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What Microsoft Needs to Do to Sell Me the New Xbox
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What Microsoft Needs to Do to Sell Me the New Xbox

by Darrin WrightFebruary 27, 2013

So the future of gaming is practically here; Sony has unveiled the PS4, set for a holiday release, and Microsoft will soon show us the successor to the Xbox 360.

While many may be excited about the prospect of a new Xbox, which is rumored to be officially unveiled as soon as April 26th, I, for one, am not. Here’s how Microsoft can change my mind:

Make It Work

RROD

We all know someone who’s had an Xbox 360 fail on them, even if we – or they – don’t want to admit it. In a recent episode of the G-Spot Podcast, I admitted that I went through five of those things, each dying to the “red ring of death” despite me keeping my console well-ventilated, horizontal, in a freezer, etc. It took five failures before I finally gave up and jumped ship to the PS3. As a consumer, I shouldn’t have had more than one failure, period.  And yes, I’m aware the problems have been fixed, but that’s no excuse for what happened in the first place. I’m fairly certain one of the reasons the Xbox 360 has sales numbers as high as they are is because of customers that keep coming back, again and again. While there’s no helping those people, I’m confident that a repeat of the dreadful failure rate the 360 had at launch won’t be winning me back anytime soon.

Bring Back Exclusives

halo_4

Quick, which Xbox exclusives can you name that don’t involve the words “Halo” and “Gears“?

Exactly. Sony and Nintendo both have several respective first-party studios to their name. Uncharted and Infamous got me to buy a PS3 (well, that and the failures I mentioned above). Everyone knows the reason to buy a Wii U is to play the next Mario, Zelda, and Metroid titles. The next Xbox will, of course, have more Gears of War and Halo, but other than shooters, what else is there? A gamer needs variety to stay interested. At least, I do. While I wish the Halo franchise would at least come to PC so I could actually play Halo: Reach and Halo 4, you’re gonna have to do more than that to get me to bite. EA announcing exclusivity deals for the next machine is a good start, but staggered exclusives are only going to make gamers angry. All or nothing.

Make Xbox Live Free

I know it won’t happen, but this keeps me away almost as much as my first point does (I guess the saying is “Bit once, twice shy, bit five times, you’re an idiot”). Why, on God’s green earth, should I pay for the ability to use Netflix? Why, by Neptune’s beard, should I pay to play online when not only can I do so for free on both of your competitors’ consoles, but also on PC? And WHY, by Merlin’s shriveled left buttock, should I pay to maintain a service that then still pushes advertisements on me?

xbl-ads-screen1

I know it’s a gold mine, and some fanboys (not me, because I’m nice) would call it a “stupidity tax,” but Microsoft, you’ve GOT to at least make all of the extra stuff “for-pay” and let me play online for free, or you’re not getting my cash.

What do you think? What would you like to see Microsoft do for the next Xbox? Sound off in the comments below.

The thoughts and opinions expressed in this editorial do not necessarily represent those of The Game Fanatics staff as a whole.

About The Author
Darrin Wright
  • fry

    Totally agree on all points.

  • kevin

    Points 1& 2 I agree with ,but no way do I see 3 happen unless they create a tier service . I don’t think they are going to say no to a billion dollar profit or generate cash flow.

    • http://geekcavepodcast.tumblr.com Darrin Wright

      Yeah, like I said, number 3 won’t happen unless a miracle also occurs.

  • Squirrel

    I think the frustration in your article is hindering its objectivity. For one, I think that if a paid online service will help Microsoft keep up a good level of online service quality, then so be it. That’s my opinion anyway, and I’m not too concerned with paying 60 dollars once a year for something that (I think) far surpasses the offerings of competitors.

    As for the advertisements I honestly cannot see an Xbox Dashboard without them. At the end of the day the Xbox is a machine designed in part for content consumption. It’s actually nice to have these tiles tell me what’s new. The Xbox is a gaming console, so wouldn’t it be logical for it to display the latest stuff on the front page? I get that advertisements can be annoying, especially the ‘Google ads’ type, but the Xbox Live ads are a far cry from that. They’re useful to many gamers who use Xbox Live to shop for content, and who doesn’t?

    • http://geekcavepodcast.tumblr.com Darrin Wright

      To answer your first point, Squirrel, that’s what makes this an opinion piece: it doesn’t have to be objective. But good points nonetheless.

  • Drunkster

    Good article. :) For all the reason you listed in your piece and more are the exact reason why I’ll never touch MS hardware. PS4 and PC all the way.

  • Kozmo Kramer

    What else do they have besides Halo and Gears? How about all the DLC that comes to the 360 b4 it ever even gets to the PS3, if it even does.

    • http://geekcavepodcast.tumblr.com Darrin Wright

      Exclusive DLC does not equal exclusive games. All the exclusive DLC does is tick off multiplatform gamers.

  • Chadillac57

    Microsoft is going to have to do something amazing to convince me that their console is worth my purchase. That being said, I would like them to come down on used game playability one way or the other, and then justify that decision with reasons that I can appreciate, even if I don’t necessarily agree.

    I’m less concerned with the X-clusives (see what I did there) and more concerned with the quality of ported games from one console to the next. I didn’t like seeing the PS3 suffer in regards to Bayonetta or Skyrim, and I would hate to see the next Xbox suffer for the same reason.

    • http://geekcavepodcast.tumblr.com Darrin Wright

      Yeah, the used game issue is still up in the air; I didn’t touch on it because, for now, it’s still merely a rumor.

  • TKK

    xbox live free ? xbox live silver is free. you want gold to be free ? keep dreaming and just shut tht fuck up. PS plus, sony will start charging ! why these stupid 3rd class sites always come out with naive stupid garbage.

    • http://geekcavepodcast.tumblr.com Darrin Wright

      My, such anger. It’s an opinion piece. Yours obviously differs from mine, and that’s fine, but no need to swear… adults can disagree without the use of childish language.

  • Danno

    I personally prefer Xbox live over the free sony whatever it is, cause Xbox live as far as I know has not been hacked and that in my opinion is why we pay for the gold edition. I am happy to pay the now $75 a year for gold edition. I also had an Original xbox 360 die on me twice to the rrod, But the black slim models came out and I bought one of those and have had no problems since. I also have a cousin who had a PS3, and switched to the xbox 360 because the graphics are way better, that is what he said to me.

    • Renai Kakume aka Pop Tarts

      Things get hacked all the time. You know the Pentagon was hacked quiet a few times. If hackers wanted to hack Xbox Live they could, You know what the hack did for Playstation users? 5 or 10 free games, and as far as I know nobody’s actual information was taken. We also received free 1 year identity thief protection. All in all, the main thing that hacking does for you is realize that there are security vulnerabilities and take care of them, which is exactly what Sony did. Now it’s better than ever, AND it’s still free. with XBox Live I don’t see you getting early access to games, Free games every month, Able to Trail a new game for 60 minutes, beta invitations and much more! About your brother, I can understand what he’s talking about because 3rd party diff didn’t really develop for the ps3 to take advantage of it’s hardware, but when you put 1st party games head to head you can see which one’s look better.