“"I think it's fair to say there's a segment of consumers at this show (E3) in particular who really pay attention, who are very passionate about all aspects of gaming, and that we listen to closely. 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."
This Article has other pertinant information to this argument but I will center on the main statement. The quoted line above is from Microsoft PR, Mehdi Yusef. Its not really new knowledge but it isn't something you usually hear admitted aloud. Ive always seen MS marketing tactics for what they were.
Back when PS2/Xbox/Gamecube ruled the octogon, I went exclusively PS2, its a product I grew up with, it was familiar. Yet I have no qualms with the others. In fact I was quite envious of KOTOR and Fable on the XBOX back in that day. Just after those console's reign came to a close, I decided I would pick up an XBOX system for cheap, yet right around that time many stores stopped carrying XBOX stuff. At that point I looked towards the next gen. PS3 was a logical choice as many of the games I loved would assuredly go there, but 360 was interesting too. It came a whole year earlier and so much positive media going for it at the time. I remember being in Walmart and seeing King Kong in HD on the system, blew my mind. Yet I had to wait on getting any next gen console due to financial troubles. What I learned during that waiting period I found troubling, and was basically why I ended up going exclusively Playstation once again....
- Faux Cheaper Price tag. At the time, 360 looked to be the cheapest and quickest way to jump into HD gaming. Yet if you pay attention, 360 is/was the MOST expensive of them all. With things like rechargable batteries, wifi capability, HDMI support(new models),Gold Membership, and sometimes hard drives,it all makes the 360 the most taxing of systems. One might say "Well none of these are necessary" but in reality, majority of 360 owners own/ed these accessories at some point. So many hidden fees to get it comparable to both other generation systems.
- Played it safe Tech wise: In order to even get the 360 at the price it was, it had to ignore certain benefits that the PS3 did have; Bluray and standard hard drives. It might not have been that big of an issue the first 3 years, but later on, the fact that it didn't was a huge drawback for the generation as a whole. Games stayed small because they always had to take in account of 360's lack of better specs. At some point developers had to start ignoring the fact 360 didn't have HD and they built their games for it anyway. This meant the millions of people who bought 4GB systems would be shut out of playing some of the recent AAAs. GTA4,Battlefield 4 are two that come to mind. Both require more harddrive space than the 4GB can offer, meaning all those people came rushing to stores to get HardDrives so little Timmy can actually play his Christmas Present. That was going to run you a bare minimum of 100 bucks. I find this insane that they would do this to consumers and the consumers as a whole just let them get away with it.
- The lack of gaming support from the 1st Party after the first 4 years is the most troubling. They had gotten the HardCore on their side already so what do they do? Totally forget them and persue the Casual Market with Kinect Games. They knew most were far to monetarily/socially invested to just give up on the 360, so their dominance at the time was safe. Xbox Live Yearly fees, Big Hit game series like Halo, the fact that theyve invested so much on just making their gaming system competent would trap them in place.
- Spent more on Biased Advertising than actual compelling exclusives. In the later years, MS forgot that a system needs exclusives to differenciate it's offerings from the competition. One of their remedies was to just throw a lot of money at advertising Multiplatform games as exclusively on 360. This was the yearly COD cycle. To this day......many casual gamers believe these games are only available to them if they have a 360. This false illusion definitely works, but how misinformative it is?
- Let us not forget RROD, one of the biggest manufacturing blunders in my lifetime. 40% failure rate was being spoken at the time. Insiders told us that the only reason the issue existed was because MS refused to relinquish their head start over Sony. Yet MS shrugged this off in the media as common place with most gaming console devices(not true in the slightest) and downplayed the shear amount of failed consoles out in the wild. Many either had MS fix it for them....or just went out and bought ANOTHER console, some people did this more than once. I don't understand how this is so easily forgotten....
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