My thoughts on Microsofts gaming division and it's future in the gaming industry
I am very grateful that MS decided to throw in their hats in this console battle. They have shown that Online play, a new feature to the console gaming industry, is wanted and needed and can be done well. They are the pioneers in this field concerning consoles and I'm sure the industry owes Microsoft a debt of gratitude for it.
Microsoft making a push in the industry has also made other companies sit up and take notice. This has been great for gamers and I hope Microsoft can find a way to continue to compete in the console gaming industry. I say I hope because I truly feel, barring any miraculous events in the gaming industry, that Microsoft may likely move on to software development after this gen or next gen is over.
Why I have this view point is, Microsoft didn't do well with the Xbox and really needed the Xbox360 to do a lot better this time round so they could be in a much better position to compete in other console cycles. However, with the Xbox360's poor sales numbers in Japan, it is already obvious the 360 will come in last place for this generation. Japan, unknown to most it seems, is like high ground on the console battle field; if you have it, your chances of winning a fight are significantly increased and Microsoft definitely does not have high ground in this generation. Now, will it still sell enough to have Microsoft gamble on an Xbox 3? well we'll see but my guess is not very likely. A shame seeing as the Xbox is a console that really helps better the industry for gamers via competition.
If Microsoft does take one more push with the Xbox 3 then that'll continue to be great for the gamers but I ultimately do see Microsoft either bowing out of the hardware side of things and taking on software or aligning themselves with Sony's other competitors - new or old - in an effort to combine forces and win that way.
However, Microsoft may do a "180" and really start pumping out games for gamers instead of games for profit. I think that's were Microsoft has been a little short sighted. I've always felt like their games were/are always made to get revenue in first no matter the true quality. The thing is, other console producers have always seen that if you create quality games then the money will flow automatically. What I'm trying to say in a nut shell is that it feels like Microsoft creates games putting potential profits first instead of the gamers and it shows with their gaming product.
Though seemingly flooded with the same hardcore shoot, shoot, shoot games it had on the Xbox, the Xbox 360 has come out with a better variety of games this time round so maybe Microsoft is beginning to get it but is it too little too late?
Thank you for reading my blog.
[ORIGINALLY BLOGED ON 24TH DEC. '06 ON GS]