I’m Worried For Microsoft’s Next Console

The first video game console I ever owned was the original Xbox. When I decided I wanted a new, current console, I opted for an Xbox 360. I’ve never owned a PlayStation home console, yet I don’t proclaim myself an Xbox, or Microsoft, fanboy. It just happened to be that the 360 was better suited for me at that current time (a couple of my friends had a 360, and I didn’t really know anyone with a PS3). After saying all that, I’m really worried for Microsoft’s next generation console.

When I first joined Xbox Live a few years ago, Microsoft did not have Xbox Music or Xbox Video, or all the additional apps they have now. They had a great section for finding arcade games and demos, and the ability to buy music and some movies took a backseat. Then, Microsoft decided to change their dashboard and changed the Zune Marketplace to Xbox Music and Xbox Video. I was fine with that, until I saw the new changes to the dashboard. I did not have a problem with the box layout (you get used to finding your way around eventually), I had a problem with the order in which the different categories were laid out. With the previous dashboard, Games was always the first category you came upon. In the new dashboard, games had (at least until late last year) been placed towards the end. Movies and Music had now taken over and it seemed Games weren’t the most important thing on the Xbox. The latest update has seen Games move in front of Movies and Music, but I still have not forgotten.

I use my VIDEO GAME console for playing VIDEO GAMES, not watching movies, or listening to music, or searching the web.

Bring back the Duke!

Bring back the Duke!

Speaking of the Dashboard, I no longer see advertisements for recently released games on the homepage. Instead, I see ads for movies, Pay TV programs, and new music. Not to mention ads for the numerous apps Xbox now has. A lot of people probably think it’s great to surf the Internet and watch YouTube from the comfort of their lounge, but I don’t. It’s just a personal preference, but if I wanted to search the web, I’d use a computer or laptop. If I wanted to watch videos on YouTube, I’d use a computer or laptop. I use my VIDEO GAME console for playing VIDEO GAMES, not watching movies, or listening to music, or searching the web. If Microsoft tries to push games to the background next-gen, I can’t see myself purchasing one.

Speaking of games, the next Xbox needs more exclusive titles (that are not Kinect titles). Sure, there’s Halo, Gears, and Forza, but what else does Microsoft have? Some of you are going to try and bring up other franchises, but I don’t care about franchises that have not appeared in the last 5 years. It’s the same on the downloadable side. Downloadable games may come out only on Xbox, but, besides most Summer/ Winter of Arcade titles, most of the exclusive downloadable titles end up coming out on other platforms anyway. If I can get all of Microsoft’s games plus more on a different console, why would I want the next Xbox?

While I’m on the subject, stop trying to sell Kinect to people. Kinect appeals to children because they can’t see the flaws it has. Kinect does not appeal to older, hardcore if you will, gamers because we can see the flaws it has and are not willing to overlook them. There have been very few games that have come out with good Kinect functionality, and I don’t want to have to pay extra money just because Microsoft are going to package Kinect in with all their new consoles.

Fez... was an Xbox exclusive.

Fez… was an Xbox exclusive.

I’m also worried for Microsoft’s next console in the online department. Firstly, get rid of Microsoft points (that way we Aussies can see how much we are really getting ripped of by on a digital download that does not have to be shipped or packaged). Secondly, if Sony can include party chat, an easy way to connect with others, and keep the entry fee (currently nothing) very cheap, I might have a hard time convincing myself to pay $70AUD a year. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Microsoft’s online service, it’s will just be very hard to find any advantages if Sony can improve their online service. There should not be a problem with RAM allocation in Sony’s upcoming console, so I am hoping Microsoft is working out how to improve Live for the impending console announcements.

Digital distribution is expected to be a major change for next-gen consoles. Microsoft still has plenty of work to do if they expect to go down that path. Currently, if you go into Game on Demand on the 360, you will find some outrageous prices. Modern Warfare 2 for $100AUD? FIFA Street fir $120? Left4Dead 2 for $50AUD? These prices won’t make Microsoft any money next gen, and I feel sorry for anyone who has fallen victim to the Games on Demand service thus far.

So there you have it, the reasons why I am worried for Microsoft’s next console. Hopefully we will be hearing some official news soon and hopefully none of my current problems exist.

Keep it locked to AnalogAddiction for all your next-gen news and rumours.

Nathan Manning is an Editor for AnalogAddiction. You can find him on TwitterΒ andΒ AnalogAddictionΒ there as well.


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47 replies »

  1. Hi outstanding weblog! Does operating a weblog similar to this consider lots of work? I have no understanding of coding however I had been hoping to begin my personal weblog soon. Anyhow, if you have any recommendations or suggestions for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject nonetheless I just wanted to inquire. Kudos!


