Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
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.
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.
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