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Author Topic: 12 things the Xbox One does well, 11 that it doesn't  (Read 1076 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: January 02, 2014, 12:09:22 AM »

http://www.gamingtrend.com/2014/01/01/a-month-with-xbox-one-whats-working-and-whats-not/

Justin and I took a look at the Xbox One over the last month, tallied up what it does well, what it doesn't, and what we think Microsoft can do to fix it. 

How'd we do?
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 02:13:41 AM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on January 02, 2014, 12:09:22 AM

http://www.gamingtrend.com/2014/01/01/a-month-with-xbox-one-whats-working-and-whats-not/

Justin and I took a look at the Xbox One over the last month, tallied up what it does well, what it doesn't, and what we think Microsoft can do to fix it.  

How'd we do?
Very good article. Do you have one coming for the PS4?
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 02:53:25 AM »

great article and I actually agree on most of your points
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 04:17:58 AM »

Good article! I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2014, 04:20:10 AM »

Quote from: Hetz on January 02, 2014, 04:17:58 AM

Good article! I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

This makes me uncomfortable. slywink

(I kid, I kid).

Ron, thanks so much for the help on this one. smile

You folks have no idea how much that man endures to work with me.  (but I'm sure some might guess Tongue )
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2014, 04:30:09 AM »

When I saw that the party system was number 2 thing they got right I almost stopped reading. I think you're the only one on the internet who has that opinion.
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2014, 04:51:35 AM »

Technical note:  The last line of text on slide 12 'Kinect' is cut off in Firefox.  It displays properly in Chrome.
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 05:53:09 AM »

Quote from: Teggy on January 02, 2014, 04:30:09 AM

When I saw that the party system was number 2 thing they got right I almost stopped reading. I think you're the only one on the internet who has that opinion.

One of the big bullet points earlier in 2013 was the touted "set up a mp game, and join in later when you're ready". This is that thing, but it is feature-bare.

The time I've spent in party chat hasn't been painful. The voices are clear, and when it's worked, it worked well. I've been able to transition between two games with the same member, and everything worked. I think the party system needs an overhaul, but I swear I'll go and kick EVERYONE in the 'nads if they push this back to the "360" method of having dropped game sessions killing parties and the like. I can't stand the gaming moments where you spend 15 minutes trying to find everyone you were just playing with, and getting multiple game invites stacked from a bunch of people who are trying to rebuild the party.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is working 100% on the Xbox One. Is it a dreadful pile of failure? No. It's a product of Xmas push and midstride direction-changes that they had to sew it up as is to satisfy perceived business needs. It's functional, it has some nice features, but the apps clearly need more time to bake.

FWIW I also hate having to switch disks to play different games, so perhaps I'm more willing to look for progress over clinging to the past.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 05:55:11 AM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 06:38:46 AM »

Great article, I agree with most of it.

The single thing I love the most about the XB1 that wasn't really mentioned is the ability to jump between apps and resume seamlessly. This is a total godsend when your game time is limited and you have two toddlers and a wife running around. If I'm playing and the kids decide they want to watch Netflix, no problem. Pause game, Xbox Go To Netflix - they're watching Tinkerbell in about 10 seconds, and daddy's not worried about his game.

Note - I have heard issues with game resumes on occasion, but to date I haven't experienced any problems.
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 01:40:23 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on January 02, 2014, 02:13:41 AM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on January 02, 2014, 12:09:22 AM

http://www.gamingtrend.com/2014/01/01/a-month-with-xbox-one-whats-working-and-whats-not/

Justin and I took a look at the Xbox One over the last month, tallied up what it does well, what it doesn't, and what we think Microsoft can do to fix it.  

How'd we do?
Very good article. Do you have one coming for the PS4?

Absolutely.  It wouldn't be fair otherwise.  smile
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 09:39:56 PM »

While I applaud Microsoft for really "going for it" (and succeeding on many levels) in terms of being the ONE entertainment unit for the living room, it's still frustrating and disappointing that they didn't take the time to polish everything before release.  With Apple not even having solid rumors on a release for their next TV product, the Xbone could really dictate this market space with a stronger effort, even if they delayed til June.  Not to say they can't fix things as they go along, but right now it's still half-baked.  I suppose it's the best half-baked solution out there, though, for what it's worth. 