  2. I agree with you mostly, it seems like Microsoft want to be the center of the living room, but that’s not why I but Xbox consoles. I purchased my 360 and now barely use it except for actual exclusives, I prefer Trophies, more friends have PlayStation 3 and I can play and review games online modes without paying for it. It is just easier.

    Also avoid advertisements, that are meant to increase…I don’t want to hear about McDonalds when I am scrolling over 4 blades of non-gaming information. Sadly I want to play Halo 5, so I can see myself buying the Next Xbox, do I want too? No, I personally don’t see me using it that often if it doesn’t have many exclusives, PlayStation is my preference for many reasons I stated earlier.

    Very nice piece and hopefully (although I doubt it) Microsoft start to focus on games again and not Kinect, until they decide to make it viable to use in a typical everyday lounge room setting.


  3. Even though the 360 is my favorite system and the one I play the most in the current-gen if you want to get technical, last gen), I’m actually having most of these worries too. That’s honestly why I like Sony as a game company more now, is because they really focus on their games and gamers. Sure, the PS3 has entertainment functions like the Xbox (Netflix, Hulu, etc.), but they feel secondary compared to the games, and that’s what Xbox used to be like. If you look at E3, Xbox’s past two conferences have been a lot less about games and more about Kinect and other Xbox entertainment apps/functions. I know they have to focus on Kinect because whether we like it or not, it has now become an important part of Xbox, so I can understand them still focusing on it (though I don’t know why Sony even bothers with Move because I don’t know anyone, and I do mean anyone, that has Move, let alone use it). Either last year or the year before they said they were trying to turn the Xbox into an all-in-one entertainment huba, and that really got me worrying. Even though I don’t subscribe to Playstation Plus, I’d be stupid to think that Playstation Plus’ deals aren’t good, which is another example of how Sony is focusing on its games and gamers. I would include Nintendo in this discussion, but their next console is out (with some recently kick-ass announcements I might add) and we’re waiting for the other next gen systems. Good editorial Nathan. I’ve had a lot of these thoughts too. Keep it up!


      • I just had the better point reply SF. πŸ˜›
        Just kidding! What I will say to your response SF is something I’ve said to many people before; it’s all about preference, which is why I play Xbox more than Playstation. Financially, there is no question that the PS3 and Playstation Plus are the better choices, but with the kinds of games I primarily play (shooters in general), I prefer the Xbox because the controller feels a lot more comfortable for my big hands, the online services are better (Xbox actually has more deals on Live than people realize), a lot more of my friends play Xbox, I love private/party chat and it’s great to be able to install any of the games I own so they run better. Multiplatform games will run better on the Xbox 90% of the time too, and that’s something that matter a lot to me when it comes to games.
        Also, the Wii really does have some great games for core audiences. It’s just buried underneath all the shovelware. I’ll even admit that I need to remind myself of that every now and then.
        Anyway, though I play Xbox more, Sony is definitely the better company about focusing on their games and gamers/customers.


  4. Microsoft and Sony are going towards the same end. Both Microsoft and Sony tried to copy the Wii’s motion-oriented game-play. Dislike the Kinect if you will, but they continue to push it because they’ve found success in selling it. Sony’s Move hardware had extremely meager success in comparison, and was not as creative of a vision as the Kinect. People were able to do some neat things with it, but Sony threw out a product (the Motion Controller, because the PS Eye Camera already existed) that would clearly flounder in the hopes that they could steal some money.

    They also run most of the same apps, Netflix, Browser, Hulu, etc. Microsoft just has more. I absolutely agree that we should be able to customize the Dashboard – to an extent. There are things I would like faster access to, though I don’t think unlimited Myspace-like customization is necessary. I prefer the Facebook-like uniformity of the Dashboard.

    As someone already pointed out, Sony is a media empire. That fact is making it’s way into the Sony systems, starting with the PS Vita that first had the new integrated Sony media network. There is no reason why Sony wouldn’t turn the Playstation into the Sony media center.

    I definitely agree that the Points system is dumb. They implied they were going to remove them once, but instead, currency amounts only replace points in certain circumstances.

    Of course you know that nothing is stopping you from just playing your Xbox for games, that you can set your Xbox to play a game that’s in the disc tray when the console starts. That you can avoid browsing a large chunk of the marketplace by going to xbox.com to que demos and games to download while your console is on.

    I feel like Microsoft has earned the right to experiment with what their console does, aside from games. They made online console gaming what it is. It’s like getting upset with Google for making one of their many random products. It’s not just search, mail, or a social network, it’s a lot of different things to a lot of different people.


