There’s been more than a few rumours surrounding Microsoft’s third Xbox attempt, the 720, the Xbox 8, the Xbox Infinity, the whatever. A lot of these rumours have been unflattering and, in light of Sony’s PS4 reveal and renewed focus on gaming, they cast an ominous shadow on the future of the Xbox brand.
By coming out first and putting forward their message of a developer friendly, powerful games console, Sony have created a general buzz and air of excitement in the gaming community. At the same time negativity builds around the lack of information and unsavoury rumours surrounding the 3rd Xbox.
The funny thing is a lot of these silly rumours could be put to rest with one simple statement from MS, which is why I decided to write this blog, in the vain hope that someone from MS would get the message and put our minds at rest. After all it’s in their best interest that the core gamers, the guys/gals that queue for hours at midnight for consoles, don’t have the impression that they’ve been abandoned. So here I am, standing metaphorically outside of MS HQ with a megaphone, calling them out to clear the malodorous air circling their gaming brand.
First we need to get this topic cleared up and cleared up good. MS, we need to know, are you going to block used games? It’s a simple question and one that, in all fairness, neither company has answered satisfyingly. So why not just make a simple statement, MS, if you aren’t blocking used games why not just come out and say it? The negativity cloud growing around your building is so easily dispersed that it’s coming across as if you have every intention of reducing our rights as consumers.
Secondly and possibly somewhat related to the first topic, is always online DRM. If the Simcity incident hasn’t put you off this idea already then you have deeper issues than a few bad rumours. All you need to do is come and say that you aren’t stupid enough to do this and we will stop assuming that you are.
Finally but most importantly, refocus on what is left of your core gamers! It’s getting almost embarrassing to go into a game store and ask a clerk "what’s new for Xbox" only to be greeted with the latest Kinect dance game or barrage of multi-plats that no longer even run noticeably better on the platform. If the launch of PS3 has taught you anything, MS, it’s that the core gamers will abandon you completely if there’s more/better core games available on a competitors platform. The only people more fickle than the core gamers are the casual ones, who just pick up whatever is popular and even your over-inflated marketing budget can’t buy popularity, just look at Surface and Windows Phone 8.
So let’s have it Microsoft, I’m not asking you to reveal anything juicy about Xbox 3, we just want to know that you have our best intentions at heart. So what if your specs don’t quite measure up to PS4’s, the fans will stick around if you give them reason to.