2014/01/12

Microsoft is losing one advantage on Xbox One

Microsoft is stupid sometimes. Well maybe more often than we like. Microsoft introduced the internet to consoles. The Xbox was a good start and they made it really good on the Xbox 360. Yes, they screwed up their interface and shop over time, but still it was much better compared to their counterparts Sony or Nintendo.

Why is this? My explanation is that both Nintendo and Sony are Japanese and in Japan the Internet never took off as big as in the western world. Online games never played a major role. The reason I guess is that PC's aren't used at home much due to space restrictions. Japanese people access the internet through their mobile phone. So they had all sorts of online services much sooner than we had. They already had full internet functions when UMTS was still in development in the western world.

If you look at how Nintendo handles the internet it can't get any worse. You add friends by using cryptic numbers like 435132. They claim to protect their kids customers. Sure. That can't excuse the bad online experiences you have with their club Nintendo or their eShop. If you ever tried to buy software there, recover your password or even link new devices you know what I am talking about. Abysmal user experiences.

Sony had the same problem for a long time but patched up their systems over time. Still it is odd that when you login the PlayStation Network on your PC and click on an advertised title to buy it you are redirected to their shop and need to LOGIN AGAIN. Besides only accepting credit cards (no point cards available) they have a decent collection of movies and TV series on top of their game offers.

The PS4 is slightly better in this regard but you see the Japanese style Internet of the 2000's working on all ends. I was surprised that Sony has the lead in live streaming over TwichTV on the PS4 while the Xbone feels like a closed system currently.

And that is my point: Microsoft is losing their big advantage they once had: The internet, online games, connectivity. And Sony is catching up fast. While Nintendo still doesn't understand how the internet works Sony is implementing features fast. Besides Twitch they offer now streaming services for PS3 games through their GaiKai aquisition. If that works well or not doesn't matter, what matters is that Microsoft must speed up their operating software development and store offers, otherwise they will continue to lose against Sony.


2 comments:

Andre Weissflog said...

I wonder whether the rumour is true that the dashboard and online features of the Xbox One have been implemented by a new team that was brought in from the desktop OS side. That would explain some of the dumb-founded decisions, also because most of the people who defined the online-vision of the original Xbox and Xbox360 had left long time ago. Twitch integration would be a "nice-to-have" low-prio feature if there's still fundamental stuff broken that must be fixed first. Sounds like a typical software-development problem to me when a lot of new guys are brought in which don't understand the original vision and want to rewrite everything "because the code-base has grown unmaintainable", instead of "don't fix what's not broken" ;)

Andre Weissflog said...
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