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Microsoft's TV Ambitions are a Cop Out

So, Microsoft have finally stopped pretending there isn’t a third Xbox on the way and has found it in their hearts to give us a date for the big unveiling. Like the good consumers they take us for we’re supposed to watch the countdown timer patiently with baited breath. Then, when the time is upon us, Microsoft will bestow its new master plan for gaming on the world. It is said that this plan will include a full scale invasion of the living room complete with assault on cable companies and TV content providers. “But what about games?” a small voice manages to be heard above the din of the war machines before being taken round the back and ‘silenced’ by two large men in sickly green uniforms. Propaganda... I mean ‘promotional’ posters litter the streets; one in particular depicts a HDMI in port next to the word ‘Revolution’. One thing is for sure, the future of the industry is never as uncertain as at the turn of a console generation.

In these dark times we need reassurances that our needs as gamers will be met. This burden lies with console manufacturers who have happily taken our money over the years in exchange for what we want. What do we want? Do we even know? Are we being told what we want? Well nobody can speak for all gamers but I’m pretty sure that high up on the list of requests would be games. So what happens when the ambitions of a console manufacturer conflict with the wishes of their fans? We could find out very soon. If MS want into the living room so badly that gaming becomes a side-show in their circus of horrors it will partly due to their love of ‘casual’ money but also to do with being afraid to compete with Sony, toe-to-toe, as far as gaming is concerned.

Sony has a first party line up that, let’s face it, is hard to compete with. This has never been more evident than the last few years of PS3 in which Sony have managed to not only put out some fantastic sequels but also create a few completely new AAA IPs that have, or look set to, become runaway hits. Microsoft knows that if it takes the same tact as Sony, a completely gaming orientated one, it will be difficult for them to come out on top against the nearly 20 year long industry veterans. Instead they’re using TV and entertainment apps to broaden their net but, at the same time, take focus away from gaming. It’s a similar tactic to Nintendo who, after facing crushing defeats in two generations, scaled back their focus on the core gamer in favour of a casual audience. It worked fantastically for Nintendo, they managed to make money, lots of it, although they never recaptured the core gaming audience.

Third party will be what keeps the Xbox 3 afloat, as it has done with 360 these past years. Microsoft’s path to the living room will be either the road to ruin or a shortcut to success at the cost of the army that marched them there.

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NeverEnding19891577d ago

Going into next gen, if reports are true, all of a sudden the PS4 now looks to be very one dimensional.

You say Nintendo made lots of money, but never captured the core audience. I hope you're aware that both Microsoft and Sony (especially Sony) don't give a rats ass about the core gamer. They're businesses with the intent to make money. If you're under the impression that Sony's shareholder meetings consist of plans to get more "hardcore" gamers to their platform, you are sorely mistaken. Sony wants, no, NEEDS the casual crowd. I say especially Sony because this generation has been Sony's worst, while its been Microsoft and Nintendo's best.

If Microsoft shows a console that is also a cablebox, you can bet Sony will quickly be looking to do the exact same.

Qrphe1577d ago (Edited 1577d ago )

>if reports are true

So DRM: The Console, Better with Kinect?

Zechs341577d ago Show
1577d ago Replies(2)
megatron_781577d ago

@ neverending i couldnt disagree more nintendo had and incredible start that ended in not having much to offer besides 1st party games that were great but few and far between MS did realy well after its first year starting with gears and on but kinda fizzeled out towards the end of this gen, sony started out pretty bad but ended strong with many first party games new and old ips ,no one should realy jump the gun and assume what MS is gona do untill the rumors either turn out true or not. sony gave us an idea that seemed enticing but hopefully pans out and well nintendo does what they do, release great first party games every so often. i wonder if they will be relevant if 3rd part devs dont make games for thier platform well hopfully E3 answeres most questions but im sure ms has an ace up their sleeve and i wonder if sony can continue their momentum into next gen

FRA851577d ago

There are a lot of articles appearing lately about how MS is'nt worried about PS4's spec's and day one game list then on the other hand how next xbox will be terrible with their always connected thing and how they seem to be getting less about the games.

I just find it funny how the fanboys and girls in both camps are getting very defensive and arguing over rumors and half truths. In the end they'll as usual argue about who sold what, how many and where.

The reality is that both system's will likely be top quality pieces of equipmemt of almost equal worth so why not just sit back and enjoy them instead of bitchen about which is better.

specialagent45321576d ago

I agree the rumors in regards to the xbox 720 are just to have fan boys bickering with one another. These rumors are not even based on what Microsoft did this generation or even facts

Ravenor1577d ago

Could we wait until after the reveal before we start dumping coolers of Haterade on one another?

GalacticEmpire1576d ago

People are always quick to attach the 'hate' label to valid criticism that they strongly disagree with. By all means offer a counter opinion but don't write it off as hate, thanks.

Ravenor1576d ago

Criticism that you deem valid, isn't an instant qualification.

I have no counter opinion, because I don't know anything about Microsofts plan. What I do know is if their plan is to include always online, used game blocks and other crap along those lines I wont be supporting the platform until much MUCH later in it's life. I had the same attitude when the Sony news broke about the used game patent they had filed.

I do not speculate on hardware manufacturers, as you said it's their job to drum up public and publisher support for their machine and if they don't do an adequate job of that I won't support it. On the flipside I will not condemn Sony or Mirosoft for any focus on media (TV, Movies, Music) with their machines. You call it a lack of focus on games, I call it a move to make them seem more palatable to people who don't game every single day.

GalacticEmpire1575d ago (Edited 1575d ago )

You see, offering a valid opinion is much better than just labelling someone as a hater.

You do realise you said "I have no counter opinion" and then proceeded to offer one :)

At least I can respect your pov now.

"You call it a lack of focus on games, I call it a move to make them seem more palatable to people who don't game every single day"

Well, you came to that conclusion with the same information I'm using to come to mine. Which is that, even if MS spend the same amount of time/money on games as they have in the past (some say that's just not enough as it is) they could have spent much more if they weren't also focusing on getting their grubby hands on the mainstream TV watching market.

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