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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:

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.

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PhoenixDevil2565d ago

Well written and a good topic idea, while I dnt think its a good thing what MS are doing I think they have things pretty much nailed down

If there's one thing I've seen this gen its MS managing to come out of anything looking good maybe not to the really hardcore gamers but to the vast majority who have re bought consoles and put up with problems chances are a lot of these people actually have a Kinect I kno quite a few core gamers who have a Kinect for the sake of having one - in that respect they've done well to get it into homes and possibly draw in the families of core gamers

Knowing MS cheek and luck this gen it wouldn't surprise me if this Kinect focused approach really works for them and drives more Kinect sales while the odd hardcore gamer may turn to other platforms to play that's not a bad trade off too MS they may lose up too 100,000 hardcore gamers (Total guess by me for arguments sake) but at the end of the day they've already bought their Xbox's and MS could easily gain a million more sales

Going back to the original question, as I said they risk losing some gamers but I do not see a large majority abandoning Xbox Live, while personally I've never seen a huge difference between XBL and PSN, a lot of gamers swear by it and defend it as they pay for it. Also after the recent PSN outage a lot of uninformed gamers may think twice before swapping if they're only listening to rumours about what happened

The multiplatform argument is being thrown around quite a bit too with some truly great games coming out this year, while banking on this is a risky move from MS the community of Live may be what saves it as so many people have friends who they will want to play Cod MW3 with and continue their old save file from Mass Effect 2 into 3

While I think its a reasonable idea to go from a 360 to a PS3 (as certainly some gamers will see) I think the majority just aren't going to bother in investing in another system if they've spent this long with the Xbox, I agree with the principle of this blog, in the same way that I agreed that the Kinect was a fancy Eye Toy and that the RROD would ruin the Xbox reputation, but just like those other things I can honestly see MS pulling it off and then launching the next Xbox console with some core titles and everyone being there to eat it up, I hope I'm wrong and that MS completely loses there core audience but that we'll have to wait an see. Thoughts anyone ?

Emilio_Estevez2565d ago

Well thought out response and I couldn't agree more.

Supman2565d ago Show
coryok2565d ago

i hope they loose lots of customers becayse of kinect, i hate the way that they seem to be trying to take gaming. i dont want to wave my arms around and dance, i want to sit down, relax and kill stuff

Dee_Cazo2559d ago (Edited 2559d ago )


bwazy2565d ago

PS3 has harder liquor and the hottest women. Come join our party!

Neko_Mega2565d ago

Yeah, I feel like 360 might be the new Wii. Microsoft didn't seem to try to keep Bungie for making Halo games and maybe others. They just let them work with EA (Which we all know they like Sony more).

Microsoft is killing RARE by forcing them to make Kinect games and dropping their normal titles. The worst thing we can see at E3 is Gears 3 with Kinect support and not in a good way.

But its all about if you are a 360 only users or you play all systems (That means PC too).

Godmars2902564d ago

Rare is dead. All their key people were fired and at this point they technically don't have an art staff. I don't see how a game company can exist with temp artist. I just don't.

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