Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Microsquash Botched the Console Launch?


The common feeling among the gaming hardcore is that MS botched the "launch" of their beloved new console, the Xbox 360. After all the hype, the build up, the rumors, the out of control image leaks, and sweaty anticipation; when time came for the big E3 press conference, Microsoft screwed up. J Allard and friends got up on that crazy slanted glass stage (a marvel no one tripped up and fell on their face IMHO), and told us how they were going to take over the world with a steady march of 1 BILLION CONSOLES! Let me repeat the exclamation point... (!)

I of course, being a slight fanboy of the XBox console, was hoping to see an earth shattering demonstration of the unit's power. We wanted to see it grow legs and stomp on everyone in the auditorium, and then show a holographic display of its mighty next generational rendering of graphic gooey-ness. We wanted the skies to part, and roof of the convention center to open, and for God's finger to touch the console and say "it is good"...alas, none of this happened. In fact, Microsoft simply flat out STUNK up the game demonstrations, and I still can't figure out why. Apparently, the Xbox 360 is a very shy console, only showing its true beauty behind closed doors to select members of the press. Despite the amazing look that some decryed, it was too late to wash the lingering taste of "blah" from most everyone's mouths.

The gamer nerds that follow this convention only care about one thing: HORSEPOWER and GAMES. We don't care about faceplates or making t-shirts on Live or creating a skateboard themepark for TonyHawk addicts. We want the controller in our hands, our eyes feasting on jaw dropping graphics and sound, and amazing games to play. Microsoft must have failed Public Speaking 101, with it's first tenent being, "KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE". When the press conference was over, the gaming nerd side of me said "huh?"...I honestly did not want to believe what MS showed me was the best they had to offer. The business saavy side of me realized that the conference was OK (but I have already given that reaction). There are millions of customers who don't know what E3 is, nor do they care, and Microsoft's pitch will be a good one to "bring them into the family".

Microsoft failed to embrace the people of E3; the journalists and writers who have roots so firmly entrenched in the analls of gaming history that they can't see much more than the core of their industry: GAMES. I mean, the majority of this crowd shunned coolness all through their formative years because games were more important than finding a date to their high school prom! SO MS's super hip front left them jaded and confused. Why try to be cool now?

Sony, on the other hand, gave E3 attendees EXACTLY what they wanted. Mind blowing statistics, and fantastic "visions" of the future of gaming. Even though everything was a bloated and probably bold faced lie, they fed the crowd with everything they wanted. They made their future console look like a super-star. For some reason, everyone bought it (or at least we all wanted to buy it). Sony's hush-hush attitude to questions regarding "real-time or not" has only verified that it wasn't real time. IT is way too early for that kind of goodness folks. Fortunately for them, they stole the show anyways.

Microsoft did an amazing job with several marketing efforts leading up to the "launch", but then when the gun fired, they tripped and fell on their face at the starting line. Sony, on the other hand, took off sprinting so hard, that they probably are going to pull a muscle before the race is over. Microsoft has no where to go but up, and Sony, unfortunately, will probably go nowhere but down. They have a history of over promising and under delivering. Sony will have a great box, but their vision of next-gen gaming is still a little ahead of it's time. Microsquash will sell a lot of these things when the real launch occurs and I will be one of the first in line. We know it will be an amazing piece of hardware that great games will unfold on. Microsoft is swinging huge buckets of cash to developers and bending over backwards to ensure its success. However, big Redmond needs to make sure to re-embrace the "core" in the coming months to get that fervor building up again. Shows us the guts, the games, and send the glory our way please!

2 Comments:

At 11:42 PM, Blogger cc Infopage said...

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Games & PC Games News - Oct. 15, 2005


PRESS RELEASE: WonderPhone announces Empire Earth® - a made-for-mobile version of the best selling PC strategy game (gamesindustry.biz)
Paris - October 14th, 2005 - WonderPhone today announces the release of its latest java game - Empire Earth ® - a made-for-mobile version of the best selling PC strategy game from Vivendi Universal Games.

Xbox 360's New Media Play Finding Fans (eWeek)
Consumers were impressed by the expanded multimedia features of Microsoft's upcoming Xbox 360 at the Digital Life conference, while gamers were excited to begin using the devices to access other types of services.

Free open-source gamer's treat unleashed (Macworld UK)
The fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game lets players build and train armies, allowing them to create pools of tough warriors to be called-up in crisis. Experienced warriors gain powerful new features and spells.

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At 8:41 PM, Blogger cc Infopage said...

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Games & PC Games News by www.infopage.cc - Oct. 18, 2005

Beta testers needed for GPS enabled Golf application for Windows Mobile (MS Mobiles)
October 17, 2005 [General] There are many applications for Windows Mobile about game of golf. Not all of them are GPS enabled though. Here comes yet another application about golf, in versions both for Pocket PC and MS Smartphone. (Read More ...)

GameTap download service launches in US (gamesindustry.biz)
Turner Broadcasting System has officially launched GameTap, a new gaming download service which gives subscribers access to more than 300 arcade, console and PC games. (Read More ...)

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