  5. the xbox was the first console u ever owned what are you 15? ..kinect is aimed at younger kids if your “hardcore” n u dont want it, dont. in terms of the new xbox if its bundled then so what the whole thing will still be less than the ps4(orbis). And if u only use ya xbox for gaming then use it for gaming so what if it has youtube , Netflix, love film or whatever. They are not forcing you to use these apps, they are there for the people who want them. So this article is pointless. At least the next xbox “should” support used games unlike ps4 “rumored ….

    p.s not a xbox fanboy always preferred sega/nintendo job done


    • You realize the Kinect costs money, right? Whatever dollars they spend on creating a useless product nobody really wants, Sony will spend on making a more powerful console that produces better graphics at higher speeds. Even if they released their consoles at he same price, Sony would still have a more powerful machine simply because they aren’t spending their money on stupid s*** like the Kinect. If Sony’s console costs more, awesome. That just means we’re probably getting an even better product. Also, all those apps that you bring up are on Sony’s console as well, and they don’t charge money to access a service you already pay for.


      • To play the Devil’s advocate… Sony does have PlayStation Move. They could very well bundle that in with their next console.


  6. The “Hardcore” gamer is in the minority anyways. You probably have a smartphone, you only use it just to make phone calls too?


  7. I’m mainly a PC and Playstation-user, so I have no idea how the pricing of full-games is on Xbox.

    The digital pricing on PSN however, seems to be dictated by the third-party publishers, so I assume the big third parties try to keep it the same as on 360.
    I see the smaller publishers (like Atlus, Sega), and first party (Sony) tend to drop prices on their digital retail-games much sooner than companies like Activision, Ubisoft, and EA.

    I don’t think PSN-store can compete with Steam-sales, but it’s not that bad here in Europe.
    What is really fantastic is that PSN+ subscription, it’s fantastic value, and you get 12 games right off the bat, and 4 of them change each month, for 50$ a year.
    And usually the also available in retail-titles is game with 80 or above on Metacritic.
    I think usually there is 8 games wich used to launch at 60 dollar, and 4 smaller titles like 15-20$ PSN-games.
    And even if you don’t download that many of them, you’ll probably earn back that investments in discounts for plus-members alone, if you buy downloadable games every now and then. πŸ™‚

    I do think it will be probably have to wait half a year until we start to see full free PS4-games for PS+, like on the Vita, I assume they’ll probably need to build a library before offering free titles, but I assume the discounts will be there. πŸ™‚


  8. I worried for so long that I made a mistake investing in my PS3 when everyone else had a 360. The last couple of years have been an absolute blessing for me. I traded my ability to play Gears of War and Halo for Uncharted, Infamous, and God of War not to mention Killzone and Twisted Metal…I traded in a large community for…well, a large community! PSN has come a LONG way over the years and I feel like I made the right choice.

    For me, the only thing that will take my attention away from Sony’s next console is a complete and utter disaster. Seriously…like an asteroid would have to crash down onto the factory that makes the machine. And even THEN I’d probably wait for the delayed launch.

    XBOX’s arguments for being “the way to go” have dwindled into non-factors. Comparable networks, comparable apps, comparable games…unless you count exclusives…and yet I have the stronger machine (likely for next gen as well) that is throwing graphics, like in Last of Us, that make PC gamers do a double take,..

    On the multimedia side, Sony’s giant music and Movie companies have allowed a large library of available entertainment on PSN outside the realm of gaming. I can’t compare the two services since I have spent limited time on XBOX Live but I know I have seen early releases of a TON of movies available for download or rental on PSN. Not to mention alll available in TRUE 1080p…which makes a difference to a audio/video junkie such as myself!

    If I were an XBOX owner, I’d worry more that PSN has become in a league with Live, they already offer MOST new games as downloadable on PSN for a DISCOUNT (Saved $5 on Ni No Kuni just this week), have promised cross-game party chat (the ONE THING I believe Live has over them now), better exclusives with more VARIED gameplay, and momentum. Going into next gen, I think Microsoft will maintain a wide user base but I truly believe people will be jumping to (or back to) Sony in droves…but time will tell.


  9. I just remembered an article that published by a reputed business website when the first XBOX launched. I do not remember the website today but the article made a very important prediction which I still remember because it is becoming true. The author said that MS was using XBOX as a trojan horse to take over the living rooms. They will introduce it as a games console, slowly introduce other functionalities, develop it into a fully functional media hub and in the end abandon or put gaming in the background. It sounded so far-fetched at the time but amazingly today it is becoming a reality. IMO the next XBOX is the final stage of the plan MS put into action several years ago.


