We are only days away from the announcement of the second next generation console. The first, Sony’s PlayStation 4, was announced February 2013 in a special event where Sony showed off games specifically to make us drool at the mouth at all the pretty graphics and wowed us with so many specifications that half of the people watching just smiled and nodded despite being unaware of the meaning behind them. Microsoft has followed suit months later, promising a May 21st reveal date in a similar event to show off their competitor for the next generation crown. Much speculation has been thrown around which cannot be helpful to Microsoft’s cause, meaning that this may be their last chance to win over the PlayStation 4 fans before release. Here is how they could do it:
1 – Address the rumors and laugh at them – This is something that is not a choice for Microsoft. This would show them as a company that listens and changes according to their community. It is almost certain that they won’t be including a full always-online system onto their system but the fact that they saw the backlash and acknowledged that will go a long way with convincing the masses that they aren’t a purely corporate money maker (they are though, just like all of them). Laughing at the rumors would give them the air of confidence needed to continue with the show and beat Sony’s event. But don’t laugh at the Microsoft employee, Adam Orth, who was fired over his comments regarding always-online… that would not be cool.
2 – The Console – Start the show by bringing out the console itself and saying “Here is the next Xbox.” This definitive stance will be another show of confidence that will please viewers. Lacking a view-able console design was something that many people decided was a bad decision with the PlayStation 4, including Mr. Xbox himself Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb who tweeted this lovely message out during the PS Event:[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/majornelson/status/304396492314128385"]
After this sort of tweet from an employee, choosing to do the same thing as Sony and not revealing the console itself would be a major mistake from Microsoft. One that could push people towards the competition.
3 – A blow out of tons of NEW games – Yes, we know that Halo is coming. Great. There must be games that no one knows about that are fresh and different. Microsoft must break free of the idea that their console is only for first person shooters. While first person shooters have traditionally done quite well on the console, the Xbox 360 was not exactly full to the brim with inventive exclusives. Alan Wake was a breath of fresh air that, unfortunately, did not sell incredibly well. While this may not have given Microsoft the green light for further risks, the dawn of next generation is the best time for them to bring games that break the mold.
4 – Pricing and release date – While I assume this will be an E3 only piece of information, there is no doubt in my mind that this would give Microsoft the driving seat going into the Expo next month. While Sony simply stated a Holiday 2013 release, a more specific announcement would allow them to have a date firmly in the minds of fans, as opposed to the vague date set by Sony. Even announcing a price now would allow people to judge the price for next generation consoles, setting themselves up in time for the presumably large spending. Knowing how much a product will be helps planning and puts the Xbox first in those plans.
5 – Indie Developers – This is one thing that has to be done. Sony came all out in their support for indie developers with their PlayStation 4 and there has been a lot of fanfare around this initiative. Many people have agreed with Sony and for good reason. For Microsoft to not even mention this would be of serious detriment to their next generation cause as they will be compared in every respect. They could be bashed by developers and gamers alike if they left at least one announcement of this vein till E3 or if they didn’t at all.