It's time for me to post my first blog entry.
I've been on the site for something like 25 years. Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking. Maybe it's been less than 25 years, but it feels like it sometimes. Just go with it. 1988 was a far simpler time. Back then, there were very few bloggers. Some would say none. Dear Diary entries don't count. Them's private.
Today I just gotta blog, man. I gotta blog.
The elitist/hipster-esque way most people are attacking Microsoft and the Xbox One is getting comical. Some people have valid points, others are mindless idiots. But then, that's the Internet. Each stroll through the comments section is a painful one, harkening images of witch hunts, complete with pitchforks. And chanting. I haven't seen Kool-Aid, but there may be some.
I suppose one could chalk it up to Being The Internet. After all, it is so very easy to crank an opinion up to 11 on the Internet. Slight concerns turn into pure outrage. There's very little accountability when hiding behind a screen of virtual anonymity. Or perhaps one could blame human nature. For some reason, the mob mentality is alluring to us as human beings. Which makes hipster-esque I-don't-conform-but-what-are-we-all-hating-today attitudes all the more ironic. Perhaps a subject for another blog.
This blog is the current State of Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahr! The raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahr that is taking so-called console wars chatter from the confines of the forums to the front and center of the news "stories".
Microsoft is busy fixing wrongs, and I'll get into that in a second. I see Microsoft's missteps the same way I saw Sony's missteps with the PS3. Justifying an overpriced system and assuming what gamers want. Call it Corporate Blinders Syndrome. Call it arrogance. Sony was on the heels of having sold over 100 million PS2 consoles on the way to a current total of 150 MILLION units. Sony leadership could think the PS2 effectively put Sega out of the console business. What a massive jump in popularity, in just Sony's second gen in the industry. They took it to their collective heads and figured this was a money grab opportunity.
I don't blame them.
Step back to the years before this last gen started. Facebook started in 2004. Myspace was floundering. Social media was still in its infancy. Sony could not learn about their missteps until post-launch, when feedback came by way of dismal numbers. Sure, they had focus groups and such, but obviously Sony ignored warning signs. Sony leadership knew they were offering value by way of the internal wireless and Bluray drive. It was the entertainment "everything" for everyone. They weren't wrong, but it just turned out people didn't mind buying separate wireless adapters, Bluray players, and a gaming console, even if it meant the overall price tag was higher.
Boy did it give them a wake up check.
Microsoft is coming off what most would consider a wildly successful second gen in the industry. Some would argue Microsoft sold more units than Sony, others argue the other way around. That it is even a debate is a rounding success two gens into the industry. Microsoft brass must be proud. I would imagine they gave their internal software/hardware development folks more freedom. Sales success, even with the RRoD hardware failures? Impressive.
Now Microsoft is learning some hard lessons, but they are learning them pre-launch, as millions of focus group participants are voicing their opinions. Harder to ignore these warning signs.
Neither company wants to have the next Dreamcast on their hands. You know the subject has been kicked around each company's boardroom tables. Nor did either want a PS3 launch fiasco. And yet, here we are.
The dollar dictates. I knew Microsoft would back down, just as Sony backed down before. But BOTH of these companies are feeling pressure from the pubs. Which has been the case since the NES days. They will continue to back down as we the consumers make our voices heard. We have other options. They want to be the "number one input on the TV", and we will ultimately choose if it makes sense to make it input 1, 2, or give it no place at all. It's the free market at work.
Microsoft has a history of ignoring consumer needs and imposing their will. Windows 8 and the Kinect device are exhibits A and B. I'm all about innovation, but on my terms. I know the price of innovaiton can be steep, but Microsoft has to do better. In messaging to us, in pricing the right prices, and most important of all, in delivering exactly what we believe we need.
Or we'll "Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahr!"
Same whining, different day. But now the whining has greater impact. So people have to keep doing it.