MS's biggest mistake this gen: Lack of first party studios, hence the lack of exclusives

"If you could have one do-over, what would it be?" That's the question asked to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during his address at the executive club in Chicago. Mr. Ballmer then addressed the fact that there is never "just one do-over" but there is one mistake they made that was bigger than them all: "I would probably say I would start sooner on search." The crowd went dead silent. No noise, you could hear a pin drop. Ballmer had just acknowledged that his Company's nemesis, Google, had beaten them to the punch; it was almost like accepting defeat. But there's another BIG mistake that Microsoft made in their Xbox/Zune division, one that's seriously hurting their console while Sony's PS3 seems to be set for the distant future, and it's not RROD.

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Bungie3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )


RROD is bigger imo

that a blog. right?

Zedux3241d ago

sprint running: rushing a product that's now outdated and inferior to its competitors in every aspect thats their biggest mistake!

jhooty143241d ago

man you know when a site is filled with fanboys when this gets approved lol me being one of them hahaha

Darkeyes3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

RROD and lack of First party are the 2 major factors which will hurt the 360 in the long run. RROD has done it's job in black marking the console as the worst gaming hardware ever produced. Lack of first party is showing it's effect now when the initial boom of Gears and Halo died....

That's the advantage of being in the market for 2 generations and ruling them. Sony did a great job in capturing great devs when it was on a high and it's reaping benefits now. Still feel Sony should have roped in Square Soft and Kojima when it had the opportunity, but well, they still create for PS3.

M$ is living on borrowed time, as sooner or later some of their ace third party might crack and go to the PS3 (Bungie, Bioware (ME2 especially), Epic,Valve). This would hurt M$ a lot more than it hurts Sony when it loses 3rd party as Sony doesn't bank entirely on them.

And face it, quality of first party using custom made engine and having unlimited funds eventually adds up to a better production value for the game.

More than 20 First party studios for Sony.... And most of them are AAA devs. You can be rest assured that you will never run out of exclusive games on PS3.

[email protected]3241d ago

... is challenging already established companies at the hardware which they've mastered. I mean seriously, who decided 'hmm I think we should challenge Sony in gaming and Apple in music. Great idea Jenkins."'s always Jenkns.

Willio3241d ago

I don't know if releasing so many games from beg. Feb to end of March is such a great idea for Sony. That quarter is usually "dead" in comparison to other quarters. However, I deeply appreciate having another Christmas without the snow.

DelbertGrady3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

How is it a mistake when they have been ahead of Sony this whole gen? Last time I checked the 360 still has a larger install base than the PS3. How is that a mistake in challenging them?

saint_john_paul_ii3241d ago

thats because ms is concentrating in the short run instead of the long run. they may have the higher install base, but look how that install base is being eaten up right now by sony. sony's strategy of servicing the PS3 in the long run is paying off now.

think of the story of the Hare and the Tortoise.

Gamehead363241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

Bubbles up just for the name

colonel1793241d ago

Saying the 360 has a larger install base in this time and age, sounds more like an urban legend or a myth. MS launched the 360 one year earlier than the PS3, so they had an advantage, but with all the RROD that has been going on, I don't think the install base has been growing that much, since people are replacing their broken consoles. MS might have sold 30+ million consoles, but that does not mean at all that there are 30+ million 360 gamers.

PS3 sales are at all-time high right now, the install base is increasing very rapidly, and I would think that the advantage that MS had with the year head start is completely gone by now (not in sales, but in number of people owning the ps3 vs people owning 360)

DMason3241d ago

MS has one bad year, and Sony has a good year.

But somehow that means the Xbox is doomed, and Sony is king of the castle. I really don't understand people sometimes.

Next year, it'll be something completely different.

And lastly, when did no-name blog sites matter? Oh wait, when one console is bashing the other, that's when.

TOO PAWNED3241d ago

You can't understand, just look at your avatar and you have the answer are biased.

DMason3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

If I were biased, I wouldnt own a PS3.

Just because an avatar depicts something comical to some, doesn't mean it projects it's opinions onto the person it is attached to. If we used that conclusion, I could say that your avatar is defamatory to cats, dogs and animals alike, making you an animal hater.

