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Has The Xbox One Missed The Mark? And How They Could Deliver on The Promise of A Home Entertainment System

Following the recent unveiling of the Xbox One, Sony’s share prices went up by 9%. That’s a rather big jump and it seems to spell bad news for Microsoft. If investors have more confidence in Sony, then it suggests they’ve somewhat lost confidence in Microsoft and that means that the presentation can’t have delivered everything that people were hoping for. The announcement has been a huge success on many fronts, generating a huge amount of hype and coverage, but some elements undoubtedly fell a little flat.

Part of the reason for this is probably that Microsoft lost their focus a little and veered a bit too far from the usual MO of games consoles. The Xbox One is positioning itself as a full ‘home entertainment system’ rather than just a game console and offers music, DVD playback, TV and more. And in some ways the Xbox is more of a PC too, with a full operating system running in the background and mandatory installs before games can be played.

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So have Microsoft missed the mark on this one? And how can they win us back?

Getting the Media Aspect Right

 License: Creative Commons image source

First of all, the idea of a home entertainment device is not in itself flawed. The key thing here is that Microsoft gets this right and provide the kind of home entertainment that people want while making it easy to access and intuitive. People love being able to stream TV for instance – so if Microsoft wants to have people using the Xbox as a set top box they should provide a good browser with support for Flash and HTML5.

Likewise, Microsoft could also integrate Kinect to make these awesome features. The Kinect has amazing voice recognition, so imagine if you could pause playback by simply saying ‘pause’ or if you could open up your e-mail with a different command. This would make your front room feel a little more like the home optimization promise of the future and would appeal to a wide audience outside the core gamer.

Appealing to Core Gamers

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At the same time though, Microsoft mustn’t forget the primary function of the Xbox: which is to play games. Other worrying facts threaten to alienate their previous loyal fans – such as the lack of backwards compatibility (owners of 360s will have to either have two consoles by their TV or say goodbye to their old collections) and the suggestion of a fee for using pre-owned games. Indie developers will reportedly also be unable to publish directly to the Xbox live store, which may remove a lot of the potential for creativity on the device.

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What Microsoft has going for it, is the fact that developers are already so familiar with the Xbox architecture and particularly the Windows Kernel that Xbox One will be running. This is a good step towards getting the third party support that they will need, but if they want to extend their games library further, it wouldn’t hurt to modify some of the more disappointing aspects in an early update.

Author Bio:  Harvey Branson, is a sales executive at V Media, a service provider for internet TV box based in Canada. He enjoys cooking and enjoys calling over friends and trying new recipes in his spare time.

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