Microsoft is Missing Something…

by Da'Von B.

So the dust has settled and Microsoft has announced their new home entertainment system (literally) now known as the Xbox One or XB1. And…well…I won’t join in a chorus of how underwhelming the presentation or the system seemed, one of the main complaints came from Microsoft not announcing or showing more games for the system, problem is that wouldn’t have made any sense, with E3 just a few weeks away you don’t show a large portion of gaming IP before a substantially well-known video game expo.

The presentation made sense, describe just about everything your video game, or in this case home entertainment system can do, and showcase and highlight your new features and services available, hold off on a majority of your gaming content until E3. What was shown was enough to give people an idea of some of the power that lies within the new Xbox One.

Now there are a few things missing mainly, there’s no backward compatibility and if you ask the Xbox Head Don Mattrick apparently “If you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards” for some odd reason Mattrick has the inclination that only 5% of customers actually played older games on a new console…now this number doesn’t make too much sense. The last time new consoles were released was in November 2006 with the Playstation 3 and November 2005 for the Xbox 360, during this time the capabilities of the systems weren’t fully realized and there weren’t a massive amount of homes connected to high-speed internet. It’s 2013 not 2005 people are still playing various Halo and Call Of Duty titles online through Sony and Microsoft’s online gaming services, people are playing titles that have been released for years online. To suggest that only 5% of customers would play older games is looking at things from when the Xbox 360 was released with relation to the original Xbox. And apparently there’s no sign that Microsoft is even looking into being able to download digital versions of Xbox 360 games and have no intention on making the new system backward compatible…that’s unfortunate and very dumb.

The second thing that Microsoft is missing is being willing to welcome indie developers to independently publish their games. Basically an indie developer would have to work with a publisher to release their games (where the publisher receives a percentage of sales of said game). This is substantially horrible and shows that no one has really understood the importance of the indie development community. Obviously there’s likely to be one company that will nail this, and they won’t be at E3, the fact that Microsoft won’t embrace indie developers in such a way that could catapult their new system raises a lot of questions that the company clearly won’t answer, maybe their dealing with some sort of unorthodox cognitive dissonance, haven’t the slightest clue, but they’re destroying the chances of obtaining significant allies in the independent development community.

Microsoft is missing something and there’s a feeling they won’t be able to realize what that is even when everyone in the tech community is screaming it at them.