Xbox One: How to Save Microsoft's Console
Posted on Thursday, May 8 @ 13:00:00 Eastern by Alex_Co
6. Establish and Nurture New Studios for New Franchises
Out of the three console hardware manufacturers, Microsoft is generally seen as the one with the weakest first-party software output. Sure, they have Halo, Forza, Fable, and Gears of War, but if you're the type of person who doesn't like shooters, the Xbox brand might not offer you a lot of choices. Microsoft needs to do something about this ASAP. Just one look at Sony's stable of franchises will make even the most hardcore Xbox fan green with envy.
While it's highly unlikely that Microsoft will be able to build a studio with as much talent as Naughty Dog or Sony Santa Monica overnight, they should at least try. We know 343industries is now stuck on Halo duty for all eternity, but now that many third-party games have run better on PS4, Microsoft needs to take it up a notch and offer games that can only be experienced on the Xbox brand. Fortunately, they're on the right track so far with exclusives like Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break, Ryse, and the like. Let's hope this trend continues in the near future even if money-hatting (buying exclusives) is involved.
Downside: Unless you still want more shooters, then nothing, really. A more diverse portfolio benefits everyone and shows Microsoft is dedicated to gamers and not just shoot-bros.
7. Stop Putting Everything Behind a Paywall
For a company that's pushing its product to be the center of your living room, it's baffling that applications such as Netflix, Skype, and more cannot be used without ponying up for an Xbox Live Gold membership first. I mean, seriously. These same apps can be accessed freely on your laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and other devices, but on the Xbox platform you need to pay the fee to access Xbox Live Gold and then pay whatever additional fees are required to stream movies, download music, and more.
Read that again and tell me that's not absurd. It's like you're paying Microsoft to let you spend money on their platform. I can imagine some people are fine with multiplayer behind a paywall, but that should be the end of it. Just stop this, Microsoft. It really reeks of greed and nothing more.
Downside: Not a thing unless you're profiteering from Xbox Live Gold, in which case gamers everywhere hate you.
8. Refrain From Mentioning the "Power of the Cloud" Unless It's Really Needed (or Warranted)
Ever since Microsoft announced Xbox One, the company has touted the power of the console's ability to offload technical computations to the cloud and in theory make games better. That in itself is a commendable feat; however, we've yet to see it used the way Microsoft has boasted. If that wasn't bad enough, the developer keeps talking about "the cloud" as if it's the Xbox One's "secret sauce" and will magically make every game perform better.
Of course, there's the chance that it could happen, but until you've done so, don't keep mentioning it—especially in comparison to PlayStation 4's technically superior innards. It just makes you desperate and kind of a loon. If the cloud really is that powerful, just show us its capabilities in your next AAA game. Until then, clam up.
Downside: Technophiles and Xbox One fans will have one fewer bullet point to use whenever they're arguing about how the console is better than PlayStation 4.
There you have it, Xbox fans. I don't doubt that I might have missed a thing or two that could help the Xbox One catch up or forge ahead of the PlayStation 4; but for the most part the suggestions I've listed will definitely help Microsoft in one way or another.
Hopefully, most—if not all—of the things mentioned above will be tackled by Microsoft at this year's E3 press conference. How about you? What should Microsoft do to save the Xbox One? What features, bundles, or exclusives must the company present at E3 to show that it means business in the current-gen console war?