When it comes to making a video game company, Microsoft mostly focus on computers and even released computer games that can be regarded as video games today, in a sense that people still have to purchase them and must have a home device to play it on, as well as having other necessities like controller, steering wheel, flight sticks or such. They had no intention of entering the home console business since people who own a microsoft software and a computer can easily play games on their desktop or laptop without ever having to spend money on a new home device with no backwards compatibility. That is until 2001 when Microsoft introduce the Xbox. Seeing that there is potential and money making in the home console industry, Microsoft gave the green light to a home console that rivals the Playstation 2 and since then has shifted the direction of a new console as the third competitor no one has seen coming. Since then, the Xbox is now in their third home console and has grown a large fanbase with well known and popular games such as Halo and Gears of War, and shown that it can be as hardcore as the Playstation can. But even the most successful and richest company does have some bones in the closet. This is the top 10 things Microsoft wants you to forget
10 The Big Fat Controller
When Microsoft introduced the Xbox, it was huge. Compared to the Sony’s Playstation 2 which almost resemble a compact DVD player and Nintendo’s Gamecube which looks like a traveling lunchbox, Microsoft created their console to look like a behemoth that can hold more data and have better graphics and sound. Everything was big for the Xbox, especially the Big Fat Controller. This thing was not only big, but it was uncomfortable. The shape was too round, the analog sticks were too far apart, and the buttons were too difficult to press, including the black and white button. Just try and play certain games with this controller and you get a clear view at how annoying it is to even complete a level or beat your friends with this behemoth control. Sometimes, you just can't. Microsoft introduced a new Controller dub the S Controller and since then has used the same design from there on.
9 No being successful in Japan
Video game consoles since the mid 80’s had a tradition when it comes to regional gaming. They would have a large fan base in Japan, United States, and a good amount in Europe, most notably in the United Kingdom. Well known consoles have dominated in the video game market in all three locations which includes Nintendo, Sony, and even Sega has had a role in leading the video game market at some point. One company that unfortunatelly cannot claim that title is Microsoft’s Xbox. For whatever reason, Microsoft is unable to crack huge numbers in Japan and is unable to capture the Japanese audiences they would hope for, having very low sales with the release of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. To this point, the Xbox One sold nearly 100,000 units since the release and has been a major flop the Tokyo game show in 2001. Maybe it’s because there were anything inspiring in the technical aspect of the console, or that the games are going to be completely foreign to them, or maybe they have seen the BS that Microsoft has to offer. Who knows.
8 Paying for unnecessary features
When the Xbox360 came along, there was a possibility of a revolutionary console that combines gaming and socializing unlike anything we have experienced before. Gamers can be able to game with others and interact more easily, and can be able other player gamer-score, achievements, and the games they played in the past. It was interesting and with the introduction of avatars, clearly something they aren’t trying to rip off from, having character interaction became more relevant and entertaining. However, Microsoft can sneak in unnecessary features with their new console. The online features needed a paid subscription, something that has been going on since the Original Xbox when online gaming was on high demand. It prevents gamers to go online and even make online purchases or play games without being an Xbox Live member, which changed into Xbox Gold Member, and Xbox normal member. There’s also some need to sell off avatar clothing, some that is not really needed for. But the biggest crime of all, paying a full $10 to change your name. Yup. If you don’t like your name or feel like someone is gonna poke fun at it for what it says or what it means, you have to pay for it to change. Wow..
7 The Smartglass
Does anyone remember this app because I sure as hell don’t remember it at all! In 2012, Microsoft introduced the Smartglass, an app you would have for your smartphone and tablets to connect to the Xbox 360 and soon Xbox One, allowing you to play movies, music, have some gaming compatibility with your devices to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It was confusing and disastrous. Not many were into the Smartglass App and wanted one important thing about the Xbox, gaming. Look there is really nothing wrong with a console playing movies and music while relaxing and even having a home console being able to do a lot more than just video games, but when it was introduced at E3, it received a lukewarm reception. Over the years, the Smartglass app have received small updates until it was slowly and maturely dropped away for a newer app call...Xbox. Huh.
6 Continuing Halo games without Bungie.
Halo is a fantastic series you need to try out. It combines heavy explosive sci-fi action with great storytelling, a couple well known characters in the series, and a killer soundtrack that makes you feel like you are going to war. Bungie has helped create a franchise that became the face of Microsoft and a mascot that many fans can easily remember. And for 9 years and 5 game release, Bungie has felt they have completed the series and decided to go on their separate ways to create a new gaming project. Microsoft then said, screw that, we’ll give the rights to another company and have them continue making 3 more Halo games under their banner. The recent Halo games, now developed by 343 Industries weren’t bad, but weren’t really exciting at all and faced a major task of providing a groundbreaking Halo game that Bungie has started. For starters, the Multiplayer game now has a preloaded set up, something that Halo wasn’t accustomed too, even if you include Halo Reach which had preload setup but have different skills and weapons included. This slowly turn Halo into another generic First Person Shooter game or worse, something similar to their rival Call of Duty. Halo story also hinder because of this, forcing Master Chief out of Cryostasis to battle unknown alien, who threaten to destroy the galaxy, only to be the third wheel to the major story line between the relationship of Master Chief and Cortana. It seems Halo is slowly closing its doors on a finale with their next Halo game, but the question remains, would this be the one that would bring Halo back to their glory days.
