I don’t really know how to open these pieces about Microsoft anymore. I suppose all I can really say is that, regardless of what it may seem like, I don’t actually dislike them. What I’m not a fan of is the way they’ve been going about the reveal of their new console, making ambiguous statements and confident boasts while the majority of the reaction that I see is overwhelmingly negative.
Despite all that, I’m still not counting them out. Unless they’re actually out, it’s always too early to count someone out in the gaming industry. In fact, I actually like part of what Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi has said about the reaction to the Xbox One reveal:
“There’s a lot of education we have to provide to make sure that people understand. We’re trying to do something pretty big in terms of moving the industry forward for console gaming into the digital world. We believe the digital world is the future, and we believe digital is better.”
Yes, Microsoft, make me understand. Educate me. Show me the benefits. You say that you believe that you’re pushing us toward the future of gaming? Well, I don’t like your vision of the future. Show me why I’m wrong, give me concrete reasons why your way is better, and I’ll jump on your bandwagon. But, again, Microsoft has constantly said things like “we need to educate people,” and “people will see the value of the console when it launches,” which is all well and good, but you have to follow up on them. You have to provide the education that the people require; you have to show us your console’s value.
What Mehdi said regarding the negative reaction, and its repercussions on sales, is what made me stop short:
“In a broader set of community, people don’t pay attention to a lot of the details. We’ve seen it in the research, we’ve seen it in a lot of the data points.”
Now, it seems to me that Mehdi is both saying that Microsoft needs to educate people, while simultaneously saying it’s unnecessary, because people won’t pay attention. Stretching that a bit further, it really sounds like Microsoft is counting on the uninformed nature of the mass consumer market to move this console: they were the most popular brand in the current generation, so they see no reason why the average consumer won’t grab an Xbox One just because they had an Xbox 360. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that exactly the same trap Sony walked into with the PlayStation 3?
Mehdi concludes by saying (again) that the Xbox One offers so much value that the $100 price difference between it and the PlayStation 4 won’t matter in the long run.
You need to educate people on why the Xbox One is better value. At the same time, though, it isn’t really necessary, because the broader audience doesn’t pay attention to detail very often, so it doesn’t matter what you say. Yet you’re depending on them seeing the value in the details that they haven’t been paying attention so they’ll drop the extra $100 for your console? What?
Speaking from experience, that ‘broader set of community’ you’re talking about has absolutely no brand loyalty. They’re going to get the console that’s cheaper, if they can. Especially if they’re a parent buying a gift for their children: I went from a PlayStation 2, which my parents bought me one Christmas, to an Xbox 360, which they bought me another, specifically because the 360 was cheaper. If they were to buy me a next-gen console, they’d get the PlayStation 4, regardless of what I already owned, because it’s cheaper. A lot of parents are like that. In that broader market, price is often the most important deciding factor, and Microsoft doesn’t have that advantage this time around.
I just don’t understand what they’re trying to do, here, and I don’t really want to think about it: it makes my head spin.
Source: [The Escapist]