How Microsoft can Win Us Back with the Xbox One

E3 was supposed to be the time where Microsoft cleared up all the misunderstandings and get the gaming audience back on their side.  By showing off their game library and giving us a demonstration of what the Xbox One could do, Microsoft had thought to soothe the savage internet beast and get their new console some badly needed momentum. Instead they found themselves outplayed at every turn by Sony later that night.

Don’t get me wrong.  Microsoft had a good conference; it was an entertaining show. I’m not sure how Sony did it (maybe someone gave them Microsoft’s set list) but not even Hideo Kojima appearing could stop the onslaught of negativity.  And it didn’t help things when we found out that all the trailers included the vaunted Xbox One games were running on Windows 7 and not dev kits for the new system.

Once again, I do realize that more often than not this trick has been played on us before.  Many so called next-gen games are showed off using PCs, but something magical happened.  Developers at the Sony press conference went live on social media and came out to confirm that their games were all on PS4 dev kits.  Sony did not need such trickery.   Jonathon Blow of The Witness couldn’t help but drop this little elbow from the sky:

It is not true as the article says that “all E3 demos run on hi-end PCs”. The Witness was running on PS4 dev hardware, and it looked to me like all the other PS4 games were running on dev kits as well. @Jonathon_Blow

and this

All the indies I know were running on the PS4. @Jonathon_Blow

oh and this

We worked very hard to get our game running on the actual PS4 hardware and operating system in time for the show. As did many other devs. @Jonathon_Blow

So now what, Microsoft?  With scandal at almost every corner, how can the once popular developer emerge from the quagmire that they admittedly created?  How can they compete against Sony, their rivals who have effectively used the controversies to show gamers that they are the company with a console that is dedicated to gamers with the PS4?  How can they sway me from Nintendo when they don’t have Miyamoto telling adorable stories of how he takes neighborhood children out and plays games with them while looking adorable (oh to be 8 yrs old and Japanese)? Well for me, this is what Microsoft needs to do to win my money back:

  1. Figure out the Used Games Policy

I still don’t even know what Microsoft is planning on doing with used games. In fact no one does.  Every time Microsoft makes an announcement on this front they end up confusing people by changing their minds ten minutes later.  The solution is simple, let people do with their used games what they will even if that means selling them.  Sony killed Microsoft with this by bashing Microsoft’s policies to a cheering crowd of journalists ( who almost never react to anything). And does anyone remember this little gem?

Microsoft gave Sony a huge chunk of their audience, by just bringing back the old policy they can get some of their audience back.

  1. Don’t make us buy a Kinect

While this isn’t the biggest controversy with the Xbox One, this is one major annoyance that has affected the price of the system.  When the original Kinect launched it was a gimmick — but a cute one — that did come with a great game in Just Dance.  However, it wasn’t something that most gamers were interested in and the majority of Kinect games weren’t that good.  For some reason, Microsoft has refused to understand that no matter what they do, they can’t force people to buy the Kinect of their own volition, so now with the Xbox One they’re including it in the package?

No one wants to be forced into buying something that they’re never going to really use, and that’s always-on (even if they say it really isn’t) when the console is on, and let’s not forget the fact that you need hardcore privacy settings making the Kinect a headache that people just don’t want to deal with.  Add to that making the system $100 more expensive then the PS4, getting rid of the Kinect would go a long way to getting people back on Microsoft’s side.

  1. Fix the Online Policy

I’m not sure who at Microsoft is coming up with these ideas, but whoever it is needs to go fast.  For some reason the Xbox One requires you to check-in once every 24 hours to play a game even if it’s single player. My question is: why? I’m lucky that I live somewhere with a pretty strong internet connection but not everyone does. What about college students?  Dorm room internet isn’t that great, and there are others all over the world who don’t have access to great internet and will get left out.  What about a storm, Microsoft?  I live in an area that is prone to some pretty bad snow storms, what if I lost my internet connection?  Am I just supposed to look at my lovely Microsoft Xbox One brick or should I just turn around and play my functioning Wii U or PS4?

  1. Can we just stop with the “All-in-one” Entertainment

Now I understand that every one of the Big Three are guilty of this, and spend a little time focusing on the entertainment aspects of their consoles. But Sony and Nintendo can’t match the entertainment push that Microsoft shoved down our throats.  I think we can trace the start of this whole debacle to their May pre-E3 Xbox One reveal.  And I can understand why.  They’re just trying to show the world how versatile the system is, how many things it can do, which is interesting, but not what they needed to focus on to get gamers intrigued. It was also at this conference that they revealed some of the more troubling aspects of the Xbox One, and since then, have not really addressed them.

For me at least, these four things could be the start that Microsoft needs to get back into the game, because at this point, there is a clear E3 and console winner. Their name starts with an S and ends with an ony.


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  1. jwen84

    Agreed!  I think just taking Kinect out as a requirement would be a huge deal, not only price wise, but privacy wise.  I’m sure by default it’s going to record everything and you’ll have to go into your settings to shut it off, not the other way around.

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