How Microsoft Can Outdo Sony’s Announcement [MUO Gaming]

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement has come and gone. Most of our lives have gone back to normal, and gamers have returned to blissfully enjoying the latest awesome games on their current generation consoles, content to hang out and wait for the holiday season when the next round of consoles will make their way onto store shelves (and promptly sell out due to inevitable supply issues).

However, there is one group of people who cannot just kick back and relax. A company you may have heard of called Microsoft still has to announce their next generation console – presumably the Xbox 720. Sony has tipped its hand and now it falls on Microsoft to respond with something that beats Sony, or at the very least, something would-be console buyers will perceive as beating Sony. So what can Microsoft do to win?

Thankfully, I don’t have to actually come up with those answers, but that is not going to stop me from proposing some possible ideas.

Backwards Compatibility

Sony came right out and announced that PS4 would not have backwards compatibility. What the company did not announce was how it would handle digital purchases. Microsoft needs to come right out and announce that all games purchased on the Xbox Live Arcade and other digital avenues will come right over the next console. If the company manages to make disc-based games backwards compatible, that would put the system even further in the lead.

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Exclusive New IP

Most of what Sony showed was sequels and gamers we already knew about. Sure, Destiny looked impressive, but we all know that is coming to Microsoft Platforms as well. Microsoft needs to show us something shiny and new that will not be available for Sony’s platform.

Even if it’s something as simple as a new FPS, it will be something new that only it has, and that can go a long way in generating hype, especially since they are already behind with Sony going first.

Show The Console

Sony forgot an important part of showing off the PS4 – the PS4 itself. Microsoft would be able to at least get something shown before Sony if it manages to have a final box to put on stage. Of course, it’s really all about the games and what the console can actually do, but seeing what the box that will be sitting on my entertainment center will look like is part of the excitement, and Microsoft should capitalize on this.

Announce A Price

Sony choose not to announce the price for the PlayStation 4. Perhaps Sony knew the price, and was letting Microsoft go first, or perhaps it has not locked down a final price for the console. Either way, Microsoft was able to launch the Xbox 360 at a cheaper price than the PS3, and even though it came with technically inferior hardware, it won the war of this console generation by a sizable margin.

If Microsoft gets out there with a reasonable price for the Xbox 720, it puts the pressure back on Sony.

Be Honest About Used Games

Sony has kind of confirmed that PS4 will not block used games, but it did it in a vague way. Microsoft should come clean on how the next Xbox will handle used games (and if it wants to make gamers happy, announce that all used games will work, no matter what).

Even if there is some type of used game blocking in place, Microsoft could earn some gamers’ goodwill by being upfront about it.

Don’t Focus On Technical Specs – Or Focus On Them

If the next Xbox is not as powerful as the PS4, Microsoft should focus on the services and features offered by the console, and avoid spending too much time highlighting the fact that it has the weaker system. Of course, gamers will want to know the actual hardware, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the main focus.

Of course, since we all know exactly what Sony is packing inside the PS4, if Microsoft knows it has a more powerful console, then it should, by all means, shout it from the rooftops.

Don’t Focus On What Sony Already Announced

Some of the items announced by Sony are obvious, such as all games being released digitally. The social aspects of the system is also something most experts predicted for the next generation. By going first, Sony had the opportunity to announce these ideas and make them their own. Microsoft should let gamers know if the Xbox 720 has similar features, but it should not make them a major focus, otherwise it simply looks like it is saying “we can do it too.”

Instead, Microsoft needs to focus its attention on the things Sony did not announce, which are the points I’ve outlined above.

What Do You Think?

What do you think Microsoft needs to do to steal the show from Sony? Do you think going second is a good thing or bad thing for Microsoft? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

Image Credit: Dollar sign isolated on white via Shutterstock

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11 Comments - Write a Comment


Richard Borkovec

I have to agree with all these, but I think just showing the console and giving a price will be the main two things that will beat Sony’s announcement. After watching it for 3 hours, just to have nothing come of it, people are going to be looking at MS with a watchful eye. And if they don’t show it, you know people are going to freak!



DUH!!! Ditch the monthly subscription model and give consumers free access like the PS3 does. Why should I pay MS a monthly fee to use the xbox for things you can do for free on a pc, laptop or phone…….think Skype, Facebook and more importantly, Netflix. For this reason my next console purchase will likely be Sony. I’m sick of being gouged by Microsoft for things their competitors are offering for free. It hardly seems competitive….


Definitely agree, but sadly, I think Xbox Live will continue to be for pay for the foreseeable future.



The XBox 720 is not likely to be backwards-compatible, as it is reported to use an AMD x64 CPU, and the 360 uses a triple-core PowerPC chip; original XBox games run after a large amount of “patching” is done, and the 360’s CPU is considerably more powerful than the XBox’s Pentium III-class chip, making emulation possible. I doubt that the chip in the 720 is going to be powerful enough to emulate a 3-core CPU; Microsoft would have to recompile every game to make a “downloadable patch” (read: replace the entire executable), although some of its flagship games like the Halo series might get that treatment.


Well, we can only hope they do it!


Dave Parrack

Microsoft certainly has a chance to usurp Sony here. However, I suspect the specs and features have already been locked down. If not then Microsoft is going to struggle to get the Xbox 720 out before the end of the year.

If Microsoft does announce a price, I can see Sony coming in just a fraction below it.


Sony has a track record of being more expensive. Personally, I see that continuing into the next generation.


Lisa Santika Onggrid

‘All games will be distributed digitally.’
Come on, where it would left us, people without proper internet connection 24/7?


You forget a couple games there you said most of Sony games was sequels but
the only sequels was infamous and killzone the rest of games was deepdown witch is new the witness witch is all so new mack witch is a brad new ip how are most of the games are sequels



Maybe Sony didnt reveal the PS4 price because they thought it would send all gamers in fury, and break their hype entirely…
These systems inevitably selling out off shelves… Umm doubt it.
With WiiUs price being too much for many, dont think Sony n M’softs systems with higher price units, higher price games, potential if not garaunteed network costs, new and costly peripherals (dual shock 4, Capacitive touch pad+move+LED indicator. In a market time that could still be tighter yet. With rumours of online dependancy that most ppl still dont have the bandwidths for…
Not a good scenario for PS4 and/or 720 to fly off shelves…


Sam Smith

Every one of these points are valid!
I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that they make it backwards compatible, especially with the XBLA, it’d also be nice if they were forward and honest about their DRM policies for used games etc.

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