOUR behavior. Grow up and stop being such a pretentious [email protected]

mcarsehat1147d ago

And you have a pseudo-japanese name. Nothing else needs to be said you sad little pervert.

TheRedButterfly1147d ago

Well said! MS is keeping this gamer very happy! Their PR last year was... well, it was terrible. But they've fixed everything everyone ever had a problem with, and they've replaced the filth of Mattrick with a genuinely awesome guy (Spencer).

The software exclusive lineup (timed or otherwise) is the best of any platform for 2014, with 2015 already shaping up to be one of the best years for any gamer - regardless of platform.

Hell, The Master Chief Collection is practically nothing but fan service! The turn-around that this company has done with the console that Mattrick envisioned... It's great!

Now we wait for DX12. :D

mochachino1147d ago (Edited 1147d ago )

Gamers tastes in games and console features are incredibly diverse. I'm sure MS knows exactly what some gamers want, they're still millions buying xone over ps4. The issues is whether MS knowns what the majority of console gamers want, which it didn't.

It was the Kinect focus at the expense of hardware power and price that screwed MS this gen. Whoever is responsible for that is to blame. It's not even Kinect per se, if xone released with all the multimedia focus and kinect but was as powerful or more powerful than PS4 and cost $400, xone would likely be the top selling next-gen console at the moment. 99% of the most popular games are multiplats, PS4s more power at a lower price obviously was far more appealing.

Despite gamers seeming like fanboys for the console they own, they don't really have much brand loyalty, which is good. They'll insult and criticize the other company all day and act like people were fools not to buy the console they bought. But gamers also had no problems going from Nintendo and Sega to Playstation, to xbox, and back to Playstation. They really just want the best power/price/games ratio.

I was prepared to get the most powerful console for $500 or less. I didn't care if it was xbox or playstation. If MS would have put all the manufacturing costs into hardware power and exceeded PS4s power I'd have an xone right now instead of a PS4, even if the xone cost $500.

Godz Kastro1147d ago

Well said mocha... I prefer Xbox due to community and media focus. Im a little older so i don't game as much so I want an all in one package.

However I do agree they dropped the ball early on. If Phil Spencer was in the driving seat form the beginning they would be in a better position.