Sony has the upper hand in the console wars in terms of sales of the PS4 and surprisingly usurping Microsoft’s position in revenue rankings. A leading Microsoft executive for Xbox however, claims that it’s “doing things that can’t be done on any other console” with the Xbox One.
The wars are a lot more cordial now than they ever have been (who remembers that Sega does what Nintendon’t?), even going as far as companies congratulating each other on various successes.
— Xbox (@Xbox) November 15, 2013
Kudo Tsunoda, a leading Microsoft executive for Xbox, appears to be taking a couple of small jabs at Microsoft’s competitors though, saying “We’re giving people a lot more” in an interview with Gamesindustry.
Microsoft didn’t help itself with the DRM (digital rights management) debacle in the build-up to the release of the eighth-generation consoles, which would have seen all your Xbox One games disabled if you couldn’t connect to the internet. Trading in your games would have also become a much different proposition. Thankfully Microsoft repented, but unfortunately many gamers had already had their heads turned by Sony’s decision to basically oppose all the changes for its PS4.
Ever since unintentionally turning customers away from Xbox One with the DRM issue, Microsoft has shown a more consumer friendly approach. One of the best examples of this philosophy can be found in its embracing of EA Access, something Sony puzzlingly vetoed. Also, the announcement of backwards compatibility is a more than welcome surprise. Again, this is something Sony has confirmed it won’t be exploring.
“With backwards compatibility, it isn’t something that we just think gamers might want,” said Tsunoda, “We know. We’re looking for and soliciting that feedback. It was the number one most requested feature for Xbox One by far.”. Microsoft’s commitment to listening to the fans doesn’t seem to stop there though, with a merging of PC gamers and console gamers becoming more of a possibility with the release of Windows 10.
“For a long time we’ve had PC gamers and console gamers who weren’t really able to play together. That’s why Cross-Play is still such a powerful idea. You should be able to play what you love, and play together, regardless of what device you’re playing on. It’s about connecting people.” Tsunoda explained. “It’s a really unique value that only we can offer. You still need very gamer-focused values, but there’s lots of things you can do with our technology. We’ve really got a lot more going on [than our competitors]. We’re doing things that can’t be done on any other console.”
“Letting people play games wherever they want, on whatever device they choose, and making that easy. Long term, that’s really what we’re trying to do as a platform,” he concluded.
What Microsoft has had up its sleeve (and served it very well during the Xbox 360 era) is a wealth of fantastic exclusive games. Either by buying the rights to have exclusivity (Titanfall), or producing hit first-party series like Gears of War, Forza and Halo, Microsoft knows it currently holds the cards when it comes to playing unique games. “I wouldn’t even say the gap has closed,” stated Tsunoda, “We’ve got a lot more exclusive games than any other platform.”.
He’s not just blowing smoke either. Microsoft showcased a ton of different content over the course of E3 and Gamescom. “There’s a reason we’re able to put on two shows of content together. We’ve got seven exclusives coming this holiday, and then everything coming in 2016.” said Tsunoda, “Not just the blockbusters, but the ID@Xbox games, the indie games. We’re giving people a lot more.”.
Whether this proves enough to swing the pendulum back in the Xbox’s favor remains to be seen. If you’re still not convinced, you can check out Microsoft’s media briefing at Gamescom below and decide for yourself.