Why We're NOT Screwed Even If We Don't Buy an Xbox One
Admittedly, this blog post is long overdue yet the combination of real life obligation and the painful surgery work I've had done on my jaw made it increasingly difficult to get my head in the mindset. Couple that with the ever growing mountain of turd piling on Microsoft's head and you have an entry that needed to adjusted again and again.
My first blog was titled 'Why we're screwed even if we don't buy an Xbox One' and while that seems to be a lifetime ago, I think there's no better way to kickoff the first of my 2014 posts with an updated version of that list. So without further ado, here is why things are not all doom and gloom and why we are NOT screwed even if we don't buy an Xbox One:
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS, ARISEN:
The PS4 is breaking records left and right (I think it just broke the record for most records broken) but the its greatest achievement lies in the fact that it's neck-to-neck with Microsoft's All-in-One Television Experience in the US. This is an undesirable situation for Microsoft for two reasons. One, Microsoft's goal is ubiquity and not being second fiddle. Two, the Xbox 360 only kept up with the PS3 because of everyone in the UK and the US bought it two or three times (highly dependent on the amount of RRoD per console). Having soundly lost the UK market and sharing the pie in it's home-field is an embarrassing feat for the successor of the 360.
Why this spells good news for us is quite simple. Third party publishers will be hesitant to make a game exclusively for The One and miss out on the bigger install base on the PS4. It also means Microsoft will have to shell out more and more to secure exclusives, a prospect that the shareholders would no doubt be less enthusiastic about.
YOU WROTE I LOVE YOU, I LOVE ME TOO
Microsoft and EA have a special relationship, like the rats carrying the Black Death and the ships that carried them or Gollum and Smeagol, if you prefer. They both treat gaming like a series of numbers on a spreadsheet and will forever be chasing a business model similar to the Call of Duty franchise: Release an annual iteration of a tired formulae with minimal improvements and rake in the profits with no effort. You really think Papers, Please or Sony's Tearaway, Puppeeter would ever get past Microsoft or EA's 'quality' control board?
A partnership between these two like-minded giants seems only logical and it wasn't long before they got in bed, EA saying whispers of a DRM-fueled dystopia in Microsoft's future whilst MS screams 'XBOX RECORD THAT!'
Whew, this blog post took a NSFW turn...say, is it getting hot in here?
Still, EA is a fickle mistress and if it loves anything more than Microsoft, it's money and the large install base for the PS4 will make it harder and harder to stay faithful to Microsoft as the gen progresses.
PARITY CLAUSE 47
Whatever dark secrets Microsoft used to blackmail Devs to make multi-plat games on the PS3 look noticeably worse, no longer seems to be an issue (just kidding, it was that stupid Cell Processor). While I had some reservations that Microsoft could shell out a few bucks to force Parity on Developers, the nonstop onslaught of Call of Duty, ACIV, Thief and Tomb Raider performing better on the PS4 have put those fears to rest. Thankfully, the One will not be holding us back from enjoying the best multiplatforms could perform on a console machine.
THE MAN FROM JAPAN WITH A PLAN
As Aaron Greenberg continues to reassure his followers on Twitter that Tier 3 Japan is a 'special' place and they'll probably buy them a JRPG or two, folks can be forgiven for not being on the edge of their seat. Microsoft's 360 push to Japan had been much more impressive. A spectacular failure, but impressive nonetheless. Securing the ID@LMASTER franchise, releasing an exclusive Tales entry...a freaking Monster Hunter!
As we start the 8th Gen, Japanese Developers seem to have all but forgotten Microsoft's charm. The Tales series Director invited the Head of Sony Japan and cited how the Tales series and the Playstation brand share a special history (ouch...), ID@LMASTER exclusivity has been lost, Kojima being sneaky about which console he prefers. In short, the PS4's sales have given Japanese the confidence and swagger to put their support behind Sony this gen.
CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE, MUH FRIEND
Larry Hryb recently asked for a ceasefire, citing that internet hatred need to stop. This is coming from the same individual who made condescending posts about gamers, wrote large blog about the PS3 is pathetic compared to the 360 and took shot at the PS4 all the way back in Febuary '13.
It's all fun'n'games till you get hurt, huh?
Whilst Microsoft and those who worship them (I use that term to describe those who think MS can do no wrong) would have you believe you are powerless, we have seen multiple evidence to the contrary.
You were told your pathetic ranting on boards would never reverse the DRM, it did.
You were told you could never remove the Kinect, the Kinect was removed
You were told the average consumer would never hear of the fiasco, Microsoft and Gamestop are still trying to tout Used Games as a 'Feature'
You were told the name Xbone would never catch on, Devs outwardly use that name and Microsoft bought the domain name
Memes, funny gifs, NeoGaf rumors...everything matters, everything snowballs until the general public hears of it and it gets embedded in PopCulture.
In short, Microsoft lacks Gamer support this Gen.
THE REAL DEMON'S SOULS BEGINS HERE
Microsoft going bankrupt was never in the cards, that's just a lie perpetuated to take away credibility from those who would point out their ill-practices. What I, and many others, want is for Microsoft to be defanged, take away their power to hold things we love hostage. I won't be losing any sleep if Microsoft ends up second place or third place this gen, just as long as they lack the power and influence to bully Devs and Gamers alike.
Any combination of the points I previously mentioned would have made Microsoft the leader of the industry this gen, granted them unlimited power and we have all seen how crazily stupid they act when it gets to their head.
Still, while the future looks bright, this doesn't mean we must be complacent. Be jubilant but stay vigilant. Support those who would take risk, do not reward mediocrity, call out lies and deceit when you see them coming from any company (Microsoft, Nintendo and yes, ESPECIALLY Sony)
If there is ever a nugget in Microsoft's womb of lies it was this...YOU are the Controller.
MightynoX just recently discovered he's never heard of the Inazuma Eleven franchise and completely missed out on the series due to region locking. Stupid Nintendo!