Guido3241d ago

They should have found competition in themselves against a future that is unpredictable, much like Sony does. Sony does not compete with MS, they play the market and do what needs to be done to be successful. MS competes against Sony and is lagging behind. You can see it more clearly now than 3 years ago as the hardware becomes more and more outdated. If they would have done what Sony did then they would be considered more future proof but they are not. Instead they rushed a console to the market with huge failure rates and now have nearly zero first party support. Bad decisions will come home to haunt them as they already are showing signs of doing so.

zeeshan3241d ago

DMASON: Yes, just like PS3 was doomed back in 2007? Also, Xbox360's install base is shrinking fast. Somehow, when you don't understand people, you should know that you are one of them as well because if you believe that USA == world then you are wrong. Xbox360 is already dead in Japan and the last I read, they were also behind in EU. Also, if RROD ratio is anything to go by, you should try to calculate the real figure. If the failure rate is in 30-50% of range, those are a LOT of consoles that M$ sold as people wanted to replace their dead 360s. I own a 360 and it comes with Jasper chipset and believe me, I always have this RROD fear in the back of mind while my PS3 runs without any problem and we all know how great SONY's hardware quality is.

ABizzel13241d ago

Sony's been in the game 3 generations and practically lead the generations into what they are now powerful HD media hubs. So they had time to pick up developers.

MS had the chance to pick up developers however, they took the cheap route and paid for exclusive content so that they can keep money for themselves instead of purchasing developers, and now it's biting them. They have 2 years of decent exclusives then they'll have a great year of exclusives then back and forth.

2005- decent
2006- decent
2007- GREAT
2008- decent
2009- decent
2010- GREAT

The money they get from XBL should be used to purchase smaller studio to make their current studios large enough to dish out games every year. MS is to reliant on 3rd party developers, and they need to do what they can to get more variety on their console. As of now the 360 is the console for shooters, racing, sports games, and RPG's (mediocre JRPG's). While Sony has EVERYTHING (a reason to this day is why I believe PS3 games sell less because they have a audience that has various taste in games, while 360's audience is stuck with 4 genres).

beans3241d ago

Actually Sony didn't get us to the point where at now in hd and online. Sure they did an amazing job (props to them) with PS1 and 2 but this generation they've been doing everything to possibly get back on the map by copying MS's every move. 1st party or not MS has the better multiplat and still plenty of exclusives on 360 and PC. Sony deserves props for trying to prove it has the most powerful console but already next year Alan Wake and others will be taking the whole power statement back to 360. MS needs to make a more reliable console next gen with built in hard drive and improved d pad.

sikbeta3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

Why all of you bring RROD, you know M$ is the first company ever that stay safe of massive action lawsuits from consumers because of the unacceptable failure rate

Don't know why really, if Sony or Nintendo made the same it will be a different story

Since M$ has a really blind fanbase, It still making the same shoddy hardware and the fanbase not complain at all, so we can say the biggest problem of M$ is the lack of First Party Devs and the way is almost fully dependent of Third Party Devs

Montrealien3241d ago

@ [email protected] said..

(... is challenging already established companies at the hardware which they've mastered. I mean seriously, who decided 'hmm I think we should challenge Sony in gaming and Apple in music. Great idea Jenkins)

well jenkins, that idea seemed to work well for Sony in the 90s, would you not agree? What matters for us consumers is that we have competition and myself I am happy MS opened there wallet to take on those companies because it makes for more options for us consumers. And it makes companies like sony and nintendo push themselve to become better, just as they push MS to become better.

As for the article

With first party games, although seldom, selling like crazy, I think first party games on both windows and 360 are the least of Microsofts problem, their biggest mystake is clearly RRoD and to think otherwise is just retarded.

tordavis3241d ago

Xbox 360 is doomed!
Sony is eating away at the installed base(even though the installed base has only grown, not shrunken)

Sell your Xbox 360's so you won't be laughed at when Sony takes over again! Then sell your Wii's!

Sony is the only game console that should be allowed to exist!

I don't see how a lack of first party is a problem with MS. All their first party exclusives sell like hotcakes.

Another BS article from a flamebaiter.

Troll_Police3241d ago

Haha, so you're telling me that Forza 3 and Banjo Kazooie sold like hotcakes?

beardpapa3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

idea worked well for Sony in the 90s. That's true. It's because they made themselves different from Nintendo and Sega. They had their own slew of games akin to the Playstation brand and more importantly promoted the CD format into mainstream. They enticed developers to move forward and produce games utilizing better technology and storage while Nintendo was adamant with staying on cartridge based media.

