Microsoft is clearly fallen behind this generation, and is clearly hurting. Right from the onset, with a bad opening at the E3 reveal for the Xbox One, Microsoft managed to alienate its fans, and Sony smartly pounced at the chance and took the vast majority of gamers with it. Three years later, Microsoft and it’s Xbox division seem to have learned from their many mistakes, and look eager to win back the gamer audience with innovative and high-power hardware, and a customer friendly marketplace.
Sony sure has the audience’s attention now, not so much because of the power that the PS4 has to offer, but more so because of an extremely compelling library of exclusive titles. However, they have been very slow in making changes that their consumers and avid fans have been asking for years. You still can’t change you username on PSN. The PS4 UI, while functional, is very minimal and not all that appealing or user friendly. They have also been slow in adding other handy functionalities, like external HDD support, custom wallpapers, remote streaming to PC, and so on. Their PSN download speeds is absolute trash (I currently have Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom download stuck at 99+ hours for no reason whatsoever). Oh, and with them promoting PS Now, they have no incentive to introduce backward compatibility anytime soon.
Xbox One, on the other hand, has come a long way, and Microsoft’s consistent updates to the UI and their policies (including the recent announcement of the Refund Policy), shows that they are really trying to do their best to win back audience favor and prepare the stage for a successful launch of the Xbox Scorpio. Here’s what I’m excited about with the full Xbox Scorpio reveal imminent this E3 2017:
- Excellent UI design. Streamline everything that was missing in the Xbox One, and add more customization options.
- A stable online experience with the Xbox Live, unlike PSN.
- Customer friendly Refund policy, much like Steam.
- Xbox Game Pass – Access to a large game library across generations, at an affordable price.
- Download speeds that are up to par with today’s fibre connections.
- Competitive prices, and frequent sales.
- Expansive library of games, complimented by Backward Compatibility.
- Also, I can change my user name (c’mon Sony, is it really that tough?)
- Xbox Play Anywhere – Some games I would rather just play on a PC, while others I’d rather sit back with on a couch with the controller.
However, the one thing missing, and many would argue that it’s the most important factor, is the lack of good exclusives. Xbox One clearly suffered because of it. This E3 is their chance to redeem themselves, and all eyes will be on them. Sony has already shown that they have a strong line-up of games ready for the next couple of years, and the last few months have been great for any PS4 owner.
One way or the other, I do want both the major players in the console market to be in healthy competition, because it eventually only means good things for the gamer.