Microsoft: Is Their Silence Hurting Them?

With Sony holding a live global event back in February that announced the PS4 and the plans for it, consumers and developers alike got a chance to get excited and build hype before May’s mega-event, E3. Not only announcing it, but showing the controller and several games that are currently in the works, Sony managed to come out of the gate swinging to build momentum in its favor. Now, almost a month and two trade shows later (GDC and PAX East), no one has heard anything from Microsoft in regards to the next generation of Xbox. Is Microsoft doing itself any favors by being quiet?

With the Xbox 360 releasing in 2005 and the PlayStation 3 releasing almost a full year later in 2006, Microsoft was able to take the opportunity of a head start to gain momentum and sell consoles. When Sony announced the PlayStation 3, many people were turned off of the system because of the launch price ($599 for the 60GB model) and the perceived arrogance of Sony. The PlayStation 2 had finished the previous console generation easily on top, and a lot of people felt Sony held the position of, “We are going to do what we feel like, and too bad if you don’t like it.” The year head start, the functioning online community, plus the humble display from Microsoft helped put the Xbox 360 in a good position, a position many people feel is above the PS3.

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Flash forward to this year and it appears Sony has taken notes this last generation. Doing away with the Cell Processor, which was notoriously hard to program for, and having more open and developer-friendly hardware and mindset, Sony is really turning heads. Common perception is that developers and Sony are establishing an avenue of good open communication. It seems Sony is going out of its way to play nice with all developers, from independent developers to mega studios.

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Microsoft, on the other hand, is nowhere to be seen. Granted, the company is still present at the shows, but with little to no buzz at the moment. Some independent developers are openly frustrated with Microsoft because it is April and they have yet to see a developer kit. It is possible that Microsoft is working more exclusively with large developers than with smaller, independent studios. It is well known that the company has a strained relationship with some smaller developers due to certification costs and other obstacles. Sony knows this and appears to be taking full advantage of that issue.

There is much speculation that Microsoft will announce its next console in the weeks before E3 and then have a lot more information revealed at E3, but is the damage already done? Some people feel like Microsoft is repeating the mistakes Sony made with the PS3. Has Microsoft’s success gone to its head? This E3 and the weeks leading up to it are guaranteed to be exciting. Will Microsoft burst out of the gates and give Sony a run for its money, or has the damage been done and Sony will reclaim its spot on top? Stay with us here at Gamers Association for info and opinions on what is certain to be an interesting couple of months.

Written by: Graham Burns

Video game enthusiast who also loves The Simpsons.

  • mike

    What if Microsoft quit the console market?
    They don’t need it. They would just need to add $5 to office 2010/2013 price, and they would be able to get the same revenues or more , with the 360.

    At this stage, after Sony announcement, after amd said the ps4 Apu is the fastest one, I doubt Microsoft would dare changing the hardware, by using some drastic changes to the x720 design. A console is designed during several years, I don’t think its possible to just add more ram, or change CPU, or any other changes, 6 months before the product is out for sale. If they did it, it would delay all the processus, Microsoft would be forced to sell it far after the ps4, or still sell it… with major flaws, like the 360. The second option wouldn’t surprise me.

    Some people think they could announce it on e3, and sell it by August September. Those months aren’t that great, people just finished summer holidays, and have little money. Also, a next gen console, you don’t sell it without advertising. Many many months before.

    If small studios don’t have a dev kit… that’s a huge issue. It could mean Microsoft don’t even have an alpha prototype working. This could mean they actually made some big changes in the last minute, and studios will only have dev kits when the new revisions are OK.

    Or simply, Microsoft know the ps4, as it is now, gddr5, faster CPU, all the new features, 4k video support, new controller, remote play, etc, and maybe they know it will be hard to compete with it, because there could be a huge difference in graphics, also, people don’t seem to like all the rumoured features like always online, etc, maybe all this made Microsoft struggling , without really knowing what to do. But we’re already April. Time flies. Maybe they are afraid of people reactions, even from Xbox fans. The expectations are really really high, and now that people know more or less what the ps4 will be capable of, they are afraid of showing it to the entire world, if it happens the x720 doesn’t look at least as great as the ps4, the internet will collapse :)

    Everybody, fans, ps3 owners, studios, developers, etc, well, everybody excepted Xbox fans, are really impressed and happy with the ps4. Everything looks great, even killzone looks outstanding, as well as the capcom game. Microsoft really needs to ‘deliver’, this time around.

  • http://twitter.com/OldLeafNick Nick Cane

    A sleek, vertical box with numerous USB, HDMI, SD card and external monitor ports. An easily customizable power, graphics and memory interface, giving unlimited options to the consumer. Access to the web, all your favorite social media outlets and thousands of apps with a built in keyboard. A robust library of day one downloads and digital games all backed up on the clouod AND locally.

    Guys. Seriously. Guys …

    What if Microsoft released a computer?!

  • Ridge

    Right now the gaming community really seems to be more excited for the PS4, but that is just because we’ve had our current systems for a long time and are itching for something new. Seeing as you can’t buy a PS4 now this may not matter in the long run.

    It’ll be more interesting to see how the conversation goes once Microsoft makes their annoucement.

  • plsburydoughboy

    We don’t know why, but I’m guessing Microsoft is deliberately delaying their announcement in framing a proper reaction to Sony’s event. I could make any guesses why that is, but I don’t want to go to speculationville. Overall, though, it seems safe to guess they saw the Sony event and decided to delay rather than react immediately.

    • honkyjesus

      Or, they saw the Sony event and had no reaction ready?

      • plsburydoughboy

        Also possible. They could just as likely unprioritized it over other products, many of which launched last year. The triple combination of Windows 8, Office 2013 and the Surface would make any company busy.

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