  10. if you truthfully want a diverse and exceptional gaming machine, you need look no farther than what you are reading this comment on. The PC is far and away the best platform for hardcore gaming. Strategy, rpg, mmo, rts, tbs, space sim, race sim, shooter, action, adventure, indie, mods….ect…ect…..1000’s of exclusives that will NEVER come to console

    insanely better graphics, 1000’s of hours of free mods, free to play games, betas, community projects, WAY better prices with digital retailers like STEAM, Greenmangaming, GOG, gamersgate, amazon downloads ect…ect…ect….

    consoles are cool for a few years and then soon all graphics and performance on them has peaked, honestly, to me, a game like uncharted 3 or halo 4 looks HORRIBLE, jaggies everywhere, awful shadows, framerate drops, low res, sub-hd texture work, a pc game from 2007 KILLS uncharted 3

    i will most likely own either ps4 or xbox 720 or both at some point, but i am not kidding myself into thinking either system will be focused on the hardcore gamer, that isn’t where the money is anymore, both sony and MS are greedy, giant, multinational coporations with only their shareholders intrests at heart, don’t kid yourself that they give a single crap about the “hardcore” gamers out there….they want as many sheep pluged into their giant drm boxes as possible

    for me a console is only as good as its few intresting exclusives, 95% of console games i can play on pc in MUCH higher resolution, with better performance and immensely better graphics for much cheaper prices, unless ps4/720 have some AMAZING exclusives there is no reason for me to hurry out and buy a system at launch with buggy, rushed, bottom tier games (launch games always SUCK)

    for me, pc will crush anything next gen cosnoles will ever be able to do, the leaked specs for them are worse than a 2 year old gaming laptop, they will obviously never be on par with a desktop geared for gaming from 4 years ago, honestly i doubt next gen ps4/720 will even be able to compete with a gtx 480 and an i-7 920 from 4 years ago, let alone the rig im rocking now that pumps out games in 2560×1600 with 8x aa, ssao, 16x af…ect…ect…ect…


  11. does anyone edit these for spelling/grammar, or do you just put words on a page and publish it, as is?
    “FIFA Street fir $120?”

    I’m in the same boat. Sony is also moving towards more multimedia next generation, and with Steambox and Ouya joining the fray next generation, which would mean steam on your television for 100USD, or an open source console in which every game has to have something free about it and can work with basically any controller that has a USB/bluetooth connection, opting for an Xbox/Orbis(I can’t really afford to buy more than 1-2 consoles) seems like a silly decision, since I also have a 360 to play games, not watch netflix or listen to music.


  12. Exactly… I want my console for games, want my video games to look like video games, innovate, not realism…. Did not care if Xbox only had DVD…. My PS 3 is my best bluray player, some odd games… Wish it was kept simple, it’s what got people into consoles, games! All I do on Xbox is hit the square that has the name of the game inserted! Unless Microsoft become large Cable company, will never do anything else on Xbox…


  13. If you fancy yourself a real gamer, then I’d highly suggest you give PS3 and/or PS4 a shot. I think you’ll be massively impressed as to the breadth of difference you’ll find between the Xbox and PlayStation. Nice article, good luck with your future gaming preferences! (PlayStation)


    • Give me a break! PS3 sucks at most 3rd party games. And only have a few great exclusives worth playing. Try playin Skyrim on PS3. 😦


      • I don’t think which console you play on dictates whether you are a ‘real gamer’ or not, but I understand your opinion.


  14. Simply put, that is the most ridiculous article I have ever read! If the biggest thing you have to worry about is you have to scroll right 3 times to get to games and you no longer have the latest call of duty game advertised to you then you have a relatively easy existence.


  15. This article makes some decent points but some of the stuff is just sill. he says MS should stop selling kinect because he doesn’t like it. What about the people who do?


    • Well, this is my article. So I’m going to talk about the things that I don’t like. However, I’m pretty sure, if you read around, you will find out that my opinion is held by many other gamers.


  16. I had a good read with this. You raise the points that I am interested in seeing addressed. Since I am a Nintendo fanboy my opinions may come off as bias but this is how I currently see things as they are.

    Sony are the most likely to gain the ‘true hardcore’ market next generation because I really can’t see them screwing up 3 system launches in a row. I think they will launch hard and fierce whenever they plan to.

    Nintendo will be perfect for me. I love their games so I’ll love anything they put out but this is what I read from your average internet hater. Nintendo ‘betrayed’ core gamers. They focused on gimmicks etc. I disagree because I think its good they are differentiating themselves. I like the innovation Nintendo put out especially on their handhelds. But the way the majority see it is the former.

