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Analysis: Is Microsoft falling behind the competition?

With the recent announcement of XBL's Play to Earn program, Marc Lynch wonders if Microsoft is reaching out just a little too late.

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Community2027d ago
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thequadskater2027d ago

Great article that fleshes out my own thoughts on Microsoft. As an indie fan with many indie dev friends I've heard repeatedly how difficult it is in dealing with XBLA.

In terms of patching I know of a few games that are great but lack in updates on XBLA. Take Dungeon Defenders for example, on PC is WAY better than on XLBA in terms of updates. Isn't this because it is so costly to patch/update on XBLA. One free one, right?

Too little too late. I'm already sold on the PS4 in terms of next gen consoles.

JoGam2027d ago

Im sold too. Love Indie Games.

Starfox-172027d ago

WiiU has the most quality indie games of any console end of going off wiiu support,ps4 is looking to equal it as well.

MikeMyers2027d ago

The Indie scene is where you will see some great ideas come to life. I play a ton of Steam games that don't get the marketing like Bioshock: Infinite does but they are a lot of fun.

Microsoft will have to be more open and want a better relationship with the Indie development. There's a lot of talent and innovation coming from them. They should also offer greater benefits for being a Gold member instead of having everything behind a pay-wall.

darthv722026d ago

what MS is planning to do. all that has been outed is speculation. some believe that the sources of that speculation are genuine and others don't.

So when Ms does come forward and state here it is and this is what it can do....are people going to just overlook that and still believe the speculation because they trust the source more than MS?

As for them falling behind...that all depends on what competition is leading. If MS were taking a more serious stance in the mobility market to gain market share from the likes of ios and droid devices then so be it.

I mean did anyone see that market as a threat to traditional gaming before such apps like angry birds and temple run? Probably not because they were more focused on what traditional gaming is.

Gaming isnt about consoles or handhelds or PC its about entertainment. There are way more people playing simple time wasting games now than there ever was before. Mainly because of accessibility. Its far easier to play a game on things we already have at our disposal than before.

We know what sony is doing. We know what nintendo is doing. We really dont know what MS is doing but we like to guess. All the guessing will come to an end once they make an official statement about the direction they are taking their entertainment division.

Until then, its probably a good idea to just play the games we have and maybe even revisit some we havent played in a long time. Nostalgia has a way of making things all better, even if for a little while.

xHeavYx2027d ago

MS has already fallen behind. Unless they come up with something absolutely crazy for E3, I don't see a bright future for the X-Box

AngelicIceDiamond2027d ago

"I don't see a bright future for the X-Box."

Apparently nobody does on this site.

dasbeer882027d ago (Edited 2027d ago )

I don't know why you're obtaining a lot of disagrees. What Heavy is saying is completely true.
First and foremost, their 1st Party developers suck unless you count out 343 Industries (which they're barely doing well).
Secondly they lost their major developer which is Bungie, and now they're developing games for MS rival (Sony).
Thirdly, they're catering towards the casual audience with Kinect while ignoring their hardcore fanbase...and I'm betting their future will be pretty disasterous.
Fourthly, NO FRIGGIN ORIGINAL GAMES. What happened during 2006-2008 when you guys were pumping out exclusives after exclusives Microsoft? Gears of War series, Fable, Mass Effect, Viva Pinata, and plenty others! Now you guys are just focusing on Kinect...which doesn't regulate as decent exclusives.
Fourthly, for some reason MS LOVE TIMED EXCLUSIVES. For me, I don't want timed exclusive crap which will eventually be ported to Sony and maybe Nintendo's consoles. Hell, I'll bet Minecraft will be announced for the PS3/PS4 in Sony's E3 2013 conference.
And lastly, monthly subscriptions. I mean come on, you guys have little original content on your game consoles now MS. I can watch Netflix, CNN, football (which I personally hate but I'm just suggesting) ON MY COMPUTER rather than on an Xbox360. Is it worth paying cash monthly for this stuff while I can carry my laptop, walk to a nearby Starbucks with FREE WIFI, and watch these contents there? NO!
Sorry for the long post, I just had to get the steam out of my head.

nukeitall2027d ago

I actually see the complete opposite, as MS strategy continues where the Xbox 360 succeeded.

