Does Microsoft Risk Losing Core Gamers?
Rumours circulating the gaming community today have stated Microsoft plans ten new IP's to be announced at this forthcoming E3, for Kinect. You can read where the rumour originated from here: http://www.eurogamer.net/ar...
Now, while this news may excite some people there seems to be a quiet underbelly of frustration boiling in the Xbox community and are at logger heads with those who are firmly behind Kinect. I see a problem here and one that can be nailed down to how well Microsoft can conduct a balancing act.
Nintendo have been very successful with the Wii, attracting people who for the most part, have not really invested any time into a games console beforehand with games such as Wii Fit, EA Sports Active and family designed mini game packages such as Wii Sports and Wii Play designed to bring in such a audience. Microsoft saw how much Nintendo was rolling around in cash and wanted a piece of the action. Kinect was born.
The Xbox has been seen by many as a core gamers console, the Halo's, Call of Duty's, Gears of War, Mass Effect's and so forth so to turn that around and bring in a family type audience along with the core is a strategy that takes careful planning and clever strategy. So far the plan seems to be working with excellent sales numbers for both the Xbox 360 itself and the Kinect add on. So what's the problem?
The traditional high quality exclusives seem to be getting more and more anorexic as time passes. For major retail releases exclusive to the 360 we have Gears of War 3, Forza 4, X-Com and a possible 2011 release for Codename: Kingdoms (which is now strongly rumoured to be a Kinect title). While these games could possibly end being of a high quality, the line up is weak compared to the competition. It's all about justifying the reason to invest time and money into the box while during that time there is a chance you may think you could of spent that money elsewhere. This is what I see on gaming forums at the moment.
While I have no doubt the Xbox 360 is a excellent console, I feel this E3 is a massive one for them considering new hardware is on the horizon i.e Nintendo's Project Cafe. It's all well and good saying 360 still offers the Call of Duty's, Battlefield's and Mass Effect's but these games are on other systems also and at the end of the day it's about feeling justified in the investment you have made, if you see the same games on other systems plus a large exclusive library to go with it, you may be tempted to trade in and start over and this is where I think Microsoft should try harder, offer a stronger traditional controller line up exclusive to the platform alongside the Kinect line up.
Reading the reactions to the rumour above has been interesting, some have shown frustration, some unhappy and some quite pleased. Of course it's "rumour" at the moment and nothing is set in stone but if this turned out to be the case and no traditional high quality controller games were announced then it would be interesting to see if the frustration and unhappy population grow stronger, especially if Nintendo go forth with their rumoured strategy in developing a more powerful, core based console.
E3 will hopefully give us a much better idea.