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What Microsoft need to do next.

March 20, 2013

It hasn’t been announced yet but the new Xbox will have a name very soon and after the PS4 announcement last month they will have to in my opinion give people a reason to buy the xbox instead of Sony’s last cash cow.
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Cards on the table I am mostly a 360 person. If I have the choice I will buy multi platform games on the xbox unless there is a major reason to. LA Noire being the only example of this as it was one disk compared to three. I even have a windows 8 phone so that in the few times I do play games on my mobile I build up my gamer score while I’m doing it. I’m not a fanboy as you’ll see in this post, but the interface for the 360 is much easier to use than the PS3. Everything loads faster, online games run better and you get an update every couple of months at most instead of every other day. I swear it feels like I’ve spent most of my time staring at progress bars instead of games on that system and I’m the type of guy that installs every game onto my xbox yet it still feels like the Playstation takes longer to do everything.

I do feel like most of these problems are likely to get fixed with the next Playstation so Microsoft will actually need to offer more than they are right now otherwise we will see a change in who tops the next generation.

  1. Don’t call it the 720. Don’t call it Durango. Just call it Xbox or something simple because names do have an importance in the market place and a brand like xbox is now making its way into the the wider vocabulary. Don’t waste that.

  2. Either stop charging for XBL or start offering more. I’ve gone on about PS+ in a lot of my previous blogs. The reason is, that It’s bloody amazing what you get for £40 a year. While I don’t mind paying £40 a year for XBL I don’t think that a smoother online experience will be enough in the next generation. I predict that Sony will level the playing field next time around and if they carry on offering games then that will make Microsoft look pretty mean in comparison.
    The model makes sense as an advert for upcoming games. Gearbox reported that the felt a huge jump in sales due to PS+ offering Borderlands to play in the month leading up to Borderlands 2 release. I imagine that’s what 2K did by putting Bioshock 2 up for download a couple of months before Infinite came out. If your only reason for charging for online services is a better experience, what happens when the other guys catch up? (When I say other guys I mean Sony, not Nintendo, The Wii U is dead in the water at this point.)
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  3. Either stop with the Kinect or make it possible for everyone to use.
    I read an interview with Gabe Newell (Head of Valve) who said “
    Your hands, and your wrist muscles, and your fingers are actually your highest bandwidth — so to trying to talk to a game with your arms is essentially saying “oh we’re going to stop using ethernet and go back to 300 baud dial-up.He’s absolutely right and people who play games regularly know that thumb sticks and buttons are all you need. However I do like the Kinect. I wouldn’t use it for games as much as a cool way of getting around the system. The problem is that it wouldn’t fit in my living room so I can’t buy one. Make it usable for people in tiny apartments and you’ll sell more. Don’t bother asking game companies to put it in their games. If they think it’s a good idea they will. Ken Levine has put the PS move into Bioshock Infinite purely to offer the choice to customers who prefer to point their imaginary guns
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    Nobody has a room this size. If you do you’d need a bigger TV.

  4. Show us the machine. A controller isn’t good enough. I want to know how it will look in my living room. That’s all I can say about that. Just make it look nice and show it to me. Don’t change the controller too much either. It’s excellent as it is. You’ll find very few people who don’t think the controller is up there with the SNES and original dual shock in the countdown of best controllers. If you’re worried about not having enough to announce at E3 then you have bigger things to worry about. Give us a peak.
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    Please say it doesn’t look like this 

  5. Let us hold onto our XBL purchases. Or if you’re desperate charge us £1 to download them again onto the new machine. Don’t make us pay full price again for our perfectly formed digital games. I’d like full backwards compatibility but I don’t think that will happen.

  6. Put a Blu ray player in it. Before PS+ the only reason to have a PS3 was the Blu ray player. I know Blu rays aren’t selling really well due to Netflix etc. But even downloading a HD film doesn’t look or sound as good as when you watch from a disc. Some films need to be watched on a disc so you can experience it properly. Let me do that on the xbox.

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  7. Try to not allow a red ring of death style event to take away from your console. If there is anything that Nintendo and Playstation fanboys love it’s the RROD. Even though in the last couple of years the amount of incidents has dropped considerably to almost zero. It’s an argument i’m sick of hearing and to be honest Microsoft dealt with the problem expertly. I’ve got an old system and I’ve had it for about 7 years. I had the red ring once. Within a week it had been picked up, fixed and delivered back to me. For free. It was barely an incident in my case. The only thing about it that annoyed me is people bringing up a non issue over and over.

  8. Lastly, Make it quieter. I’ve got an old machine and it works fine but the noise is getting louder and puts me off using it to stream programs in favor of the PS3 even though my speakers are comically big for an apartment the size of mine.

That’s my list. What would you like to see? Beer dispenser? Burger maker?

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I have started MGS sons of liberty and it looks and sounds beautiful. Oddly the contrast between the old and new doesn’t seem that great because I remember it looking great on the PS2. It has been ten years since I played it so maybe my memory is a little rose tinted. The visuals are very sharp and the Vita handles the sound perfectly. There are little things that are pure MGS. The codec sound, the casual reference to the player during a conversation between characters feels bizarre but fits somehow, the fact Raiden slipped over on sea gull poo when he is wearing this high tech sneaking suit that allows him to survive in extreme conditions but fails in semi liquid bird excrement and the constant exposition that would seem excessive in a Chris Nolan film. I do love it, even more so for the hilarious trophies you can pick up for, among other things, getting excited by the posters of women in some of the lockers, listening to one of the soldiers having some problems in the toilet and taking pictures of soldiers not wearing any trousers.

Who wouldn’t love that?
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More people may have liked it if they hadn’t have put snake on the cover.

 

If you want to keep a closer eye on my progress say hello on my Twitter XBL and PSN @Urbundave.

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3 Comments
  1. Hmm… I’d like a built in oven for bacon. Microsoft, if you’re reading this… please…

    • If they could put in a 3D food printer I think that would make people more likely to ignore enforced installs. Although I don’t know why people get upset about that.

  2. haha, that would be awesome.

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