Let's face it, I use my Xbox 360 more now than ever, thanks to all these apps. It has pretty much replaced my HTPC.

The vast majority of consumers don't just play games, but they listen to music, watch movies and play games. On top of that, to really break a console out of the bedroom it needs to cater to other family members too. MS is doing all that.

It might not be what n4g readers want, because they are the hardcore of the hardcore that care mainly about gaming, but even then over 90% of the games released is going on the next Xbox.

That's assuming of course that MS doesn't have anything else cooking themselves or partnered up like they did last generation.

I remember when the PS Vita was praised to high heavens as the hardcore device, and the 3DS being to casual and had a gimicky 3D feature. Fast forward and 3DS is a huge success, while the PS Vita is pretty much sinking like a rock.

So if multi-billion dollar companies listen to n4g, then will likely only sell to the niche group of n4g!

MysticStrummer2027d ago

MS needs to win a generation before they can worry about falling behind.

bluetoto2027d ago

"I don't see a bright future for the X-Box"

Are you kidding me? MS has tons of loyal fans who will buy their next device regardless.

With their grip on north America MS is in a great position to generate huge profits for themselves over the next ten years.

With Xbox core gamers satisfied with multi's and the profits from Live they will print money next gen.

That is a huge win for MS.

Starfox-172027d ago

Over 30 dissagrees what a bunch of kids look from what i have seen its Wiiu doing the best in the indie scene end of,with html5,unity 4 pro ect ??

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SolidSystem2027d ago (Edited 2027d ago )

Most consoles are closed system... this cost for patches isn't a MS specific problem... in fact this generation MS was very open to indy devs (till they hid the indy section deep inside the store and made it hard to find).

Sony has shown their hand for the PS4, where MS hasn't announce how XBL and the next Xbox will be handled, so its hard to really comment on MS's behavior.


just to be clear, when I said MS was more open to Indy's this generation than the competition I was talking about how for FREE i got access to the development environment for the Xbox and could start making my game and for 99 dollars a year publish games. I couldn't do that with Sony or Nintendo. I as a student found this incredibly interesting to be able to dev for the xbox the same way I could iPhone.

Jek_Porkins2027d ago

Great comment, bubble up for you. Microsoft isn't the only one with a closed system, you have to be careful about who you let into your infrastructure and Microsoft is a software company at heart. I don't blame them for being a bit more closed off, they have lightened up more recently and hopefully they will offer some decent indie games on the next Xbox.

At this point, we know absolutely nothing about what the next Xbox will bring to the table, it doesn't really make sense to speculate.

ThatsGaming2026d ago

Patching efforts and costs are a poor excuse. The devts should take more care and attention to building bug free code.

Devts are relying too much on patching now.

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acidbrn2027d ago

Nice to seem them support their loyal customers, but overall I'm not impressed with the offerings. It has a long way to go before it rivals what PS+ gives their gamers.

pompombrum2027d ago (Edited 2027d ago )

How can anyone disagree with this? I signed up to PS+ for the first time last week and had access to so many free games.. if someone took every game offered, stuck it in a bundle and said you could get all these for just 11.99 for three months, people would think Christmas came early.

What has XBL gold given me in the last six or so years I've subscribed to it? Absolutely nothing I can't get for free elsewhere. Only reason I'm still signed up to that and not moved over fully to ps3 is because all my friends play over XBL. Microsoft HAVE to step it up with the nextbox especially if they think they can justify charging people on their current level of service.

acidbrn2025d ago

How can anyone disagree with this? They must not have a PlayStation, or haven't subscribed to PS+ yet. Once they do, then they'll understand what is so great about PS+.

HyperBear2027d ago

I find it funny that not too long ago Microsoft dumped their XNA/Indie support for XBox 360, which although brought some very dull games, was still a great way for Indie Devs to get their games on Xbox Live Arcade and play them on the TV with the 360 controller.

Now all-of-a-sudden, with Sony's next-gen surge to core gamers and indie gamers combined, seems Microsoft are now playing catch-up, and seeing if there's anyway to get indie devs back on Xbox.