In theory, they've done everything that a lazy home entertainment junkie could ask for.  I can swap between playing a game, watching a Blu-Ray, streaming a movie, and watching TV without ever getting up or changing an input port.  I can verbalize commands and make things happen.  When it's all working, this is pretty close to the Holy Grail.  Unfortunately "working" is a mixed bag.  Now maybe it's my hardware combo, but I've read others having the same issues.  Sometimes the TV signal is not recognized and you have to perform a hard reboot, which is really aggravating.  Verbal command recognition can be hit or miss, and other times something gets triggered and menus that you don't want pop up all over the place.  Even turning the unit on verbally is hit or miss for me.  I tried Amazon Instant last night and the video quality was SD horrible and started stuttering, no idea why.  There's still no app that allows you to stream your own content from a home server, which is absolutely a major release fail IMHO.

The biggest problem, though?  As an entertainment system, it's lacking a real remote control.  The voice commands just don't cut it as yet (particularly for TV/DVR viewing), and asking everyone to use a game controller as a TV remote is ridiculous.  Not to mention you can't use the game controller to adjust the volume on your receiver, nor to manipulate detailed DVR functions.  A seamless and intuitive remote control is arguably the most essential part of the home entertainment experience, yet Microsoft doesn't seem to have it on their radar AFAIK.  Logitech universal remotes are a viable option, but still not ideal compared to a dedicated solution.  To make it work effectively you essentially need all the functions of your cable/satellite remote (including volume control of receiver or TV), plus the XBox controller's 6+ buttons and direction pad - all in an ergonomic, straightforward layout.  Not an easy task for certain but it's absolutely necessary to enable the ultimate couch potato experience.
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 10:44:14 PM »

Smartglass does all of that.

So, effectively, if you have a smartphone or tablet, you already have full control of audio. Sending numeric signals to, say, change channels is possible, but the Kinect doesn't (at this time) have that type of control.

When you open Smartglass (and it's set to connect to your console), there is a remote icon in the bottom right, as well as an icon for sound.

Last week I was messing with my kid by changing the volume while he was playing on the XB1 in the basement while I was upstairs cooking in the kitchen. biggrin
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 10:47:09 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2014, 01:05:24 AM »

Quote from: YellowKing on January 02, 2014, 06:38:46 AM

Great article, I agree with most of it.

The single thing I love the most about the XB1 that wasn't really mentioned is the ability to jump between apps and resume seamlessly. This is a total godsend when your game time is limited and you have two toddlers and a wife running around. If I'm playing and the kids decide they want to watch Netflix, no problem. Pause game, Xbox Go To Netflix - they're watching Tinkerbell in about 10 seconds, and daddy's not worried about his game.

Note - I have heard issues with game resumes on occasion, but to date I haven't experienced any problems.

Wait wait wait. You can play games while the kids are awake? That sounds....wonderful. If I even thought about turning on the PS4 while my kids are awake my wife would probably file for divorce.
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2014, 06:26:29 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 02, 2014, 10:44:14 PM

Smartglass does all of that.

So, effectively, if you have a smartphone or tablet, you already have full control of audio. Sending numeric signals to, say, change channels is possible, but the Kinect doesn't (at this time) have that type of control.

When you open Smartglass (and it's set to connect to your console), there is a remote icon in the bottom right, as well as an icon for sound.

Not to belabor the point, but I tried Smartglass out last night and while it's got some decent features, obviously it's not capable of sending IR commands to a set top box (or DVR), which means you are still left swapping between your DVR remote and the Smartglass device if you want to access any recorded show (or VOD, etc) functionality.  That's an improvement over using the controller because of the navigation, keyboard and volume control, but not great since it still requires two devices.  

I did some more searching around and really the only viable single-remote solution at present is the Logitech Harmony series.  It took me a major effort to get mine working the way I wanted, and I still had to compromise, placing the Xbone's selection keys to some fairly random buttons that were left over.  Long story short, it means the solution is acceptable for me personally, but not for anyone else in the house.  Do you really want to explain to your significant other why they have to press the red circle button to get the List of recorded shows?  Or why they have to move the Xbox cursor around with the "-" key and then hit the soft Enter key to get the TV in full screen?  I realize it's not an easy proposition given the different types of DVRs and STBs out there, but this is the door Microsoft opened when they decided to promote the "one stop entertainment" hub concept.  Pretty much everyone I know uses some form of DVR, even those who are getting TV over the air; it's something that needs to be addressed if they really want to own this space.  This should all be really obvious stuff for a company that is going to advertise integration with TV/cable/satellite.  
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 06:30:56 PM by rittchard » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2014, 07:01:17 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on January 03, 2014, 06:26:29 PM

Quote from: Purge on January 02, 2014, 10:44:14 PM

Smartglass does all of that.

