The Xbox One: A Tale of Objectivity
Understanding Microsoft’s Position.
After a week of negative press I thought it’d be best to revisit the Xbox One from the position of not the offended gamer, but Microsoft itself.
Fresh off a drubbing of rival console maker Sony, Microsoft developed a new console. It is operating based on two facts:
- Sony screwed up so badly with the Playstation 3 that the Playstation 4 will merely be a quality video game console wholly shaped by an effort to rehab its broken reputation. Sony won’t take any risks with the Playstation 4.
- Nintendo makes nothing but specialized game consoles. This does not fly in the year 2013.
As a result, Microsoft has walked past managing video games and is currently eyeing our living rooms. What’s interesting is that objectively, Microsoft is in the best possible position to do so. The idea of the living room-dominating media box isn’t a new one. However, Microsoft presents potentially the most balanced media box ever introduced. Historically, media boxes have tipped too far into entertainment that games are forgotten and problems arise. Microsoft shouldn’t have this concern. They have a handful of established properties (of varying quality but unquestionable popularity) that will draw crowds to the Xbox One simply for gaming. No amount of hubris can deny Microsoft’s track record.
The Xbox One as strictly a media device, however, doesn’t appear set to make the common mistake of attempting to emulate the functions of a computer. It’s attempting to weave itself into the intended functions of a person watching television in 2013. When you are watching a basketball game, you may be inclined to look up stats, refresh your email, rewind a play, or call a friend to discuss all of the former. The Xbox One is trying to position itself as the best cable box ever generated. By combining functionality with the whims of the typical entertainment consumer, they are easily on track.
Mind you, I have large issues with the elitist tone Microsoft has taken since the announcement of the device. I find their hefty disregard for people with spotty to no internet service troubling. Their press releases are scatterbrained and problematic. It is worth noting, however, that if anyone is going to change our concept of living room entertainment, it would be Microsoft. No competitor is even approaching Microsoft’s position, and Microsoft is poised to take full advantage.