If you follow the gaming industry or tech media you may have noticed that the next generations of consoles are coming out.
Sony announced the PS4 in February with a press conference that had a focus squarely on what it offers in a gaming context. It showed off the PC architecture that was appealing to developers who had numbers of problems developing for the PS3, as well as some gaming titles that showed off what the console is capable of visually. All of the features that were discussed with the console were in some way connected to gaming which should come as no surprise when you consider that they are trying to sell a gaming console.
Microsoft on the other hand is taking a much different approach with the Xbox One by selling the console as an “All in one home entertainment system.” In their press conference they kept referring to how the new console would be integrated with all your entertainment devices and how the console will respond to you. The games appealed to a casual audience and the technical specs we glossed over.
The issue with this messaging is that the people watching the Xbox One announcement were not the casual gamer and household owner shopping for an all in one entertainment device, they were the hardcore gamers and the tech geeks looking at the new Xbox as a gaming console and not a complexed DVR.
When the press conference ended Journalist flooded to get ahold of representatives from Microsoft to straighten out details in regards to used games, backwards compatibility, DRM, always on (the fact that the console is always on at some level) and always online (on the internet.) When this happened the public was given different reports on each topic coming from a different Microsoft employee that all seemed to conflict and contradict each other. Now Sony wasn’t much more clear on the subject but they decided not to comment on the subject which seems to be paying off for them in the PR department.
Now E3 is around the corner and Microsoft is expected to have a stronger conference in regards to games and what they will be offering to the market that they need to hit in order to look good out the gate if they want the xbox one to work.
Bickering about the details aside all of microsofts issues come straight from bad PR. People weren’t on the same page in regards to information, they were unorganized in dealing with the press after the announcement and they misread who their audience was going to be and the results show in the reactions of outrage and confusion.
A lot can happen at E3 and the in the months leading up to the consoles launch dates but from what it’s starting to look like is that the PS4 is going to be the popular console coming right out the gate and consumers are going to look at the Xbox One wearily. I personally think if Microsoft had their PR together they could have avoided a lot of these problems.