Microsoft could do better. They did better with Xbox but with the 360 it was a totally different take on the industry. Instead of focusing on unique games that can be had on the Xbox platform like they did on Xbox 1, they went ahead and paid for multiplats. Remember, there was an uproar in the community when DMC, RE, and FF went multiplat. Heck, where is Ace Combat on the PS3? That grew up on the PS platform but where is it on #3 ? You can argue that FF was never Sony exclusive, but during its infancy, cartridge + Nintendo was the only thing in the market. When better storage/technology game, Square left that old fart and went straight for the new meat. You'd think with Blu-ray in, why would Square go retro unless they simply don't care about carrying out the best of their visions anymore in favor of quick cash.

Microsoft would've been fine if they just kept to themselves and had their own harem, instead of sleeping with other people's women. Now the other guy is just getting even.

Montrealien3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

No Troll Police, he is telling you that Gears of War and Halo have sold more then all the PS3 exclusives combined.

and beardpapa, you are right, to a certain extent but to think that money was not an issue for Square to go with sony back then would be delusional, square was a lady getting courted by sony on a regular basis as the playstation was coming along. In other words, CDs back then where much more cost effective, and I would be guessing that this gen DvD9s where also cost effective.

There is not Guy or a beat up Ninja that needs to get even, just companies looking to make money in our awesome and belove dindustry. Sony and MS and Nintendo are not Robots fighting in the sky, just 3 great companies fighting for our dollars and the minute one dissapears, it hurts us all.

and fyi, they can all do better, they can always do better, we can always do better.

darthv723241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

sony should throw a thank you to NEC for bringing the cd medium to the front of console gaming. While it may not have been the leader it certainly holds its spot in the history books for giving the option to use it before the likes of sega.

First party studios are a nice touch but if you are willing to invest $$ into the development of a game like MS does with the so called buying content, it is no different than what sony does. Sony invests $$ into these smaller studios in return for exclusive rights to publish the games. If the games sell then that studio has now been partnered up with sony for exclusive games from that point on. It happened with insomniac, naughty dog, guerrilla, media molecule....

Point is, sony buys the studios. MS only buys the games. Which do you think has less overhead?

Budg3tG4m3r3241d ago

This is a lie... I thought lie blogs were a no no, well hats what the rules of the site say.

Montrealien3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

darthv72, lol

I was a TG16 advocate! that consoles failure in NA really grounded me at a young age when it comes to console wars, I realized it was about the games. I have that to thank the Turbo for. After that console I realized that I would always try to get all the consoles I can and never hate the consoles I cant have.

I actually still have mine with 2 arcade sticks, a multi tap and the CD add on, heck, I even have the component stereo add on thing. They where really pushing the limits of 8bit/16bit consoles.

calis3241d ago

"Actually Sony didn't get us to the point where at now in hd and online. Sure they did an amazing job (props to them) with PS1 and 2 but this generation they've been doing everything to possibly get back on the map by copying MS's every move. 1st party or not MS has the better multiplat and still plenty of exclusives on 360 and PC. Sony deserves props for trying to prove it has the most powerful console but already next year Alan Wake and others will be taking the whole power statement back to 360. MS needs to make a more reliable console next gen with built in hard drive and improved d pad."

LOL, that comment is so full of fail.
Especially the Sony copying Microsoft. When have Microsoft ever had an original thought?

Raoh3241d ago


Welcome to why sony fans have been scratching their heads over blogs/cnet/ms fans etc saying ps3 is doomed

1. before it releases
2. in its first year
3. 2nd year questionable
4. 3rd year its obvious the ps3 aint going no where..

but this hasnt stopped for MS and its fans from pulling a Pres Bush and standing in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner before the war is even over...

ViciousBoston3241d ago

Sony isn't far off on Square Enix. They own about 40% of the company in stock. Sony can go ahead and buy them out if SE put more stock out to buy, Sony could gain controling interest @51% and have all exclusives from then on. Kojima would have been a snag but honestly at this point we're not missing much. We already have the MGS saga 1-4. Xbox fans think MGS:Rising is going to be just as good as MGS4, its going to be watered down MG.

HolyOrangeCows3241d ago

RROD, Lack of Exclusives, and now (with PSN so fleshed out and with dedicated servers) the price of LIVE.

