I'm gonna start by saying I'm not an avid gamer; I do play some titles from time to time, but this is not a medium I usually follow, and while this blog is focused on pop culture and videogames are truly a big, growing part of it, for most of the time I write more about books, television or films. Yes, you can call me a freshman (or, translated to gamer: "a noob") in this topic.
However you don't need to be a gamer to understand some basic points of manegement or...heck, just plain common sense.
Microsoft introduced in a big press conference its new game console: the X-Box One...and...for starters, that's probably one of the worst names they could came up for its product. As I understand, this is the third console they produce, after the original X-Box and the X-Box 360...I'm guessing here but I bet that the first one's usually called "X-Box one" just like little kids say they love fantasy literature since they read "Harry Potter 1", so naming this product that way leaves a sensation of...lack of progress.
But let's move on, because there's more...way more to it...
As I stated, I'm not a videogame expert, but I have owned consoles in the past; as time moved forward, I've seen new, exciting features: using Internet, watch movies either by DVD/Blu-Ray or stream services like Netflix, among other things. Yeah, those features are cool, but I could use my PC or a tablet for such stuff; they are something "extra", a li'l thing to spice up a product, and it's cool, but they're far from being the main reason to make a relatively expensive purchase.
And my wild guess is...maybe people buy videogame consoles for...you know, the videogames.
In the press conference, the emphasis on games was...well, not zero, but surely it was not as much as expected: they presented all kind of supposedly cool features like integrated skype, TV stream services, and...one really creepy: the console will need to be connected to Internet at least once a day in order to keep working, as a measure to fight against piracy.
You know, like parole!
"I just wanted to play Halo..."
But here is where things are turning really...weird: an always vigilante camera that apparently has the ability to record video...all the time.
"...In Microsoft, videogames watch you!"
I think I don't need to say that sounds really scary, and I don't wanna look paranoid, but an always-connected console that can see you anytime they want reminds me of...well...
...Meh, maybe it's just my imagination; this isn't like if Microsoft were a greedy, power-hungry company that wants to control every little thing their users do, right? I can always just cover the camera, there's no way they can control me that way...
...but yeah, turns out there is a way: remember when you were a kid and that rich friend of yours (or maybe not-really-a-friend-but-you-play-with-him-for-his-cool-toys) lend you that awesome game he already finished from beginning to end? Well, you won't be able to do that like...anymore.
Yeah, you can't lend your games, or even sell them once you're done with them without paying a fee to Microsoft. And this is not a standard small fee...we're talking about full prize, like if you were buying a new game, all over again.
Then, there's the fact that there's no backwards compatibility; what does that mean? That all those superb games for the previous console...are gonna stay in the console, since you won't be able to play with them in your new X-Box.
So far, we have very few focus on gaming and more in secondary features, extra fees that make no sense besides being a petty blatant moneygrab and all your beloved game library nulified...yeah, this shouldn't end well to Microsoft. And then an idea came to me: maybe they're withdrawing from videogames and focusing more in competing against other entretaiment services and products like Apple TV. That's...valid, I guess...
...but what isn't valid are the disatrous comments from Microsoft creative director Adam Orth, when he was questioned with all the criticism that, let's be honest, was waiting to happen. On his twitter account, this is what he replied about the idea of an always-connected console:
Alright...and here's another lovely gem about a question of the current state of Internet conections that, depending on where you live and your service provider, isn't always perfect.
"Those people should definitely get with the times and get the internet. It's awesome."
So, one thing is presenting a lousy product, but just plain insulting and condescending your hardcore, most loyal fans? Making fun of them in a very passive-agressive way because they're not that willing to be fucked by your practices and you thought they would be?
I'm sorry, I don't need to be an expert in the industry; I surely lack of knowledge of videogames, but I do know about marketing, public relations and about NOT PISSING OFF YOUR COSTUMERS! (and not mention the words for people of small communities). Damn it, at least they could, well, I don't wanna say "lie", but shout some "management talk" and try to not insult the ones that are your source of income.
Heck, this was so freakinly bad, that Microsoft rivals have actually improved their sales...by a large margin! It seems like they seems to forget they want to sell the X-Box instead of the Wii U.
It is early to tell we're going to see the end of Microsoft consone, we have to wait and see a lot more of information...but the idea of a dumbass being so offensive to their customers...I...I...have no fucking words for it! I went to Marketing school! That was like "Business 101"! BE NICE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE!