Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Microsoft Is Playing Everything Safely…except for the Xbox division.

July 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) We all love disclaimers, right? Of course we do. Full disclaimer, I’m a Sony and Nintendo fan. I’ve owned a Microsoft console, the Xbox 360, and it did what I needed it to do: play the games I wanted and let me watch Netflix and Hulu. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the 360. I didn’t care for the size of the controller—even though everyone else loves how “ergonomic” it is.

Yes, I put “ergonomic” in quotes because the ergonomic nature of a controller wasn’t a huge issue until Microsoft whipped out the Xbox 360’s controller. Everyone just adapted to a controller’s build and played their games. It was simpler times.

I grew up on Nintendo, played my first game in 1989 on the original. When Sony dropped the first PlayStation, I got a real taste of what I love to play to this day: roleplaying games. I had no interest in the first Xbox or the Xbox 360 until I wanted to play some titles that were third party. It just happened that the 360 was cheaper and the games available were also cheaper used. So, there’s that.

Microsoft Is Doing Everything Right…Except Xbox

During the last decade, Microsoft was having issues with having too many products and projects going on. They didn’t really get away from software but it wasn’t the greatest priority. Mobile was—and still is—big business and the focus turned to that. The company worked on its own mobile phone which didn’t do well…well, it flopped. No one was really buying it nor was anyone attached to its dedicated OS.

Kind of like Amazon and the Fire phone, really. Like, that seemed like a great idea on paper. “Hey, you guys love your Kindles and you’re really love the Kindle Fire, what about a phone?!”

“A Kindle phone?”

“No, a Fire phone. It’s tied in with your Amazon account and you can do all the things you do on your tablets but now on a phone! You can make calls, text—all of that!”

“…nah, we good. I have a Google and Apple account. I don’t need…no.”

That said, the Fire phone wasn’t bad, really. It came in with the Amazon branding on it and almost everyone uses Amazon in some way but Apple, Google, and all of Google’s partners beat it on the draw. The gap in attachment was too great to make up.

This was also the case with Microsoft getting into the mobile game. There was actually a period in 2013 or 2014 when a few of Microsoft’s investors wanted the company to drop some things and get back to software. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 and Live Gold were doing very well for the company. Once Satya Nadella took the reins, Microsoft started streamlining everything and turning its focus back on software. It looked like there was a return to form.

Too Much Is Going On But At The Same Time…Nothing Is Going On

Recently, Microsoft has been announcing a lot of plans for its gaming wing. A new Xbox is definitely in development and it’s aiming to be the most powerful console available—as is Microsoft’s thing when it comes to console development. However, it looks like they’re doing too much. There’s Project xCloud which allows you to play games across PC, Xbox and mobile…meaning you probably don’t even need an Xbox anyway.

But they’re still developing the Xbox. I mean, there are gamers tied to the Xbox console and the brand, so they will buy it. Still, this is kind of like “What’s the point?” It’s like how there’s PC gamers who have a Nintendo Switch and a PlayStation 4 because why would they need an Xbox One? The console has no true exclusives because all the “exclusives” can be played on PC. Which is another stumbling block for Microsoft.

The company can’t start making true exclusives now after years of putting Microsoft games on both PC and Xbox. I mean, they can but it won’t be without grumbling from gamers in the tone of “Why now?” Plus, it’s times to sh** or get off the pot with some games. All consoles are third party title heavy but PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch have a stable of first party titles that are distinct to their consoles.

It would be nice to have a bunch of games that you can only play on Xbox One but as I said, at this point? Why now?

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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