5 Extra Hardware devices
The Xbox and the Xbox 360 was a great console to own. It could be able to play music and allow you to rip music from the CD and store it onto the console so you can enjoy gaming while listening to the tunes. But unfortunately that’s the best feature that the consoles ever had. Microsoft has decided to take the old route of gaming and shove down extra devices that were needed in order to get the full experience and potential that both the Xbox and Xbox 360 can deliver. For starters the idea of a memory card wasn’t bad, since transferring data from one console to another can be a hassle and the memory of an Xbox was massively huge. However, what is bad is forcing Xbox owners and the same for Xbox 360 owners to pay extra to have a device that allows gamers to play DVDs. This is something that no consumer should invest in, especially when they already pay almost the same amount as the Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 to play movies on their console. If people need to pay an extra 20 to 50 dollars to play movies, they would stick with the Playstation consoles. Then there is the need for extra memory, so Microsoft would sell a lighter version of the Xbox 360 for a lesser price with lower memory, and have people pay almost the same amount of a game to have a better memory storage. This wasn’t computers they were dealing with but rather consoles, and it’s something that Microsoft not only were losing touch with but more importantly fail to see what made a console amazing.
When Nintendo introduced the Wii, fans and gamers were amazed at the concept. It delivered motion control and the idea of being able to game with movement than just using a controller. It inspired old folks to get up and game while having children be active as well. Not so far away, Microsoft and Sony has decided to get involved with the motion control gimmick and created a device of their own. Microsoft demonstrated the Kinect at E3 in 2010 and it felt quite underwhelming. While it’s great to have a device that doesn’t use any control, like the Wii Remote and the Playstation Move two controller, the problem was the effectiveness of the device as it is a well lit room is needed in order for the device to recognize the user’s hand as they go from menu to menu. Add in the cringe demos the game provided during E3, and it was questionable whether or not the Kinect would sell or not. That answer came to use thanks to the games that are for the Kinect or compatible for the Kinect. While games such as Dance Central and Just Dance were great series, and some Kinect Sports games, games such as Sonic Free Riders and Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, proved that the Kinect was not worth spending and that several other games would have heavy bug and difficult game play that makes the experience more frustrating than being fun. It didn’t help the Kinect stock during the reveal of the Xbox One that the Kinect is required to have with the console, and after 3 years following the release of the console, the Xbox One was scrapped. Could have taken the smart route and stop while they were ahead.
3 Misusing Rare
This is just damn painful to put, because at one point Rare delivered jaw dropping video games in the 90’s and even proved that they can create games for all ages thanks to Perfect Dark and Conker's Bad Fur Day. Microsoft swooped up the company in 2002 and had a slow start with re-release of Conker’s Bad Fur Day and the release Grabbed by the Ghouls on the Xbox. When the Xbox 360 came along, Rare started to go on a roller coaster ride of good and bad. Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo were good games to start off with the XBox 360, and Viva Pinata was another great addition in Rare’s original library series. But fans wanted their favorite classic to make an epic return, and what better character to make an epic comeback than Banjo Kazooie. It flopped. Not only was Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts didn’t play like it was when it was first released on the Nintendo 64, but audiences started to become frustrated with Microsoft and how they handled Rare and the massive amount of wasted potential they had with games like Banjo Kazooie and Conker. After the failure of two Banjo Kazooie games, Microsoft decided that they would have Rare develop sport games instead for the Kinect instead of staying true to what Rare is good at and making amazing video games from their 90’s library. Microsoft even had the audacity of stripping games from the Rare library and hand them over to other developer studios like Killer Instinct, keeping Rare from ever reaching their glory days they once known.
2 The Xbox 360 faults
The Xbox 360 was an outstanding console to own, and after being released earlier than the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii, it had a head start in capturing audience attention and obtain a big portion of the sales with it’s high definition graphics, online gaming, and a good amount of launch titles to keep gamers entertained. The 360 seems like a perfect console to own and something to have while waiting for the next gen to roll on through, but looks can be deceiving at times. One of the biggest issues with the 360 is due to the lack of a well secure tray, allowing games to sometimes spin out of control and scratch up the game, rendering them useless. This is most notable when the 360 console tilts in a 90 degree axis, forcing gamers to spend extra money to get the same game that were scratched up. Even random scratch marks appear on a disc without the console moving, showing how fragile the console can be. And speaking of being fragile, parts inside the Xbox 360 seem to malfunction over time, either with the disc tray not opening when touching the tray button, USB ports not responsible, but most of all the infamous Red Ring of Death. Xbox 360 owners have complained and joke over consoles poor performance and break down and can’t even go for one minute without the console either shutting down or overheating. Microsoft have issue free repairs on Xbox 360 consoles but would instead give Xbox 360 owners a refurbished console instead. Customer service at it’s finest
This was a major disaster and something that almost destroy Xbox One prior to it’s launch date. What makes things amazing is how Microsoft would make the same exact mistake Sony made when they debut the Playstation 3, only worse. Microsoft introduced their new console Xbox One at the 2013 E3 press conference and things slowly took a downward spiral. For starters, Killer Instinct for only Xbox One received poor criticism, since Killer Instinct is an amazing fighting game with their combo system and characters, as well as the outrageous over excited announcer, but being on a console that doesn’t hold a reputation for fighting games seem to hurt it’s value. Add in an alleged rape reference during a terrible match between two on stage handlers, and things didn’t go well after the reveal. Games were shown during the Xbox One press conference but there was nothing too exciting with the except of Halo 5, Forza, and a new game called Titanfall. Executives were more fascinated with revealing what the Xbox One can do with voice commands, apps, and share features that it means it strips a couple of things away, such as backwards compatibility and share play, forcing gamers to own a copy of a game rather than sharing or borrowing a game. The kicker of course came when the Xbox One needed to be online at all times to play games and receive updates, needing the Kinect as part of the console with recording at all times to recognize Xbox owners, making it feel like Microsoft is stalking you, and yes, the price at $499. Sony would present their E3 conference later that weekend and do the complete opposite of what Microsoft did. This day could have been the very end of Microsoft had they not change their policies and practices weeks after their E3 presentation.