Microsoft did a great job lulling many a gamer in with what they originally offered. Yet, for the last 7 Years I have watched them pull one slick stunt after the next, and generally harm the sanctity of the industry multiple times over.
- When the Original Xbox came out, I was interested. Games like Fable and Jade Empire almost had me. Yet I already had a PS2, wth FF and a hefty load of games that were exclusive to it. I decided I would wait to get the Xbox after it became much cheaper. When the New consoles were finally released I though this was my chance to snag one for a bargain......then it happened. MS officially cut off Xbox shortly after 360's release, this was in complete contrast to how the PS2 still thrived for several years, just like the PS1 did. The way it was immediately discontinued, most ofthe games were field destroyed, just erased....didn't sit well at all with me. I still feel like this is a mantra MS might still hold. More on that later....
- RROD. MS ignored the many warnings they got from their tech experts to delay the 360's launch so they could figure out a more viable heat syncing solution. MS big wigs could have cared less, because beating Sony to the punch was truly all that mattered. A electronic device with over 40% failure rate that wasn't immediately pulled from market is unheard of. MS's solution to this was to give you a 3 yr warrenty(from LAUNCH and not buy date) where they would fix your console......just so it would break again a month later. In MS's defense, many bring up the PS2's higher than normal failure rate....yet that was small time in comparison really. It was only a rate of like 8%. While working at Gamestop, I watched people buy console after console simply because they kept breaking. When the main reason you chose one console over the next was due to it's low price yet the cost of replacing it comes out to way more.............priceless.
- Timed Exclusivity: A ridiculous trade off from real exclusivity if you ask me. I always felt full exclusive games encouraged the best kind of competition. Mario's success would spur Crash, GT would ignite PGR/Forza, etc, etc. The fact that there are less exclusives these days means there is less reason to buy any particular console(which is what MS wanted) but it also means developers don't have to try nearly as hard to court a fanbase.....and most often, Multiplats feel like a poor man's exclusive Version.
- Total Abandonment of the Hardcore Gamer in the last 3 years. MS has shown time and time again, that their fanbase is just a name and number. They are only as valuable as how much money they are bringing them. Now this isn't news to us about any business. Sony and Nintendo also want your hard earned dollar. Yet MS completely abandoned the groups that gave them their early success as they no longer needed to appeal to them, they already had you (like some douche college stud who sleeps around for the conquest and nothing more). Once they felt they had the "Hardcore Vote" already, the Hardcore centric games became scarce, and the new Casual push began. This is what 360 fans put up with out of complacency for the last 3 years. MS felt as long as they give their fans 2 key franchises a year(an alternation between Forza,Gears, Halo) that their fanbase would stay TAMED.
- Charging for what everyone else give for free. We already pay a premium for the internet, why are you paying for a glorified "Membership" that gives you what you rightfully should of had for free? News Flash people, there is very little XboxLive does that PS3 doesn't, contrary to popular beleif. The only true feature of note is XGC.....an overhyped feature from those who are trying to justify that annual fee. Well come PS4 time, you will no longer have that excuse. Vita already has XGC, PS4 will allow it across multiple devices. PS+ is already garnering far more appeal of late, with its constant sales, free game givaways, auto updates, exclusive betas/demos......on the regular! PS+ isn't required to get basic funtion out of your device, yet people are flocking to it for its REAL value it offers up to you.
- Cheap scating to APPEAR cheaper. This baffled me when this gen started. Sure, the PS3 was 600 big ones, but in actuality the 360 was just around, if not more. Think about it. Original 360's were coming with no HDMI port, needed batteries for controllers(expensive rechargeable pack sold seperately), no Wifi Built in (When even the damn Wii did), and of course required a Live Sub to play online. Oh but it came with a headset tho....... The system was built around you buying what appears to be a real bargain in comparison to the competition, then get you on the 50million peripherals that will at some point become a necessity.
Disclaimer: As you all already know, Yes I am a big Sony fan. I don't think this invalidates me from asking a reasonable question though. you should understand that this is obviously a person looking over from one side of the fence and the impression I get from what I see. The whole reason of asking this is that maybe there is a quirk or facet to them that I am not seeing and would like to understand where it derives from.