Friday, 15 November 2013

How Microsoft can bounce back.

Right now Microsoft are undeniably in a bad place with Xbox One. I won't go into the reasons, the why's the what for's, because they're pretty well documented by now I think we'd all agree.

Now some tabloids would have us believe that Microsoft will simply look to sell off the Xbox division and return to solely to their roots in software development. But I don't buy that.
Microsoft are hurting at the moment. That much is clear. But this is one of the worlds top trading conglomerates we're talking about. No; make no mistake, there will be a well planned fightback.

With that all out of the way, the question that remains is - where exactly does Microsoft go from here?

Well, luckily for Microsoft, there is another company out there who has suffered a similar fate, faced all the same PR troubles, had the same negative press. But, most importantly, they came back. Yes, it took them seven or so years, but they managed to shrug it all off and return to the top. That company, of course, is Sony.

When Sony launched the PS3 they were in trouble from day one. They were late to market with a product that was challenging to develop for and lacking a design philosophy as forward thinking as their rivals.
Now I can debate the wrongs and rights of Sony's policies at that time till the cows come home, but why bother? The fact is they ended this generation in first place. Fact. They sold more consoles than their competitors in the end.

So can the key for an Xbox one comeback be found in Sony's ps3 revival?
As things stand now, I see a lot of Sony in the past in the Microsoft of the present. They are a company on the ropes. Their inferior xb1 specs have them flailing the arms in pointless defence of basic graphical shortcomings when their attention should be in other areas. Microsoft, as far as who has the most powerful product, well let's say that horse has already bolted. Move on. This really shouldn't be the focus right now and the situation takes me back to Sony defending the ps3 with talk of spu's and what not. "But the cloud!" Is the new Xbox motto, but such things are smoke and mirrors and most people see through that.

Microsoft need to move on - and fast.

1. EXCLUSIVES. They're already on the right track here. Games like The last of us and uncharted were vital to Sony's ps3 revival and the likes of Titanfall and Dead rising 3 are a good start on the same path. Dead rising 3 is a good example because it's a title that seems underwhelming in the resolution and fps areas yet looks still to be a really great game. If its 720p and 20fps who cares as long as its fun and you're playing it on the only platform you can?

2. TV AND MEDIA. This is important to Microsoft but of less importance to the average gamer. I'm not saying they should scrap their plans to make their own TV content, but scale it back some and move some of the budget back to where its really needed - the games. Alternatively, use it to offset some of the manufacturing cost and get that price down.

3. BE MORE APPROACHABLE. Sony have worked miracles in the image dept by adopting a gamer first persona with gamers feeling comfortable chatting to executives like best friends on social media.

4. APOLOGISE. Microsoft messed up in a big way with the whole DRM scandal, but worse still, they upset their customers. Even worse in my opinion, they still carry on like the public didn't know its it own mind and they still act like their DRM scheme was anything but a shameless attempt to carve themselves a bigger slice of the cash pie.
They need to put this to bed once and for all and the only way to do that is to apologise. That and promise never to put their own needs ahead of the consumer ever again.

Can Microsoft do a sony and turn the next gen race around? Let me know In the comments I'd love to hear your opinions.