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Microsoft, I'm Calling You Out

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.

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zerocrossing1894d ago

"So what if your specs don’t quite measure up to PS4’s, the fans will stick around if you give them reason to."

Great blog and you made a very good point with your last comment.

Personally, I doubt most gamers will care much if the nextbox is stronger or weaker than the PS4, we just want to know if there will actually be any exclusive core games beyond that of Halo and Gears, where they stand with the used games debacle and if Kinect 2 is going to be of any real use or interest to the core gamer demographic.

GalacticEmpire1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

Thanks, I just want something solid I can use to form even a simple opinion and comparison in my mind of what to expect from next gen consoles.

There's so much 'bad air' and it could all be turned around with very little effort, it makes me worried about MS and the Xbox 3.

Kratoscar20081894d ago

Clint Eastwood: "There is just one question you must answer yourslelf, do you feel lucky this Gen?"

MS damm better be.

TechnicianTed1893d ago

Well in all fairness they didn't do too bad this gen did they? They increased their fanbase by a very good margin and strengthened their market share. You have to give them some credit.

Kratoscar20081893d ago

Yeah i know but i think the betrayal of the XBOX brand to its loyal fanbase is something that gamers wont easily forget and forgive.

I mean they went for the casuals when they had this fanbase itching to kick this gen with the right Leg.

Although i cant forgive MS for its shameless timed exclusivity deals.

SilentNegotiator1894d ago

It's about time someone on N4G spoke out against Microsoft.

To be fair, Sony didn't disprove the rumors on them, of used blocking and always on DRM, before their reveal. The negativity was building then and the rumors were dispersed all in one blow with an event that was very popular.

But then, with Microsoft waiting, that IS a lot more time to be the ONLY ones without confirmed used games allowance. It would probably be a really bad move for them to have any sort of major DRM now with their competitors basically laughing off such an idea that customers would feel exploited by.

from the beach1893d ago

Sony since backpedaled on used games, by the way.

I suspect we won't have definitive answers until after the next Xbox is announced, but I honestly doubt one company will impose DRM features the rest don't.

SilentNegotiator1893d ago

Yoshida already said used games will be allowed.

I believe the "backpeddling" that you refer to are the interviews of lower-level, regional personnel that aren't at liberty to discuss fine details on that when the system is like, ~7 months from release.

from the beach1893d ago

If it was settled, Sony would be shouting it from the rooftops, never mind sending mixed messages.

I think Yoshida was speaking off-script, if you go back and read the interview on Eurogamer it certainly seems that way.

The later comments were from Sony's Vice President of Worldwide Studios, which doesn't sound like the job title of someone who doesn't know what they're on about.

SilentNegotiator1893d ago

The VP wasn't "backpeddling", just affirming that the details weren't entirely ironed out. The UK executive said that he didn't have the details.

They aren't going to completely change their mind unless they want to be demolished by the press come launch.

from the beach1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

Eh, I'm happy enough with the use of that term, 'backpedaling', to be honest. They said "yes" in the first instance then refused to thereafter.

I don't know what these mysterious details are, surely the PS4 will either play used games or not?

As for changing their mind, it wouldn't exactly be unheard of. But if they block preowned games MS will too, so I imagine they'd get a shared kicking.

SilentNegotiator1892d ago

You'd be happy enough if a janitor at Sony said he wasn't sure.

from the beach1891d ago

Well, maybe if he was Vice Janitor of Worldwide Studios :p

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1891d ago
GalacticEmpire1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

I'm asking for answers, I'm not speaking out "against" anyone.

I did mention that niether company had provided satifactory answers to some of the questions I have but this blog was generally directed at MS. This is mainly because they have been so quiet with regard to everything that is happening in the industry and it's a little unsettling.

I agree it would be a big mistake for MS to be the only ones to implement some kind of obtrusive DRM and it just seems silly, so why don't they come out and say it?

Thanks for reading.

nosferatuzodd1891d ago (Edited 1891d ago )

That's Microsoft problem, they ran to the casual crowd because
they saw Nintendo Doing it and making a killing.

See! they do that a lot and that's what I hate about them.
They Jump on ban wagon to ban wagon instead of sticking
to what there good at look at what they did with windows 8.

They try to copy google and apple to the litter
And that when't horribly wrong.

They have no loyalty to no one only money
That's Microsoft for ya I know all corporation are greedy but
Microsoft does it with style ps I'm typing on my phone it sucks i know

jessupj1893d ago

I think regardless what MS does with the next box, people should not forget what they did this gen.