So, effectively, if you have a smartphone or tablet, you already have full control of audio. Sending numeric signals to, say, change channels is possible, but the Kinect doesn't (at this time) have that type of control.

When you open Smartglass (and it's set to connect to your console), there is a remote icon in the bottom right, as well as an icon for sound.

Not to belabor the point, but I tried Smartglass out last night and while it's got some decent features, obviously it's not capable of sending IR commands to a set top box (or DVR), which means you are still left swapping between your DVR remote and the Smartglass device if you want to access any recorded show (or VOD, etc) functionality.  That's an improvement over using the controller because of the navigation, keyboard and volume control, but not great since it still requires two devices. 

I did some more searching around and really the only viable single-remote solution at present is the Logitech Harmony series.  It took me a major effort to get mine working the way I wanted, and I still had to compromise, placing the Xbone's selection keys to some fairly random buttons that were left over.  Long story short, it means the solution is acceptable for me personally, but not for anyone else in the house.  Do you really want to explain to your significant other why they have to press the red circle button to get the List of recorded shows?  Or why they have to move the Xbox cursor around with the "-" key and then hit the soft Enter key to get the TV in full screen?  I realize it's not an easy proposition given the different types of DVRs and STBs out there, but this is the door Microsoft opened when they decided to promote the "one stop entertainment" hub concept.  Pretty much everyone I know uses some form of DVR, even those who are getting TV over the air; it's something that needs to be addressed if they really want to own this space.  This should all be really obvious stuff for a company that is going to advertise integration with TV/cable/satellite. 

Agreed. It's a mess. I'm specifically not running my DirecTV line through the Xbone because it adds a minimal amount of value while making the entire process actually more cumbersome. I have hopes they'll figure this out in the long run, but they are also a LOOOONG ways off from making it usable right now. Also, try telling your significant other 'so instead of using the TV remote like you've always done, I need you to talk to the Xbox for some things, use the iPad for others, and then also use the TV remote for the stuff that that stuff can't do. Oh yeah and sometimes (half of the time) the Xbox won't understand you.' NOPE.

First off, get the goddamn box to turn on consistently when I say 'Xbox, on.' That's step one. Then unfuck everything else.

In regards to the article, I agree with it largely. It's a nice box of potential but just about all of that potential is falling short right now. The quick resume feature is the one thing it really does a ton better than the PS4, but everything else is sort of a miss from a gaming perspective.

Also is it just me or is the UI maddeningly slow?
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 08:30:56 PM »

Quote from: gellar on January 03, 2014, 07:01:17 PM


Also is it just me or is the UI maddeningly slow?

Sometimes, yeah. I spoke around the point (IIRC) with the loading of different apps.

The cable box stuff I couldn't speak to, I'm in Canada, so the OneGuide is currently derelict. Hit X to bring it up automatically from the dashboard.

I like that hitting B takes you back into what you were just in (as if the dashboard is like the "360 button blades".

I played a bit last night (I'm coming down with a cold and have zero energy to focus on gaming). Halo:SA has some bugs in the first few levels including one crash and a bug where getting out of a turret starts firing your guns and your special ability: you have to tap fire to stop it. KD assures me his copy stopped pulling that crap later on, but I'll say this - they really need to fix system stability. The 'bone doesn't crash often, but it sometimes surprises you.
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« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 09:27:30 PM »

you may have to update your article... in time to come  slywink

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/443852/incoming-xbox-one-updates-shaped-by-fan-feedback-says-hryb/


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Microsoft is listening keenly to gamer feedback on Xbox One, which will help it deliver updates to make it "the Xbox fans are expecting".

So said Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb in a discussion over the firm's extensive plans to update the console following its launch in November 2013.

"If you look back at the Xbox 360′s launch, what it was in 2005 when it launched is completely different from what it is now," Hryb told Canada.com. It's fascinating to see the different things that have come along. Things iterated," he pointed out.

"So we are absolutely committed to adding new features to the Xbox One over the course of its life span."

Microsoft is listening to feedback "daily", Hryb went on to say, and is using this this information to shape its development of the console.

"When we look back and look at what we've done, we want to continue to adapt the system to what gamers want. The team that works on Xbox are gamers themselves. We want to build the system that we use and that we know gamers would enjoy using," said Hryb.