Saaking3241d ago

MS has made many mistakes:

RROD and other hardware failures

Last gen DVD

NO first party

relying on their parties

They tried to be like Sony and now like Nintendo (They don't have their own identity)

Over Reliance on Halo

Overconfident and big mouthed

etc. etc.

4Sh0w3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

Sure its been a "slower" year for microsoft, still it wasn't a bad year for 360 gamers like me, Halo Wars is the best selling RTS on consoles. Forza3 just sold 1mil copies in a month and is on track to easily outsell Forza2. ODST sold 2mil in just 2 days. L4D2 is having great sales which exceed all but Halo, Gears and the COD/MW franchise. The two GTA episodes were awesome. SO4 although going to ps3 was a good jrpg's released on 360 this year(not my cup of tea). And now with the biggest 3rd party games from ps2 era like GTA, DMC, FF, VF5, Tekken and MGS are all on 360. 360 gets alot of small perks from 3rd party and the biggest ones sell better on 360 every year so far including this year with MW2, if selling software is anykind of guage of the strength of a gaming consoles library, I just don't see how anyone could really say 360 isn't offering enough just because they have less studio's compared to their competitors.

I just dont see where if you only owned one(360) console how its stacked so far in favor of ps3 vs 360, right now if you look at the best exclusives available on both platforms it looks pretty close to me:
Uncharted vs Gears of War
KZ2 vs Halo3
Resistance vs L4D
Warhawk vs Crackdown
MGS4 vs Mass Effect
GT vs Forza
LBP vs Fable

Now I know these some of these games are in totally different genre's, its just a snap shot of some of the best games on both consoles, 2010 is looking amazing for both with games like GOW3, GT5, Heavy Rain, MAG, The Last Guardian coming to ps3 and Alan Wake, Splinter Cell Conviction, Mass Effect2, Halo Reach, Fable3 and Crackdown2.

Take off the fanboy goggles, microsoft had 1 year that was less than stellar and somehow that means its over, yet they are releasing an onslaught of blockbuster titles this year which looks like it will easily match what sony's offering and their doing it ALL WITH LESS IN HOUSE STUDIO'S. Microsoft has said there strategy this gen is NOT to buy or create more studio's, its to find talented studio's and pay for exclusive content, so far its been working very well.

Hey I understand some just "prefer" one and they think thats the best. I also understand if financial circumstances make it unpractical to own both, thats fine but either way clearly the only people who are missing out are the ones who ONLY own 1 console. Both group of fanboys only use this site to promote their agenda of hatred for one console and act as salesman for the other, too bad they don't get paid either way. Democrats and Republicans.

ginsunuva3241d ago

For Sony it was:

2006: slightly lacking
2007: solid
2008: great
2009: outstanding
2010: OMG!!

It gets better and better!

Shepherd 2143241d ago

these articles try to make me feel like ive had the most horrible experience of my life the past 4 years, that i simply didnt enjoy dozens of great games because i opted for a 360. funny how i never tell nor do i think PS3 owners have a bad experience, but for some reason many feel the need to tell me i was never actually having fun with my games.

GiantEnemyCrab3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

"you know M$ is the first company ever that stay safe of massive action lawsuits from consumers because of the unacceptable failure rate

Don't know why really, if Sony or Nintendo made the same it will be a different story "

Let me guess, this is your first generation of gaming right??

It took a class action lawsuit/threats against Sony and the PS2 for them to pay even the slightest bit of attention to their DRE errors that plagued many machines.. 2 of the ones I owned. They basically got a free pass on it in the end and die hards continue to defend it to this day.

Saaking3241d ago

PS2 problems were not even close to the MASSIVE failure rate of the 360. Don't blow the PS2's faults out of proportion. My 8 year old PS2 is still running great (so is my 11 year old N64 and most of my other older systems).

The Lazy One3240d ago

Launch PS2's definitely were. they're problem was a little easier to fix as they just needed a new disk drive instead of a board redesign, but the launch PS2s were just as bad as launch 360s. There just weren't as many places for people to whine about it.

@Vicious Boston:

They aren't even close to 40% they own about 8%.


Sony, Microsoft, and nintendo all copy from each other and come up with their own tech that advances the industry as a whole. Microsoft and Sony especially and nearly equally (close enough to not really say who does more).

Alvadr3240d ago

Sony spend their money on development
MS spend their money on exclusive dlc and timed exclusivity

Two different business models, I wonder which secures more of a future

+ Show (34) more repliesLast reply 3240d ago
Kalowest3241d ago

I love that article, none bias and true. Maybe next gen MS maybe next gen.

