Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mini-Console Post of the Week: Microsoft

As a follow-up to the post about Xbox One and the new SKU without Kinect, NPD sales were released the day after I made the original post.

110,000 units.

That is a horrible month. Utterly horrible, especially when Titanfall released March 11 and there should have been some follow-through.

This may not have been reactive--Microsoft may have already been planning this move--but it's certainly a response to the One not selling nearly as well as expected.

If it was selling as well as Microsoft expected, why would they have to do anything at all?

Everyone knows that console companies today are selling revenue streams instead of consoles. The entire console financial model of Microsoft and Sony is predicated on the consoles being revenue streams, not just a dumb platform that people shove game discs into.

Microsoft's mistake, though, was to reveal their revenue stream ambition so nakedly. It was incredibly overt, the hard sell, and that's not what people wanted. There's a way to finesse this kind of ambition, and Microsoft failed badly in this regard. It turned people off.

Having said that, though, maybe people aren't turned off it the One launched at $399. So many analysts seem to discount the price sensitivity of the console market, but they are incorrect. Price is a huge differentiator.

So is clarity. What Sony presented as their vision for the PS4 was comprehensible. It was clear. Microsoft was all over the place. So instead of paying $100 extra for reasons that most people didn't even understand, the PS4 was an easy decision.

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