"We're going to continue to refine the system and make it what the Xbox fans are expecting and what they want. We're listening to the feedback every single day. I've already seen some changes in the operating system internally with what we're building."
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 09:38:33 PM »

And in other exciting news, grass is green and the sky is blue. slywink
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 10:33:30 PM »

So you can expect even more intrusive ads. You know, because fans demand it.
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« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 12:51:06 AM »

Quote from: Purge on January 03, 2014, 08:30:56 PM

Quote from: gellar on January 03, 2014, 07:01:17 PM


Also is it just me or is the UI maddeningly slow?

Sometimes, yeah. I spoke around the point (IIRC) with the loading of different apps.

The cable box stuff I couldn't speak to, I'm in Canada, so the OneGuide is currently derelict. Hit X to bring it up automatically from the dashboard.

I like that hitting B takes you back into what you were just in (as if the dashboard is like the "360 button blades".

I played a bit last night (I'm coming down with a cold and have zero energy to focus on gaming). Halo:SA has some bugs in the first few levels including one crash and a bug where getting out of a turret starts firing your guns and your special ability: you have to tap fire to stop it. KD assures me his copy stopped pulling that crap later on, but I'll say this - they really need to fix system stability. The 'bone doesn't crash often, but it sometimes surprises you.

Hmmm I've not gotten any crashes at all other than occasionally on quick resume of a game (which I think they said is in Beta or something).
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2014, 01:40:25 AM »

I kind of take the glass half full approach. They could have taken the easy way out and just made a 360 with better specs. Instead, they integrated nearly full voice activation and cable box integration. That takes gigantic balls. Enormous King Kong size balls. And yes, they got kicked in them repeatedly for doing it, but they stuck it out and I think in the long run they'll be vindicated.

I'm willing to be patient when I know the alternative would be having none of this cool stuff whatsoever. How many times in recent years have we mocked innovation only to be the ones that can't live without it once it becomes mainstream? It's happened to me more times than I care to remember.
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« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2014, 02:22:20 AM »

I didn't want an Xbox 3602, and I'm not unhappy with my Xbox One. But you have to admit, there is a ton of room for improvement.
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« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2014, 01:51:09 PM »

I wonder if this approach will actually grow their business though. Anecdotally me and five friends were all 360 guys and would have bought 360.2 but switched because of all the Kinect bloat. When I was waiting in line to try and grab a PS4 everyone there waiting for a PS4 (there was about 7 of us) were ex-360 guys switching because we didn't want Kinect.

There doesn't seem to be much movement the other way from PS3 to XB1 so I'm wondering if their fan base is going to end up being a subset of their 360 base.

I still think they should have offered a Kinect-less version for 399. I can think of 7 more sales alone personally in my circle of friends if they did that. Obviously my observations don't necessarily reflect worldwide trends but it can't be that far off the mark. We were all die hard 360 guys despite the red rings and all that stuff and yet the XB1 wasn't even an option to consider.
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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2014, 02:10:43 PM »

Microsoft has always been about getting a toehold in the market, for better or for worse. They made a gamble to be the first true all in one entertainment hub for the living room. Whether that costs them a few hardcore gamer sales probably doesn't mean much to them. They're playing the long game.
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM »

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2014, 02:55:01 PM »

JayDee, I use the connect every day. Xbox on, certain voice commends, controller recognition. It's not what's wrong with the platform IMO.

When devs start competing with each other on feature sets - that's when we're gonna see the Kinect 2 really get used to its advantages.
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2014, 02:55:34 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.


I concur.
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2014, 03:41:41 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.


Microsoft "lost" their last two console gens  icon_confused.... or did you mean "one more"

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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2014, 03:59:49 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 04, 2014, 02:55:34 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.


I concur.

Ditto.

Quote from: Purge on January 04, 2014, 02:55:01 PM

JayDee, I use the connect every day. Xbox on, certain voice commends, controller recognition. It's not what's wrong with the platform IMO.

When devs start competing with each other on feature sets - that's when we're gonna see the Kinect 2 really get used to its advantages.

I use it every time I use the Xbone, but I don't find it crucial to the system yet. In fact I find it superfluous. You're correct though - IF devs start actually using it well, then I may change my tune.
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2014, 05:04:12 PM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on January 04, 2014, 03:41:41 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.


Microsoft "lost" their last two console gens  icon_confused.... or did you mean "one more"



Not sure what you mean by that.   
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« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2014, 05:06:09 PM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on January 04, 2014, 03:41:41 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.


Microsoft "lost" their last two console gens  icon_confused.... or did you mean "one more"


Lost? If we remove the disturbingly xenophobic Japanese marketplace, the Xbox 360 won the last Gen handily.

