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Referring to Innovation as “Only”

I’ve seen comments on different media outlets that tell me Sony fans look upon Microsoft innovations as “only” this or “only” that. If Microsoft adds a new feature, like mouse and keyboard support for native Xbox One gaming, they say it’s “only” adding keyboard support for Xbox One gamingThis attempt at using the word “only” is to give an almost flippant reaction of the innovation itself, but with the defensive tactic of showing a prideful composure of nonchalance – not excitement, humility, or thankfulness – in the face of bewildered acknowledgement.

When Microsoft adds new features they perceive these additions as “only” bringing the Xbox One on par with the PS4, (as if it’s not amazing enough, even believing such perception, that Xbox One was able to evolve so much with just software updates). The Xbox One continues to evolve with software and PS4 fans don’t see the trajectory? Constant surprises, (like Xbox One backwards compatibility occurring after the system had been out for over a year) – provide no clues to Sony fans who are dogmatic in their support of PS4 and incredulous as to what I call “The Xbox One Innovation Trajectory”. I have not placed Microsoft upon a pedestal in a dogmatic manner. Show me innovation from Sony – above and beyond what has traditionally existed in the console market – and I’ll praise them for it. My first gaming system was the Playstation whereupon I beat Final Fantasy VII (still what I consider the best RPG of all time). Unfortunately my emotional love for a system doesn’t override the data which points unmistakingly to one innovator who is pushing the gaming industry forward.

Microsoft is adding features to its console that the PS4 doesn’t have, but these are “only” there to keep pace with Sony’s intense hardware-selling success. For example, the Xbox One (just like the 360) has always been compatible with keyboards for text input. This, of course, isn’t novelty. But I wonder how enthusiastic Sony fans are about Microsoft eventually adding native mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One for gaming. What is interesting (and I find this to be the case with many Sony fans) is that they seem to point out these Xbox innovations in a nonchalant manner, as if Sony having created a powerful console supersedes all new advancements that Microsoft could bring. They make it sound like keyboard/mouse interaction  with a console is a simple task, and they speak as though other companies have already accomplished this. Do they realize this is the first?

The beginning.

The birth.

The trend setter.

How can a gamer look at this technology innovation as “only”. For years mouse and keyboard compatibility has been something that gamers (both Sony and Microsoft) have been asking for .

“Only”.

Really?

It is as if Microsoft is only “catching up”, while Sony is “way ahead”.  They believe that after 2 years the Xbox One hasn’t done anything really innovative to impact the market.

Has Sony done much of any innovation since the system came out? I’d love a retort on this. Email me and I’ll let you post an un-edited blog about it.

If you have an honest rebuttal to this simply state what innovation Sony has come out with. But I assume you’ll find that PS4 is just relishing in the pride of advertisement paradise whereby they can skate on sold consoles which far exceed those sold for Xbox One. This doesn’t mean the Sony gaming system is superior; it just means consumers got annoyed with Microsoft’s awful marketing campaign, and Microsoft was unable to properly convey new technology – eSRAM, cloud technoloy, and Direcx12 – all of which would not come to fruition for years down the line. Moms and Dads don’t have time to research technological jargon, and the younger generation will frankly cave into the hive mentality of media – (which, again, strongly favored the Playstation for having the stronger hardware). I think Sony did this brilliantly. It was the correct strategy. However, this console war is ultimately going to be won by software innovation.

The hardware power that Microsoft has is Azure. This is, of course, difficult to romanticize in a console war when the main narrative would be cloud computing. And so, as a victim of a narrative that is currently boring and frankly misunderstood in the gaming community, Microsoft takes the loss in the beginning. This seems to be the strategy that Microsoft understood years before the Xbox One was built. For the life of me, it makes no sense to release a piece of hardware that is this much weaker than your competitors when you easily have the manufacturing partnerships to do otherwise. Microsoft isn’t that foolish. They have a reason behind their strategy. I forgot how boring many of you probably think it is. Did I already mention “cloud computing”?

The Xbox One will do things that will eventually be impossible on the PS4. The game and newest demo of Crackdown is only the birth of this sequence.

The only thing Sony is “way ahead” on is console sales. In terms of “making money”, Microsoft will utilize microtransactions. This is because Windows 10 will unify gamers from China (which, by the way, represents gamers who love PC and all but shun consoles) to Canada. Microtranscations galore. By the way:

 In 2013, the microtransaction revenue of World of Tanks surpassed that of World of Warcraft, earning $372 million and ranking fourth highest amongst online game revenues.

This game has been on Xbox 360 since February 2014.

I do agree that Sony will continue to sell more consoles and gain market share, but only specific to consoles, not overall profit. In addition, Sony has also issued Microtransactions, but they won’t compete with the magnitude of Windows 10 device counts.

Sony fans will continue to count the quantity of PS4’s sold.

I’m counting cell phones, tablets, and PC’s.

You do the math.

One thought on “Referring to Innovation as “Only”

  1. Andrew Hansen says:

    I decided to exit the console market after last generation because I felt that my experience and enjoyment on the PC far outweighed any console experience I had had to date. Despite this, I did follow the launch for both the PS4 and the XBone. There were two reasons that I had no interest in the the XBone.

    First, the mandatory Kinect 2.0 which is a technology that I never cared about and found it insulting to force users to get it. I’m happy they came around and gave their user-base a choice to get the Kinect Free version.

    Second, the library of games available were better on the PS4. I wasn’t really concerned about raw horsepower as neither are very impressive in the grand scheme of things.

    Adding backwards compatibility is a good step for Microsoft and I’ll be curious to take a closer look at how they are approaching adding keyboard and mouse support to games that don’t natively support it. I am for now going to assume it is similar to how Valve is approaching giving PC games with no native controller support controller input by emulating the native inputs. It will really depend on how well Microsoft implements this.

    I don’t think that counting Windows 10 platform users is fair as I would imagine the majority will not be using the XBone streaming, I know I won’t be. If Microsoft can give these players true 1080P (or greater) and 60 FPS (or greater) through cloud computing supplementing graphics, then I will be impressed and say that there is a clear advantage to Microsoft’s platform over Sony. Otherwise both are well behind the PC Market which surpasses both in backwards compatibility, graphical horse power and cost to performance ratio.

    I don’t mean to be a PC Master Race snob but I came to that conclusion before that movement started. It makes no sense financially to do console gaming and what you get is lower in quality that an equivalent PC. The only thing going for it is potentially interesting control schemes and exclusive titles.

    See these two videos for reference.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYG-7T2LVDc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk12MkrRu4A

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