Cueil2027d ago

dumped? They stopped development on the tools that is all... it's likely they are getting ready to launch the next generation tools and they learned a TON from this generation... that dirty crap that was pulled on the Fortress Craft developer really showed how ugly some indie devs are and to think the reason they did it was to gain time to release their own game... dirty dirty dirty... XBLI is still the most open platform on consoles

HyperBear2027d ago

XBLI/XNA "was" the most open platform for Indie's on consoles, but since Microsoft have stopped the development tools and have taken the XNA project off of Xbox 360's everywhere, where can I play indie games on my Xbox 360 as of right now?? You can't, unless the devs go through Microsoft first and they publish your game to Xbox Live Arcade, but that takes away the whole concept of an open-platform and having their games being accessed by anyone without going through an approval process.

But we know how Microsoft feels towards the Indie Community anyways, just ask Jonathon Blow.

Y_51502027d ago

I am not blind, Microsoft always were behind the competition (Sony and Nintendo).

Think about it. They released the original Xbox really late in the generation. Then they totally dropped support just a couple years later to release the 360 early as possible to try to stay ahead of the competition. As of right now it's not looking good and the "720" is the only hope now. Kinect probably drop the ball for them the most even though it was a commercial success.

Jek_Porkins2027d ago (Edited 2027d ago )

The original Xbox was losing money on every one sold, also the chip needed for that Xbox was stopping production. Both of those things forced the 360 to come out earlier than they wanted and it also meant they had to drop support on it. I don't think they will drop support of the Xbox 360, it's been marketed to a different group of people now and they will be able to continue using the 360 for various other options, and 3rd party games of course.

Even though they were late with the original Xbox, it was the first console to have a high speed modem built in, HDD built in, HD ready out of the box, first analog triggers, and they did a great job setting up Xbox Live a year into it's life cycle.

Minato-Namikaze2027d ago

where have you been the last 3 years? Support from MS is almost gone for (i dont count kinect as support) outside the the usual gears, halo, forza title.

SolidSystem2027d ago


MS has never had a strong first party (though now they have like 30 internal studios working on various things). So to call MS out on that is a little unfair. the Xbox has always been a 3rd party machine and has done a good job of it.

while exclusives are few and far between, 360 owners still have a huge selection of great games coming out every year. This generation everyone won. the 3rd party games totally blew 1st party games out of the water. few other games got to the level of awesome that DeadSpace did when it first game out, and most recently Bioshock really shined and made everyone one regardless of which system is your favorite a winner.

I do most of my gaming on PC and see this little console war as idiotic, but I cant say anyone has had their support "dry-up".

xabmol2027d ago

"the 3rd party games totally blew 1st party games out of the water"

Lol, you funny.

SolidSystem2027d ago


the fact that you feel like that is exactly why I have finally decided to leave this site. too many fanboys like yourself that have pledge allegiance to a console instead of just being a fan of games.

xabmol2027d ago

And the fact that most of the "BIG" 3rd party games were unappealing to me. AssCreed, I hate it's auto play it's self mechanics. Bioshock was monotonous; never played 2. Infinite looks good, but kinda samey. CoD is way not my style. GTA 4 got boring real quick; like 10th mission quick. Thought Fallout was Meh... Same with Skyrim.

I do like MGs4/MGO, Ratchet&Clank, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Demon's Souls, Heavenly Sword & Heavy Rain, but those are 3rd party. Tack on a 1st party list of great games and you'll see why I laughed.

JamieL2026d ago

@ xabmol
LOL, dune your bias motivations are showing. So only PS3 exclusives right? Not that any of the games you named are bad, but 3D Dot Game Heroes and Heavenly Sword over Bioshock, Fallout, and Skyrim? Really? To each his own.

xabmol2026d ago

I'm sorry I only own a PS3? /s

Besides where do I exclude another systems 1st party games?

And yes; I'll pick 3D Dot/Heavenly Sword over BioShock/Skyrim any day. Heck I'd rather play Megaman Zero on the GBA, than Fallout.

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