I give up.
I always try to approach the video game industry from a business perspective, because that interests me far more than the variety of tiny, insignificant facts that legions of fanboys scream about. I remember the good old days when the worst thing any company could ever do was charge people to play multiplayer games! Remember how often that got referenced as the ‘go-to reason’ to choose one console over another. Whatever.
Anyhow, I think the business behind the scenes is far more interesting to pay attention to. Trying to decipher why a company chooses to do one thing over another, and how their competitors respond, is the sort of backroom business dealings that I love to theorize about. That’s why the recent total reversal by Microsoft about the upcoming Xbox One has me shaking my head. What the fucking fuck, Microsoft? What are you doing?!
I assumed there was a plan here. I assumed you were fully aware that the DRM issue with the new console was going to be a hot button issue, but you were prepared to ride the wave of hate because you had a grander scheme in place. I expected that you had planned on giving the DRM announcement five months to breathe before the console came out. After all, you’re going to sell out of systems at launch – everyone expects that. Even if Sony sells eight times as many console preorders as you, what does it matter? Each of you will be struggling to fill initial orders anyhow. I thought you were weaving a brilliant strategy to sell out of the first wave of consoles and then release a Steam-style pricing structure that your competitors could never match because they were tied so heavily to retail. But nooooo, you’re just apparently wildly ignorant.
I’m struggling to comprehend what the hell Microsoft is up to in this game, and frankly I’m astonished at how poorly they’ve played so far. It feels like I’m watching a football game where the coach is making clearly bad calls that every armchair quarterback in the world would contend.
I give up, and frankly, I just don’t care anymore.
I’ve got an Xbox One and a Playstation 4 preordered. I’ll play both, but I just can’t be bothered to try and decipher any grand business strategies between these two bungling companies anymore. And before you claim that Sony isn’t bungling things… let me remind you that it’s Sony, and it’s only a matter of time before we’re facepalming to their tune as well. (PS3 bricking update anyone?)
So, have at it everyone. Yell and scream and bitch and whine every time a company does anything you marginally dislike or don’t understand. The power of the fanboy has been proven, and calm reasoning is no match for a loud fourteen-year-old with a Twitter account.