Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Microsoft: No Internet, No Problem! Just Buy the Xbox 360!

This is the complaint stream that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on, my friends.

Alright. Despite of my gross reservations regarding this, I think that I have to give this a fair shake, or at least try. Amongst all the hate for the Xbox One that is still going fresh, there were some rather ... unfortunate comments made at E3 that haven't done Microsoft any favours either. Perhaps the most damning of which was, well, just look:

The video itself is admittedly biased, if the sad trombone is any indication. And I have to admit that the comment when taken at face value is far, far less than stellar. In fact, Jim Sterling has compared it to the infamous spiel from Sony's Ken Kutaragi, who said that people would be willing to work second jobs in order to afford a PS3.

Is it a good comment to make. Well, no. That much is kind of obvious. However, I don't think that it's quite as damming as a lot of people would make it out to be either. You have to remember that even after the PS3 launched that the Playstation 2 was by no means a dead system. Indeed, the price cuts that came from the launch of the next generation console actually saw the PS2 selling better than the PS3 for periods of time.

Don't get me wrong. That doesn't really condone the statements that Sony made in regards to the PS3, just like the fact that a lot of people will probably pick up a 360 doesn't condone the comment made in that video. At the same time though, there's really no denying that the 360 is probably going to enjoy a long shelf life even after all the next generation offerings are in place, and the same can probably be said for the Playstation 3 as well.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that even though this is doubtless a giant case of Microsoft putting its foot in its mouth, this isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, the end of the gaming portion of the company. Nor will it mean the final end of the console war for Microsoft. I would argue that Sony's handling of the PS3 was nearly as disastrous as this, and they recovered fine. Now, of course they didn't have a lot of the measures that are angering people, but in the end I think that sadly won't really make much of a difference.

In the end, I have to admit that it's almost been odd seeing history repeat in a way. I remember all too clearly all of the Sony apologists, and I remember that despite owning a Playstation 3 on launch day I wasn't one of them. We're at the crux of a new generation coming into full bloom, and while people can (and have) make all the predictions they'd like, the fact of the matter is that until we actually start seeing sales and reactions, that all of this is just cheap talk.

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