03.16.10

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Microsoft’s Console Strategy: Imitation and Patenting

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 2:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

White chess army

Summary: Microsoft’s “embarrassing” Xbox strategy and backlash in Poland

THE reality behind Xbox 360 is worse than Microsoft would have people believe. Microsoft uses NPD at the moment to throw out there some US-only figures to flatter itself and pretend it’s a leader. Microsoft has done this a lot recently. It’s the same old story [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The reality is that outside the US, buying Microsoft is not buying from a “local” company and in Poland, for instance, people are angry at Microsoft [1, 2] because of Xbox, not just issues like racism.

Microsoft is still imitating the competition when it comes to consoles.

Reggie Fils-Aime, President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America, has never really been one to mix his words and he’s given his honest opinion on both Microsoft’s Project Natal and Sony’s PlayStation Move in one stinging retort.

When speaking to Kotaku on the subject of Sony and Microsoft playing catch-up, he said “I think we would have been embarrassed to do what our competitors are currently doing.”

This further dispels the ‘innovation’ myth. Microsoft is more interested in devastating rivals (set-top boxes running Linux in this case) by suing companies like TiVo, using patents.

Meanwhile we find that Microsoft patents more simple ideas in this area of consoles. Patents are usually a sign of weakness, as the company just cannot rely on technical merit alone; it needs to block rivals. Here is the latest patent:

Microsoft Seeks to Patent the DLC Upsell

A recent patent application describes a process in which an Xbox Live gamer, invited to a multiplayer session, but missing a critical piece to play (a map, a track, whatever), is offered and may buy it without dropping the invitation.

News: Microsoft patents Xbox Live upsell idea

Microsoft watch: new ‘upsell’ idea patented for Xbox Live

Dubbed the “Automated Direct Transaction and Delivery System”, this new patent would automatically detect whether a player has the required content to play in a particular session, whether online or offline.

How is that worthy of a patent? Where is the physical invention?

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