Itís fairly safe to say that Microsoft was really, really not expecting whatís been going down over the last twenty-four hours or so. Mocking supercuts, angry fans, and a litany of bad press is not generally something a video game console maker wants to see dominating the news cycle. So, what went wrong, why, and can it be fixed?
Sins Of Omission
Likely the biggest problem was the fact that Microsoft left a lot of points out of its presentation. Many of the unpopular features that were only rumored, such as ďalways-onĒ connections, how it handles used games, and potential hardware issues such as a hard drive you canít remove, are in fact real.
However, instead of confronting this issue head-on at the press event, Microsoft only discussed it on pieces separate from the launch announcement hype. It was an honest attempt to present difficult information directly, but it came off, quite a bit, like Microsoft was attempting to bury it. This didnít earn the company many friends, and that may come back to bite it with the wider audience as time goes on.
Microsoft has been in full damage control, and itís highlighted some cracks in how the company handles PR. Executives say one thing: Twitter accounts say another. Claims are made only to be walked back, only to be made again. Honestly, it gives the impression nobody quite knows whatís going on, and the fact that these people want to put a camera that is always on in your living room does not inspire confidence.
The presentation itself was problematic as well. For example, the Xbox One seems to be offering a used game trading system that may be quite neat, and may help ease concerns about losing access to used game sales from GameStop. But the system was not discussed and thereís been little follow-up about it from Microsoft.
A Lack Of Forethought
The fact that the presentation was streamed live on 360s, only to have the Kinect hooked up to those 360s shut it down every time somebody presenting said ďXboxĒ, really says it all. Microsoft didnít think through a fair number of points in its presentation and how they went over. Depending on who you ask, they didnít think that hard about the name of this console, either.
There are other problems, as well. It seems to be a very, very bad idea to include a high-resolution webcam and Skype into millions of American homes, considering how popular the service is forÖ how do we put thisÖ adult behavior. Itís hard to dismiss consumer concerns over having an always-on webcam in their home, and if the console is misused, Microsoft may find itself dragged into fairly sordid court cases.
We may tease Microsoft or express concern over the Xbox One, but the truth is, if a console fails, itíll be bad for gamers. Publishers will lose money, development studios will close, competition will dwindle, and franchises will be lost. So, for gamingís sake, we hope Microsoft can right the ship. The Xbox One may have a hard road to walk, but it should be allowed to walk it.
Joined: May 05, 2013 Posts: 57 Location: eastwick XP: 16,734
Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 1:02 pm Post subject: Xbox One might not be the game changer Microsoft claims
Microsoft (MSFT) says its Xbox One console will revolutionize home entertainment. Wall Street and industry analysts aren't buying that claim.
Microsoft portrayed its next-generation video game console as an all-in-one entertainment system that would solve the age-old problem of switching among functions like watching live TV, playing a movie or game, listening to music, and accessing the Internet. Today, most consumers struggle with multiple remote controls and have to manually switch video inputs to change from one set-top box to another.
Xbox One users will be able to switch between functions and TV channels with simple voice commands using its included Kinect sensor, Microsoft executives touted Tuesday at the product unveiling.
Getty Images View Enlarged Image
But the devil is in the details.
The Verge managing editor Nilay Patel called B.S. on Microsoft's claim of simplifying the living room. He said the Xbox One will run into the same problems that Google's (GOOG) Google TV and other products have experienced.
"The Xbox One's TV integration is the same familiar nightmare we've known for nearly 20 years now," he wrote. "Instead of actually integrating with your TV service, the One sits on top of it: you plug your cable box's HDMI cable into the Xbox, which overlays the signal with its own interface."
What's more, Microsoft's system, like those that have come before, only works with live TV, not your DVR for recorded programs or pay-per-view movies.
Microsoft would need to reach deals with cable, satellite and telecom television service providers to access their set-top box functions and program guides and those companies likely won't cede control, he says.
"Xbox One won't free you from your cable box ó it'll stay firmly chained to it," Patel said.
Xbox One offers a "work-around solution" of taking video channels through an HDMI pass-through instead of an IP feed, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield wrote. He described the set-up as "ugly at best, with limited functionality that will prevent most consumers from using the Xbox One for linear TV."
Will Richmond, president of market research and consulting firm Broadband Directions, said the Xbox One "doesn't appear to break any new ground" in the home entertainment experience.
"What's missing from Xbox One is the ability to control on-demand and DVR content," Richmond wrote in a blog post. "Xbox One reinforces the TV experience as being siloed from other devices, something I believe many consumers are hungry to see resolved (and why I believe Apple has a big opportunity in TV)."
Joined: Jan 31, 2004 Posts: 1769 Location: NH, USA XP: 171,140
Posted: Sat May 25, 2013 1:57 am Post subject:
I'm buying it. What Microsoft has done is nothing less than revolutionary. You know they are doing something right when there is this much good or bad responses from press and the hoopla yellas.
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