(In the interest of disclosure, I am an Xbox One owner and do not own a Playstation 4.)
In case you’ve been living in a box the last couple of years, you may have heard that Microsoft is in a bit of trouble with the Xbox One. While it certainly qualifies as a successful console, it is still lagging far behind Sony’s Playstation 4 in sales. After a rocky reveal in May of 2013 that focused mostly on TV and sports, Microsoft caught a devastating amount of flak for features such as a mandatory Kinect and internet connection requirement.
Were they overconfident? Absolutely, but their response to the initial missteps has been swift and relentless. Even this hasn’t been without criticism. With Phil Spencer now at the helm, the Xbox cannot escape the sins of yesteryear. Is this fair? I’m not sure, but that’s another topic. A more competitive console space will only benefit us consumers, and I’d like to suggest a few ideas to help Microsoft get back on track.
Ignore the 1080p DebateIf you build a better ecosystem for playing multiplatform games, they will come.
There’s been a lot of fuss about the Xbox One’s ability (or inability) to accomplish a 1080p video resolution when compared to the Playstation 4. It’s no secret that PS4 is a bit more powerful, and so far this has led to a handful of instances where multiplatform games run at a higher resolution than on the Xbox One. There are countless forum threads on Reddit, 4chan, and GameFAQs where posters work themselves frothy over the failings of the Xbox One hardware. Microsoft needs to ignore this. If they can get games up to 1080p, then by all means they should do it, but don’t sacrifice framerate or features to do so.
If I want to play games that look as good as they can possibly be, I’ll play them on a PC. I want my console to give me an experience that my PC can’t comfortably deliver: An integrated dashboard, built-in friends lists, achievements worth caring about (sorry, Steam), and games with a graphical style that means menus can be comfortably read from my couch.