From a global sales perspective they're so close to each other as not to matter. Coming from the 2001 Xbox market position and Sonys Ps2?

I don't know how you classify the 360 as a loss.

Regardless, the xb1 has an uphill battle. I'm of the mind that is the best position for MS to be in - they do well there. I just wish they'd not made some key decisions that caused the uproar and the subsequent 180.
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« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2014, 05:34:00 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 04, 2014, 05:06:09 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on January 04, 2014, 03:41:41 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 04, 2014, 02:27:05 PM

At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.


Microsoft "lost" their last two console gens  icon_confused.... or did you mean "one more"


Lost? If we remove the disturbingly xenophobic Japanese marketplace, the Xbox 360 won the last Gen handily.

From a global sales perspective they're so close to each other as not to matter. Coming from the 2001 Xbox market position and Sonys Ps2?

I don't know how you classify the 360 as a loss.

Regardless, the xb1 has an uphill battle. I'm of the mind that is the best position for MS to be in - they do well there. I just wish they'd not made some key decisions that caused the uproar and the subsequent 180.

You seem to be forgetting Nintendo, who may have bowed out early but still had like a 20 million WW lead over PS3 and 360.
I think around Aug last year it was roughly 360 80M, PS3 80M, Wii 100M.
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« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2014, 05:55:27 PM »

everyone forgets the wii.  biggrin
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« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2014, 08:00:56 PM »

I had a giant response to all of this, but it gets away from the OP and the point of this thread.

The Japanese market is both unique in its game interests as well as its reticence to adopt products from outside it's own. I simply pointed out that besides one country, where any other country including the US were removed it would not create so significant a gap in product attach rates comparative to the rest of the global markets. I then also referenced the positions of both companies globally.

To try and declare a winner is kinda dumb, IMO, and goes entirely away from the OP. (I include myself in that statement, so let's not get too carried away in people getting feelings hurt with the word dumb slywink)

Ultimately the comment was on losing, not so much that one company over the other managed to sell a fractional amount more. Actually losing out - as in, their product simply doesn't sell. If the PS4 came out and didn't sell, it could put the entire health of Sony on the line. If the Xbox One bombed? I don't see it having the same impact.

If you want to discuss how the XBone can do better, go ahead. Otherwise, open up a different thread to discuss what you think are the winners of console generations. That's just console-war-bait though, so good luck with that.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 08:02:34 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2014, 08:02:59 PM »

Quote from: Caine on January 04, 2014, 05:55:27 PM

everyone forgets the wii.  biggrin

Nope. Just trying to.
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« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2014, 08:27:56 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 04, 2014, 08:00:56 PM

not so much that one company over the other managed to sell a fractional amount more.

20 million, a fractional amount...
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« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2014, 09:14:10 PM »

You talking Wii? Wii was less than 1/2 the price, and you need to factor in its attach rates for software as it didn't get the same multi-plat games loving.

Regardless, neither has anything to do with this thread.

My XBone was powered off hard today. Updates, perhaps?
« Last Edit: January 04, 2014, 09:17:53 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: January 05, 2014, 02:39:31 AM »

Quote from: TiLT
At the very least, Microsoft can afford to "lose" one console generation. The same can't be said about Sony at this point.

I agree. They could have never taken the kinds of risks they did with the XB1 in Sony's position. And for Sony's part they did exactly what they needed to do - play it safe but market to the strengths of playing it safe. And they did so brilliantly.
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Re:
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2014, 09:55:20 PM »

Kinect is a long term proposition, not just for gaming but for computer interaction as Microsoft sees it.  

tapatalkin'
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2014, 01:10:11 AM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on January 06, 2014, 09:55:20 PM

Kinect is a long term proposition, not just for gaming but for computer interaction as Microsoft sees it.  

I agree, which is why I further think it was stupid to release prematurely without a killer Kinect app that set them apart.  Yeah yeah I understand wanting to compete with PS4 for the holiday sales but I'm not sure it was worth the perception that they "lost" the first release battle.  

If they had another 6-9 months, they could have done a summer release this year with a stronger game lineup, better kinect support, hopefully a real entertainment remote and alternative controllers.  They would not have had to share the press, and could have presented themselves as a true One Entertainment Hub with technology that PS4 doesn't have (Kinect), and more distinctive (Kinect-based) exclusive gaming titles.  

I suppose they can still do something similar marketing-wise later, but it seems like at least for the interim they might suffer some perception issues.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 01:12:04 AM by rittchard » Logged
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