Maddens Raiders3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

doesn't think they've made any mistakes and that's the ((bottom line)) & that is exactly why this multi-billion dollar company is in business for in the 1st place: to stack Benjamins to the kitchen ceiling and then find another room to stack some more.

If they cared in the first place (thinking it might be a mistake) then they would've put out a stronger console in terms of its utility. Instead they decided to launch first, being the first to market - capture as much of the nex-gen hungry crowd as they could and deal with the fallout later. That's a risk they were willing to take and it paid off for them from the outset of this war.

They knew they could bankroll Halo 'til the cows came home and Gears was icing on the cake, so having a glut of serious, quality 1st party studios never entered the picture, because with all the money coming in from the aforementioned activity they could afford to try and "jackhammer" their way into the PS userbase by buying up exclusives. When they found out that this wouldn't work it's back to Halo, Gears and pricecuts. Of course they've tried to appease the masses by tweaking their warranty on faulty systems, but the price paid in bad press has cost them untold billions. Plus there are the loyal fans that will go out and buy a new XBOX360 and urge their family and friends to do the same as they whistle through the graveyard. These customers, coupled with uneducated others are their bread & butter.

We'll see if they've learned from these mistakes in the next round of console wars, but for now (in their minds), they're gonna continue cruising down the road; mistake free.

Godmars2903241d ago

How has it paid off for them when they've made little gains over the Xbox1 before people have begun saying they're done?

You remember the 1st Xbox right? The big brick they took their time with but generally failed for lack of both 1st and 3rd party support? The one that they dumped because it lost overall momentum though it still had potential?

Maddens Raiders3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

well...I never said they're done..and the 1st XBOX has nothing to do with this. It [360] paid off for them because by jumping in early (despite the obvious) they still have a lead over one console that claims it does everything (& it does). That's payoff where I come from.

Godmars2903241d ago

Its only a payoff if MS makes the Xbox brand some value. This is their 2nd try, and sorry, but its sounding more like a joke to me. The FPS console that breaks down on you. The Halo console.

Maddens Raiders3241d ago

"This is their 2nd try, and sorry, but its sounding more like a joke to me. The FPS console that breaks down on you."

well Godmars you're going to make me defend MS again :) I do think that it's a joke like I said (and so many others) re: the quality of the hardware there's no doubting that, but we'll just have to wait and see if MS failed or prevailed at the end of this console war and believe me I'll be watching.

The point I'm making is simply *right ---> now they are beating the PS3.

The end will be number of consoles sold at the end of the day. If the PS3 goes the way of the PS2 (which is highly likely at this point), then you and I both know how it ends, but we must wait until that proverbial (end) after MS decides to throw in the towel on this console, before we can declare that their risky calculations paid off or truly failed.

beardpapa3241d ago (Edited 3241d ago )

it's an FPS console. FPS sells ridiculously well on it. Just slap any boxart onto a game and make it look like guns blazing and that game will definitely sell very well.

RPGs? Nah.
Racing? Nah.
Family? Nah.
Sports? Sure.
FPS? definitely.

You can probably put Madden w/ guns and it'll sell 3x more. Seriously. Borderlands, L4D, COD all sell extremely well on the 360 platform, especially Borderlands for an IP relatively unknown. I predict Mass Effect 2 will sell even more than the first game now that the cover has Shepherd and friends with big guns on it.


Next thing you know themart will be back...

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3241d ago
4point7BillionLoss3241d ago

that bots have just been sitting around twiddling their thumbs wishing they'd baught a different console because there are no games to play.

That's stupid.

But we all know droids are the bottom of the gene pool!

Game13a13y3241d ago

MS's biggest mistake is creating the poor man's PC known as the Xbox.

JasonPC360PS3Wii3241d ago

Yet they have more than Sony and Nintendo, hmmmmm... smells like droid BS damage control.

Obama3241d ago

Lack of exclusives sounds about right. Just look at 2009.

kaveti66163241d ago

Oh, MS had a few exclusives, but the retail titles were mediocre, like Ninja Blade,

and all the great titles they released were on XBL

like Shadow Complex.

But Shadow Complex is not a full scale game. If you really looked at the stuff MS did in 2009, you wouldn't say that they did nothing, but you would see they were concentrating more on XBL than on full games, which sucks.