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Here Are 10 Ways to Fix Xbox One Before Launch

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Here Are 10 Ways to Fix Xbox One Before Launch
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When Sony (NYSE: SNE) unveiled the fourth-generation PlayStation, some consumers complained because there weren't any images of the actual hardware.

Some consumers also complained about the lack non-gaming entertainment services (which will be present in PlayStation 4 but were not shown during the event).

Last week consumers learned why Sony chose to ignore those trivial matters and focus entirely on new games.

During Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) long-awaited event for Xbox One, the company spent the first 30 minutes talking about the many ways in which the console will take over a user's television. Very little time was spent on actual video games, which angered consumers from all over the world.

Bloggers and game reporters were particularly upset. IGN's reporters were a bit dumbfounded after the event concluded on Tuesday. Kotaku followed the conference with an article entitled, "That Xbox One Reveal Sure Was a Disaster, Huh?"

Gamasutra's editor-at-large, Leigh Alexander, was arguably the most angered gamer of all. Her views can be summed up by the title of her article: "Xbox One is a desperate prayer to stop time."

With so much disappointment, Microsoft is going to have to make some changes to Xbox One before it is released later this year.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: PlayStation 4 Xbox OneTech Best of Benzinga

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  • Announce and demonstrate every single exclusive first-party game.

    Announce and demonstrate every single exclusive first-party game.

    Microsoft Game Studios is currently working on 15 games for release within the first 12 months of Xbox One's release. Eight of those games will be the start of brand-new franchises.

    By comparison, Wii U has been out for eight months and it has only received two exclusive first-party games. Consequently, gamers are bitter.

    If Microsoft wants consumers to believe that 15 games are really going to be released so quickly, it needs to drop everything and announce (and demonstrate) them in Juen at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

    Microsoft might be tempted to wait, but it can't. You see, games take a long time to develop, but they also take a long time to hype. Very rarely are games announced a mere month or two before they are released. More often than not they are announced six to 12 months before release.

    Thus, if Microsoft wants to convince gamers that they don't have to worry about an onslaught of delays next year for games that haven't even been announced, the company needs to show them off right now.

    Give consumers a reason to buy Xbox One for today and for tomorrow. If Microsoft does that, there will be no stopping this console.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Commit to announcing additional games every month for the next 12 months.

    Commit to announcing additional games every month for the next 12 months.

    What is the number-one thing consumers want from Xbox One? Games. Lots of games.

    Microsoft should commit to announcing new games -- from its own developers or from third-party studios -- every single month for the next 12 months. Not only would this reinforce the Xbox brand, but it would create a level of trust and engagement from consumers that no other game company possesses.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Don't apologize for any mistakes…

    Don't apologize for any mistakes...

    …Until they're fixed. Game companies have the tendency to repeatedly tell consumers what they think they want to hear. This has led to a cornucopia of broken promises from Nintendo, which ultimately led some negative press surrounding its latest console, Wii U.

    If Xbox One is to avoid a similar fate, Microsoft executives should avoid making any apologies until it is ready to deliver whatever it is consumers want.

    In this case they want games. They also wanted games for Wii U, whose sales declined by more than 85 percent after Nintendo failed to deliver.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Stop branding it as an entertainment device.

    Stop branding it as an entertainment device.

    Believe it or not, it is wholly possible to build a game console that can do everything a set-top box can do and so much more.

    In fact, that's just what Microsoft did when it made Xbox 360.

    The thing is, Microsoft understood that when promoting Xbox 360 in 2005, it needed to sell the console to people who would actually be willing to drop $399 on the device. Those people are called "gamers."

    Gamers are a hungry bunch. They love and consume entertaining content all the time. But they don't wait in line for set-top boxes, voice-activated devices and other all-in-one units. They wait in line for games. These are the people who will wait in line to buy an Xbox One when it is released.

    Microsoft can't let that happen. The company must brand Xbox One as a game console first and let the generic entertainment-seekers come later, which they will if Xbox One is popular enough to persuade them to buy the system in a couple years when the price comes down. If it flops due to lack of consumer interest at launch, it might not be around in two years…

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Send demo kiosks to stores immediately

    Send demo kiosks to stores immediately

    If there is one thing Nintendo has gotten right this year, it's consumer testing.

    The Mario maker plans to send a number of demos from the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo (a game industry event) to Best Buy stores next month so that everyday consumers can play them.

    Nintendo did the same thing for GameCube, but not this fast. By shipping the demos to retailers when the press gets to play them, the company could salvage the poor image it created with the launch of Wii U.

    Similarly, Microsoft could eliminate any consumer doubt by putting demos into their hands as soon as possible.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Announce a price that doesn't make consumers cringe

    Announce a price that doesn't make consumers cringe

    Microsoft might be tempted to test new waters and sell Xbox One at a subsidized rate for $200 or $300 with a two-year commitment of $15 per month for Xbox Live.

    If Microsoft had walked away from its conference with a barrage of consumer praise, it could possibly get away with that pricing strategy. Even then, however, it would be a risk. After all, Nintendo admittedly charged more for the Nintendo 3DS because of the initial response consumers gave to the device. That strategy did not work out very well.

    Thus, Microsoft should consider a price that consumers will be comfortable with no matter how excited they are for the console.

    When the Xbox 360 launched at $299 (basic model) $399 (deluxe), no one complained. However, consumers were very upset with Sony for charging $499 and $599 for each model of PlayStation 4. Microsoft should keep that in mind when setting the price for Xbox One.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Do everything Sony does and more

    Do everything Sony does and more

    For better or worse, Sony has the gaming community wrapped around its finger. So long as the company executes on its current plan and delivers the game-centric machine that people expect, PlayStation 4 will be huge.

    Microsoft can overcome Sony by doing everything the Japanese tech giant is doing and will do -- and do it all a thousand times better.

    This is no easy task, but it is not impossible.

    For example, if Sony has 15 launch titles for PlayStation 4, Xbox One should have 20. If Sony unveils 40 games at E3, Microsoft should unveil 50.

    That could be difficult considering the fact that Microsoft's next press conference comes several hours before Sony's. Nonetheless, Microsoft can always follow up its press event with updates to show that it is always one step ahead of Sony.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Don't raise the price of new games

    Don't raise the price of new games

    Game publishers hate used games. They want to abolish the sale of used games by any means necessary. And yet they seem to dislike the idea of charging a fair price for games.

    The current $60 price tag is fair. It is not great but it is acceptable, especially when consumers paid that much (and occasionally more) for cartridge-based games in the '90s. It may seem unfair in comparison to PSone games, which were sold for as low as $35. That price was only introduced to encourage consumers to buy niche games like PaRappa the Rapper. It did not reflect the skyrocketing budgets that developers have had to endure.

    Thus, Microsoft should sell Xbox One games for $60, plain and simple. A higher price point (as currently rumored) could be detrimental to the industry.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Give up any online-only elements

    Give up any online-only elements

    The word on the street is that Xbox One must be online at all times in order to function. Other rumors claim that Xbox One only needs to be online "once" per day.

    In any case, this will annoy consumers, tarnish the image of game consoles and inspire people to avoid this mess by pirating new software.

    Image Credit: Microsoft
  • Don't make it a nightmare to share games

    Don't make it a nightmare to share games

    People love sharing games. They trade them, borrow them, rent them… Why should a console manufacturer -- any console manufacturer -- try to change that?

    For the record, Microsoft has not said how game sharing will work with Xbox One. If games are locked to a user's account, it's like that consumers will not be happy.

    Image Credit: Microsoft

 

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