I was reading an article over at Gamasutra--it's not hard to enjoy the stuff coming out of that site, especially if you follow gaming and gaming business news--and they had a nice big article on how to handle the next generation of gaming consoles
. With the Wii U on the way, and the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 likely to follow with the next E3, it got me thinking about the next generation myself.
I've been a Microsoft gamer for some time now, and it got me to thinking about how to get Microsoft's
big entry to the top of the food chain. I had three ways in particular to make that happen, and so, I put them out for you.
1. Have the games ready
It may seem like a bit of common sense in this one, but the best way that Microsoft can win points at the launch is to have a wide and varied array of launch titles. The more the better, frankly--give the gamers a lot of choice and be ready to follow it up with more. The biggest mistake that Sony ever made with the PS3 was not having the games ready at launch, and that sapped a lot of their sales momentum. Being ready with the games is a great way to win the day.
2. Keep the prices reasonable
Again a crippling misstep for Sony that they never really managed to come back from was pricing the initial run of the device far, far too high. Value propositions weigh heavily on the minds of consumers, especially in the midst of a bad economy like the one we still find ourselves in. Therefore, being ready with a solid value--$300 or so--will see plenty of console gamers eager to make upgrades, and backed up with the first point, make the Xbox 720 top of mind.
3. Drop the Live paywall
This one is a point that has personally irked me for some time. I understand that Xbox Live is a great source of revenue for Microsoft, but for crying out loud, there's entirely too much stuff wedged behind that paywall. When I can get out my computer, and go to things for free that I would have had to pay to access on Xbox Live, I know there's a problem. Why pay Microsoft to access my Hulu Plus
account when I can get on with my computer or my Roku box for what I'm paying Hulu? Why pay Microsoft to get on YouTube when it's free from my PC? Some services behind a paywall, that makes sense. But double-dipping like this? No, that just doesn't make any sense at all. So Microsoft...open up the power of the Xbox Live experience, and not just to the paying customers. Then watch how hard Live takes off.
Some may take issue with what I say here. But from where I'm looking, if Microsoft can come out of the gate strong in games, strong in value, and strong in services, then nothing Sony or Nintendo can do will stop them from being the next big thing in gaming.