So with all this wii u speculation going around lately I figured I would take a crack at 'mindless speculation with nothing to truly back it'. I have long stated that I believe microsoft will be the next to make the serious mistakes. I was going to present my key point first but I think I will save it until last. The media, analysts and forum posters believe it is simple. Once 360 2 and ps4 come out wii u will be finished. But is it really that simple? I say no. Why? Because microsoft and sony are not immune to making mistakes and what is also interesting to note is (despite what you think right now) their systems are in for as much of a struggle as wii u when they come out regardless of their current 'street cred'. So without further ado I present to you my 5 arguments of why microsoft will be last in the next generation.
1. They have no clear path
The words 'core' and 'casual' are constantly thrown around the gaming community. While there are differing views of what defines these two groups one thing is for sure. The majority of the core hate 'gimmicks'. They have blasted nintendo for their family approach and walked away towards microsoft instead. Years of great social gaming and achievement hunting. All the third party support being shared with sony. No need to rush out to buy a far more expensive ps3. So it came as rather shocking to them that microsoft is not truly loyal to them, but to money. Like any business. They are starting to turn their backs on the core gamer in favor of the same types of 'gimmicks' nintendo betrayed them with. They are making multimedia functions a priority ahead of exclusive content. To show that one of their highlights at this years e3 was a nike game you know they have lost the plot. And it is all because of kinect. These purists will never accept kinect and they don't know why microsoft is trying. But they will have to get used to it. Constant rumors are doing the rounds that the next xbox will come bundled with kinect in the box. Kinect is here to stay.
2. Xbox live gold
Sony and nintendo are offering free online services. While there are many glaring holes in nintendo (bad connections, no achievements, online store maintenance, limiting chat functions) sony have all but caught up with microsoft. There is arguably only one feature that matters now. Cross game chat. Given vita has this much clamoured for function it is highly likely ps4 will. So why would one pay for a gold membership if sony correct their only problem. You can do all that on psn. Why not put that money to better use instead of paying yearly charges? XBL gold get out of here. We won't need you next generation. Dropping the price is a good idea but gamers would prefer this to be free. Everybody else is doing it. Why not microsoft? And no they don't even show any indication of dropping the price either.
3. Lack of dedicated exclusives
Now I won't throw the generalization that microsoft have no real exclusives. Because they do. They just don't make real use of them. They have all these great classics that rare have and could pass them off to any number of studios. But they don't. Instead of giving you a real banjo platform game, new killer instinct or a remake of jet force gemini, they are convinced you want the same 'casual' games nintendo have been forcing down your throats the past generation. Why have conker's other bad fur day when you can have kinect sports? Why have banjo threeie when you can have some kind of simpsons hit and run car mod platformer hybrid which doesn't know what it wants to be? And what about the rest of the xbox world? You have other stuff besides rare but because they don't sell to your expectations you throw out sequels to forza, fable or halo. At least keep forza different by calling it project gotham. Instead of dedicating yourselves to throwing real first party exclusives to make a huge variety you keep writing contracts for dlc on the next call of duty. Microsoft you have crackdown, kameo, perfect dark. So where are the sequels? If you are focusing towards shooters take a break from halo and give them perfect dark 2. Also stop shoehorning these lame kinect spin-offs. These are the reasons they left nintendo. They don't want some fable kinect game. They want real fable.
4. 360 2 + japan = dead on arrival
Now you can laugh and say I state the obvious or perhaps microsoft will get lucky enough to turn it around but your loss is my gain. Smaller japanese studios will probably make games for wii u and ps4 instead. Depending on how much of a dent sony can make when they get there of course. Will you ever see tales on xbox again? Only time will tell. Either way you probably won't see the amount of variety you saw this gen. In fact word on the street has it that bigger publishers like capcom and namco are more excited by wii u and ps4 then 360 2. Sure they will still release xbox games but with 360 2 no longer having the overseas marketshare of the 'otaku' crowd their japanese support is likely to suffer. But that is ok because 360 2 will have call of duty dlc instead. (note = this part is a joke given the generalization n4g throw that xbox is a console for 'shooters').
5. They focus too much on the competition
This is where I believe their inexpirience will show. For months now 360 2 has been rumored for a late 2013 release. It all seems likely that the 'real' next generation of gaming begins next year. This console will absolutely deliver. Wii u will fade into the shadows. Is this what ign's sources are saying? Well that could be true. Or not. Recent rumors coming up suggest microsoft is once again rushing their hardware in order to get a jump on the competition. Also they can't let nintendo get too far ahead so they need this next year (although you can argue nintendo is not a direct competitor and they have nothing to fear). But rushing again will seriously hurt them this time. It was only because of sony's mammoth entry price that they had no choice but to put up with 360. Sure sony were late but it was the price that put people off. Sony won't be going that easy on them this time. They have had two sluggish launches to learn from so you better believe they will be prepared for microsoft. Also sony waiting to some point when nobody knows means they are more concerned with themselves then what microsoft is doing. It was focusing on the competition that made sega lose sight of the ball. They were always eager to point out how they 'trump' nintendo that they never saw ps1 coming. Kinect is a sign they are going down rocky road and focusing too much on nintendo's market. They don't even seem to know what market they want anymore. Staying relevant in this industry is not just about moving with the changing market. It is about showing lessons you have learned from last time. If they truly are rushing hardware out to get a foothold fast enough again then what did they learn from 360? That type of move will only come to hurt them if they try it again. Microsoft can afford to delay into 2014 if they need to since nintendo isn't a real threat.
And that wraps up my mindless speculation with nothing to truly back it. You see microsoft have the least expirience of the big three. That already puts them at a disadvantage. Regardless of if you are seeing it or not nintendo have really delivered on their feedback. The wii u looks far more promising then the wii from where I am standing and they definitely learned from the hazard that was the 3ds launch. Sony will be a lot less likely to slip up then microsoft next time because they have the most to lose here. If you believe analysts and several forum posters they are nearing doom. My points in this post are made from the same humorous posts I find by the vocal majority and have nothing to do with my personal feelings towards the wii. I like the wii.
One more thing to complete my year = senran kagura localization =D