Microsoft: Is It Time for a Comeback?


Like six million others, I bought a PlayStation 4. The powerhouse gaming machine appealed more to me than the Xbox One; the higher specs, the lower price point, but primarily it was Sony’s dedication to games that sold it. From the beginning, Sony pushed the importance of good, quality games on their console and they wanted the players to feel the heavy price point was justified. Microsoft, on the other hand, focused more on entertainment and the more gimmick-oriented features the Xbox One contains; it showed in their sales.

This history of the Xbox One is a common tale in recent console wars, but I think people are beginning to see every decision Microsoft makes through a prism. Instead of judging decisions without bias, many gamers are still stuck in the “console war” mentality where Microsoft “can do no right”. I’m here to put your minds at ease: Microsoft is steering onto the right track, and they’re about to make a comeback.

Last week Major Nelson spoke with Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s new head of Xbox, about the state of the Xbox One. In the interview, Spencer discusses how it is now his responsibility to drive the consoles vision forward; he wants “to make sure it’s gaming first”.  In essence, Spencer wants change the Xbox One’s focus from entertainment to games. This shift in philosophy from entertainment to gaming could not come at a better time, the beginning convention season!


Oh convention season, what a wonderful time! Yesterday saw the launch of PAX East, and E3 is in the near future. Every gamer is on the edge of their seat waiting for the ‘next big game’ to be revealed. It is the perfect time to unleash Xbox’s new direction to the mass public. Spencer discusses Microsoft’s strategy at E3 this year is, in accordance with Spencer’s new vision for Xbox, all about games. In fact, Spencer noted that they are having trouble fitting their presentation time to the allotted 90 minutes!

Microsoft needs to do a little more than reveal a crazy amount of games at E3; they need to actually show us they have changed their philosophy. The most important thing Microsoft can do is give gamers a sign of good faith, and a Kinect-less Xbox is the best way to do so. The Kinect being included with the Xbox One garnered a lot of negative publicity mainly due to the higher price point of the Kinect. Fans are not the only one who want the a Kinect-less Xbox. Even Peter Molyneux, who tends to bring controversy, agreed with the public when he said, “I actually wish the Kinect wasn’t a requirement.” Considering many ‘hardcore’ gamers do not even want a Kinect, why should they be forced to purchase the extra $100 device?

But Microsoft is definitely making strides in the right direction. They are in a prime position to make a comeback, and I believe, as gamers, we are about to witness something very special.

To watch the full interview with Phil Spencer, click here.