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08.02.10

Another Microsoft Cancellation as Xbox Struggles, Loses Windows Games Compatibility

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stop sign

Summary: Some of the most recent Xbox 360 news, including the realisation that Microsoft is attacking its own customers now

XBOX LOST several billions of dollars, which made it quite a failure from a business perspective. Like PlayStation 3 and unlike the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft plays a losing game, but it can’t quit now, only the management can. Yes, managers of Xbox left the company, but there are still signs of life in this division, even if in addition to many dead products we now have this revelation that, according to Joseph Tartakoff [1, 2], “Microsoft cancels its TV-style game show on the Xbox.”

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is canceling 1 vs. 100, the live game show it launched for its Xbox Live online gaming service a year ago, which was a pioneer in bringing TV style entertainment to video game consoles.

This was also covered in [1, 2, 3].

Dead products or dead features are never a good sign and Xbox Live turns out not to be open enough for developers. It’s also too expensive, just like the peripherals which Wii buyers get for ‘free’. In addition to this, there is a rumour that “Microsoft killed X-platform play because console gamers suck” (this headline was later changed to “HP man slams Microsoft for PC gaming fail”). “Cross Platform” means Microsoft and also Microsoft within this context (Xbox and Windows). Also in the news:

According to this, “Last month there was much excitement as the newly redesigned Xbox 360 seemed to launch a sales Renaissance in Japan. According to the latest numbers the console has dropped from 17,370 units in sales two weeks ago to 7,303 units this past week. Ouch. Unfortunately, it seems that Microsoft may have a hard time ever breaking into the Land of the Rising Sun. [...] This latest info seems to tell us that, barring some sort of major turnaround, Japan just isn’t that interested in the Xbox 360.”

Microsoft tried to hype it up in Japan while it lasted (very briefly). These are old PR tricks.

“Not so long ago it was revealed that pre-orders of Kinect were too few.”As we noted earlier, peripherals for Xbox 360 are too expensive to be competitive (consider the price of a Wii) and the name “Kinect” is problematic now, due to Kin dying (more on that later in the week). Some say that Kinect does work when sitting down — a claim that’s disputed by Microsoft, obviously.

In an open letter titled “Dis-Kinection: How Microsoft Has Lost Focus,” Gamasutra shows its pessimism. In another Web site, Microsoft is accused of using sexual provocation to sell Kinect (and doing it badly). Not so long ago it was revealed that pre-orders of Kinect were too few.

Microsoft’s struggle is even described by CNBC (“Can Sony and Microsoft Replicate Wii’s Success?”), which is typically sympathetic towards Microsoft, maybe because of MSNBC. Not good, not good at all.

To make matters even worse, Microsoft is insulting the best customers and banning innocent ones. As The Consumerist put it, “Zach’s Xbox 360 opted to play for Miami rather than Cleveland, but what he expected to be a routine repair has turned into a standoff. He says Microsoft accuses him of modding his console despite Zach’s contention that the unit, which he says is clean, shows no physical signs of being modded.”

That’s just an overall bad “engagement” with fans. Here is another:

Microsoft – Rare blocks fan site’s documentary project

Microsoft owned studio Rare was once a mighty force in the video game industry, with iconic titles such as GoldenEye 007. The studio had a decent following from the fan community. One fan site will be closing its doors after Rare blocked the fan project.

[...]

Apparently talks between the site and Rare/Microsoft on creating a documentary started going bad. Rare/Microsoft finally put the kibosh on the project by stating that the film wouldn’t be “on message.”

Microsoft has turned hostile even towards the few who still support it. Who does it think it is, Apple? The stigma of arrogance will stick.

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