Is Microsoft in Trouble in the Coming Years?

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This is an interesting article regarding the change in vision for Microsoft's gaming division over the last number of years: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-05-15-is-xbox-still-gaming-to-the-core

The article describes how Microsoft used to be all about the core gamer, but over the years they have switched their mindset to draw in the more casual entertainment consumer and away from gaming, even pushing the gaming section of the Xbox Dashboard behind other entertainment areas.

Also, as we know, Sony's clearly been noticing this shift and they themselves have been pushing to let gamers know that Sony is all about the gamers and always will be. It seems to me that this is Sony trying to steal back the hardcore gaming crowd that Microsoft may well be starting to alienate.

Where do you see the future of the Xbox heading, and do you feel that Microsoft might find itself in trouble of losing much of the core gaming audience?


The article itself talks about a lot more than just Sony v. Microsoft - feel free to bring up any of the points made in it. I find this an interesting topic. I myself have felt that Microsoft is the safest company heading into the next generation of consoles, but this article does bring up interesting points.

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Haven't read the article yet but I am 100% positive that the casual strategy of MS will backfire in next gen. As a traditional gamer myself I switched from Xbox to PS3 because the lack of core games and because the casual strategy of MS is embarrassing.

It will win them the Wii crowd won't it?

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Ajescent said:
It will win them the Wii crowd won't it?

Only if they make games of actual substance. Much of their Kinect strategy seems to be more about impressing with the gimmick itself rather than trying serious gameplay implementations (and by serious, i don't mean "core.")

The Wii crowd is actually a choosier customer than the traditional gamer. The traditional gamer thinks games are categorically good, whereas the Wii crowd wants specific things, and if Microsoft isn't prepared to take that crowd home, they could indeed fall into a very awkward position because Halo is their only saving grace in terms of first-party exclusives (though we could argue that that makes them even with Sony, which has only 1 real megahit in their stable as well: Gran Turismo)

Third party parity is going to be the norm next generation, which means that the game companies are going to need to look strongly into differentiation, but you don't need to only be different, you need to do it well.

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Ajescent said:
It will win them the Wii crowd won't it?

I think that crowd has been and gone with the rise in popularity of the Ipad and other tablets granted some will still be buying but nowhere near the numbers we saw this gen

Microsoft would have to make a pretty huge slip up to be in trouble with there fanbase they will be fine, Sony focusing on the core gaming market will never be a bad thing

I believe the thing to remeber is that gaming has moved away from just a hobby by the fickly Hardcore gamer.  Instead any company not just MS has to have a more open focus on gaming period and how to atrack all types of gamer. 

Install base does matter.  It's easier for Daddy who wants to play Call of Duty 25 if he can convince the wife that next 400 dollar console allows her to play Dance Central 18 and the kids can play KinectAminals.  The bigger your install base, the bigger it continue to grow especially with how each Console maker is trying to seperate themselves with their network offerings.

If you think Sony isn't going after the same market then you are fooling yourself.   The core market just cannot support the investment console makers are putting into their devices especially if the other two will split that market.

The Xbox brand has gotten way too popular to fail and it's the only console with Halo to boot. Microsoft is here to stay. Microsoft is also making an effort to cater to all demographics and quite honestly, it's working. Their Games division is profitable; you can't fault them for that.

No worries. Microsoft next gen once again will throw so many core gamers i wont be able to play all of them... allways was allways will be like this... no reason to keep making core gamers so late into this gen.

Flame said:
The Xbox brand has gotten way too popular to fail

The same thing would have been said about Playstation during the PS1 and especially the PS2 years. A fall from grace is always possible.

That's not to say MS is necessarily going to fall into the same trap. The back end of their console cycles seem to suck because they're focusing so much on preparing for the next generation, so the first few years of the Nextbox will probably see blockbuster after blockbuster just like the 360's first few years did. The only real pitfalls I can really see are if Sony gets the jump on them by launching first and their decision to keep their online free makes people shift away from Live, and if MS banks too heavily on Kinect but people decide they don't give a shit about Kinect anymore next gen.