Getting a few solid base hits doesn’t make you an MVP in the All-Star game!
Ah, the old Xbox fanboys are going to absolutely love me after this article’s conclusion. Naturally, being the overbearing PS4 zealot I am (or at least believed to be), I can only imagine the amount of heat I’ll acquire from the relentless trolling posts the comments section below will garner. In fact, I’ve always wanted to eat a S’more made via flame post, so why don’t I just go grab my marshmallows right now?! Of course I could spend my time attempting to convince those around me that I’m a bigger Microsoft fan than Sony in many ways, that is likely a futile endeavor. Instead, I’ll simply let the truth speak for me, as the facts are once again on my side. Pesky little things I know…but useful they are indeed.
And today’s truth boys and girls is simple, those heralding the resurrection of the Xbox One need a serious reality check.
Recently, I examined comments made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a letter he sent to all employees throughout the company. In it, he touches on a myriad of things, not the least of which was a new direction for the software giant. While he touted the success of the Xbox One and the security of its future, I was skeptical. In one breath he sings its praises and leads people to believe the console is destined for a ten year dynasty, and with the other he clearly outlines a no-nonsense mentality of not supporting fledging enterprises any longer (their next-gen hardware certainly falls into that category as of late). To further cement this fact, we’ve just learned of a slew of layoffs. Last count was estimated at around the 18,000 mark (spanning the remainder of 2014) and could rise before all is said and done. The hit landed mostly on their Nokia division, which increased the company’s ranks significantly after the acquisition. Although many believe those on the Xbox side of the coin are safe for the time being, that sigh of relief could be premature.
What makes me say that? Because dropping the Kinect was simply not enough!
I hate to be all doom and gloom, but I can see those at Team Xbox facing the exact same fate as the poor souls who were grandfathered in from Nokia. While in all likelihood the video gaming wing would be sold off rather than shut down completely, it all amounts to the same thing. The problem I have with this overly optimistic appraisal of the Xbox One’s current standings is twofold. First, dropping the price tag for a console with such a tarnished reputation isn’t going to usher in a golden age that some have suggested. In fact, even though Microsoft is boasting they’ve doubled sales in the last month or so, they still refuse to release any hard numbers. In my experience, people who speak in generalities (that refuse to back up their points with real data) tend to play fast and loose with the truth.
Secondly, Microsoft has yet to overcome the three-headed monster that is the PlayStation 4. And I’m not just judging this fight on hardware points alone, as both consoles are about even in that regard. For me, it’s how they intended to execute a market strategy moving forward. Sony has the new virtual reality craze locked down with Morpheus, they are expanding into other facets of people’s home with devices like PlayStation TV, and the coup de grâce is PlayStation Now.
Microsoft literally has NONE of these things. As PlayStation is making strides in ushering in a new digital era of content distribution (that could make owning a game system obsolete) Microsoft’s only accomplishment is just keeping their little Xbox canoe from capsizing. Sony comes across as an absolute trail blazer by comparison (and rightfully so).
And in the midst of all this stands Nadella, hovering over the struggling One like an executioner about to drop his axe (much like Ned Stark from Game of Thrones). I know some may choose not to believe this, but I’ll put it out there anyway. If the Xbox can’t muster more than just a small sales bump, your new CEO will pull the plug and move on. Plain and simple.
Mark my words folks, this time next summer our gaming landscape could look quite different. Believe it.