They started out strong for the hardcore, but half way through almost completely abandoned them.

So I ask you xbox fans, what if MS comes out strong again for you core gamers next gen? Is all going to be forgiven? Are you going to trust them again?

There is nothing stopping MS abandoning you again half way through next gen again. Nothing at all. So when your deciding your next gen console purchase, I hope you remember that. Because if MS stings you again, you'll have no one to blame but your self.

Software_Lover1893d ago

If its all about games, then whats wrong with them coming out strong next gen? If they have games you want to play then you get the console and play them, PERIOD. If they fall off, you get out your ps4 and play games on that console. It's that simple.

I get tired of people acting like you have to chose a side. This is a hobby. Gaming is a hobby. Some people are more passionate than others but it is still a hobby. If you are really about games, then you want to play all the great games available. Period.

TongkatAli1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

Let me guess, you're acting like you are not on a side, this is rich, LOL!

Software_Lover1893d ago

@ TongkatAli

I mainly game on PC so I dont see your point.

I have a ps3, wii, 360. No intention on getting the wii-u as of right now. I will be getting the ps4 and next xbox. I "Prefer" to game on xbox on the console side but thats mainly because of my friends and the ease of xbox live. I have had every iteration of the playstation. I have had a nes, snes, n64. Atari. Genesis, 32x, sega cd, Saturn, Dreamcast, and original Xbox. I dont care who "WINS" an imaginary selling contest.

coolbeans1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

Think about MS' transition from Xbox to 360 and try to frame your accusations in that light: "MS ditched 6th gen you really think 360 will last more than 4 years like the Xbox failed to do?" You'd probably vehemently disagree, even call me a troll, for proposing the notion that the 360 would "hold out the longest" on the announcement of its successor. As you can see, circumstances can fluctuate over time.

"So I ask you xbox fans, what if MS comes out strong again for you core gamers next gen? Is all going to be forgiven? Are you going to trust them again?"

If the PS3's disappointing start can be "forgiven" then why can't this (granted, from announcement to 2008 is a smaller window than Xbox's case)? If people are interested in just the games (remember that time?) then what's so bad about a strong start? And even if MS hypothetically abandons them next-gen, who says the gamer can't do the same? They play the games they're interested in, don't see anything in the foreseeable future they like, sell their used console and games, and put that towards a different console (or PC).

DigitalSmoke1892d ago (Edited 1892d ago )

Thats the way i see this as well.

Microsoft started this generation as an imitation of Sony, rocking hardcore in your face titles, changed the color of the console black like the PS3, and even turned around when it came to using multi media apps as the PS3.

Midway it was clear that you can't out do Sony being Sony, and so they took their fanbase across a new route with Kinect.

A horrible move imo, and if they are truly pushing Kinect 2.0 (which will run the excact same type of games) i believe it will hurt them and their fans a ton when they'll see the PS4 gamers orientated block busters.

Godmars2901893d ago

If its true that MS is focusing on the general consumer rather than gaming, if they've worked out a strategy that makes Xbox3 a cable box, then they don't have to say anything until they want to. If things have been done right, if they've got cable/internet providers lined up, then Sony and Nintendo stop becoming competitors.

Thought if they can't deliver a reliable product, if there's another RRoD when average Joe takes the chance on making them an only option, its just going to be fun times for the Xbox division.

GalacticEmpire1893d ago (Edited 1893d ago )

I don't understand, if it still palys games how is it not competiting with Nintendo and Sony? It will definitely be taking on more competition from cable providers and tivo, not to mention Google and Apple but Sony and Ninty will still be among them.

Also I have some serious doubts about how the whole cable thing will work. I don't know how it works in the US but here in the UK we get cable boxes for free, why would we buy an xbox for that purpose too? Even if there was a reason would the Xbox HDD be shared with the cable recording device, so your drive could end up filled with re-runs of the Simpsons and Top Gear with no room left for games??

It baffles me how they could pull this off but I'm excited to see what happens.

Reliability is still a sore point for many who were stung with RROD but out of all the things MS could fix for next gen this would be the most probable in my opinion, given how much it cost them to fix.

Godmars2901893d ago

MS will basically be working with cable/internet providers. Offering Xbox3 through them and leasing it at a "lower" price with people buying it for novelty value like they did the Wii. The user base will become such that Sony and Nintendo will effectively stop being competition for them. They'll also be able to leave games solely in 3rd party hands.

Chances are, MS is only thinking about the US market in this regard, but once they've got the revenue reports to back them up they'll become too noticeable not to ignore.

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