    Microsoft. These are the ones most likely to slip up if you see the direction they are taking now. I see a lot of people online assume they will start the next Xbox the same way they started 360 but what they don’t account for is Microsoft publicly admitted they have used the games industry as a scapegoat. Their focus is not primarily games. Their true goal is to ‘own’ the living room by being the only device you need but there are serious problems with taking that direction.

    By breaking into the games industry you have implied you are interested in making a gaming machine. Not an entertainment box. They focus so much on pushing it as an entertainment device they forget to keep a varied library. This focus has paved the way for what I have perceived as a mistake. The games they offer as exclusives or deals they sign with third parties for exclusive rights to DLC mainly in realistic looking shooters or rpgs. These may be big in the US but there are other markets out there and I feel Microsoft is crafting a specific image (same as Nintendo has) by not being successful in expanding their horizons.

    They have tried with Rare and failed but that doesn’t mean you should stop. You just try a different approach. Having timed map packs or expansions for GTA/Elder Scrolls is fine and good but you are investing big money in this DLC when you could be using that money to invest in new IPs or perhaps make a sequel to Rare’s huge list of games. This is where it upsets me because (as a Nintendo fan) I know how Rare can truly pump out the goods and yet all that potential is going to waste.

    Nintendo have sadly never lost their “kiddy” image they have. And I believe a lot of people perceive Xbox as some heavy shooter system and once you are associated with a certain demographic, it is incredibly hard to go back. Aside from some big Japanese publishers companies now struggle to sell in large numbers on Nintendo and I can see it being the other way around with Microsoft.

    Thank you for reading my views. Although I don’t think you would agree.


    • Thanks for taking the time to creating a thought provoking comment. I do agree with your views. Personally, I don’t think Nintendo ‘betrayed’ hardcore gamers, I just think the hardware they produced was not really ideal for ‘hardcore’ games.

      Once again, thanks for that lengthy comment.


  17. “The first video game console I ever owned was the original Xbox.”

    Was gonna stop reading there. Glad I didn’t. You made some valid points. The Xbox dash is annoying to those who only use a console purely for games like Nathan and myself. You should be able to customize the dash.


  18. Blogger’s got a point. Though makes me feel old saying Xbox was his first console! Mine was the Atari VCS in 1982 (Am in my 30s now). Had nearly all the consoles over the years, and this gen I got shit on by MS with the RROD – I can’t forget that in a hurry. Hundreds of pounds down the drain (no it wasn’t covered by warranty when it died on me – they denied everything at first!). I went to PS3 (actually bought 2 PS3’s cos as a machine they are that good serving as media/bluRay players AND great game consoles to the two TVs in my house) ANd next gen? It’s gonna take a LOT to move me away from Sony given how much I’ve come to love their Exclusives (esp uncharted, motorstorm.. the list goes on). ANd their hardware is just better built and gives me confidence in investing so much in the console and games. On top of this is the Windows 8 crap that MS are trying to force into the Xbox, I don’t want Windows 8 on my PC (which is a top gaming rig too – windows 7 64bit here still) and I don’t want an Xbox that is serving other intentions, for example ‘branding’ and in the process dumbing down of content, just as the blog states, to appeal to the kinnect/kiddie crowd (i.e they are running after the Wii’s ex fans).

    The obvious choice for any hardcore gamer next gen is currently Playstation 4, on games and ethos alone! Count in the free online, better build, much better and higher quantity DESIRABLE exclusives, and MS are going to have a hard time with nextbox as they just have with their surface tablets. Hardcore gamers dont forgive easily, I didn’t ‘forgive’ nintendo going casual with the Wii and I won’t forgive MS doing it with Kinnect/casual UNLESS they manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat and make a killer app that I just HAVE to experience! That is unlikely to happen given all the rumours of the hardware spec vs the more powerful PS4 spec. Illumiroom (if true) is a cool gimmick but it’s not enough.


  19. First, if they get the hardware right, the first couple of years is when to own microsofts product. They will buy as much as they can and provide exclusives. This is from knowing the hardcore jump first for an expensive console.
    Second, fear. Microsoft is not good at innovating and building. Period.
    Next, this “might” be the first time they still support the Xbox, of which, creates an interesting scinario for microsoft for this is not thier forte either. For the new console owners, not an issue, unless one starts to think forward about thier purchases.
    The numbers game, going head to head with Sony will be a whole new ball game as well; as well as apple(surface), windows 8(which not taking off), steam box(of which is targeted at Microsoft) and the windows phone. Mix all this, in one year? With thier bloated advertisements?
    Sounds like they are on a slippery slope. Yes, I know they are loaded… But the well replenished in order to flow.


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