There is one more thing Microsoft needs to focus on for the Xbox-Next
No, not more money, silly.
I cannot believe I will be saying this. I am not a fanboy, and I like to strictly keep it that way. But, damn me, I prefer the PS3 over the Xbox 360. There. I said it.
Hear me out while we all activate our flame shields. The PS3 does nothing better than the Xbox 360. In fact, if we take it one bullet-point at a time, we will find the Xbox coming out triumphs in a lot of them. User Interface? Xbox. Better online store? Xbox. Better online community and tools? Xbox. Slightly better performing games? Xbox. Better controller? Xbox.
So, why exactly do I prefer the PS3 over the Xbox 360 then? Because it will work.
When I click that little power button, I know the system will boot up. It will load the slick PS3 banner, show me the icon interface, it will allow me to pop the disc in, and play the game.
But the Xbox? Between pressing the power button and it booting up to its friendly green logo, there is a 5 second dread that I go through every time. Every. Single. Friggin’.Time. We all do, in fact, so let’s admit it. When you press the power button, you expect the Xbox to fail. I do. I expect it to flash those horrible, horrible, red lights and give me an error message that only the lords at Redmond can decipher.
PS3s have failed, too, of course, but not in the mass-suicide way that the Xbox 360s did. Every single Xbox 360 owner I know has had to go through the ‘The Red Rings of Death’. The moment when the field of view narrows down to a single focus, sounds mute, and the heart beat takes over. I, personally, had to go through three of them, one on which I performed numerous CPR tricks in the hopes that it would survive for a few more days.
So, yes, it was bad. Absolutely unacceptable, and it’s only a wonder, and probably a management lesson in amazing PR-disaster handling and marketing, that Microsoft got away with it. If it was any other company, it would have had closed their ‘console division’ long time ago. But that does not mean Microsoft will be able to get away a second time. And this is something it needs to absolutely focus on.
Great hardware is necessary – the system better produce Frostbite 2-level visuals in 1080p at default – but rock solid system stability is essential as well. Microsoft may have skimped on the research lab last time around, but it needs to buckle up for the next round.
Regardless, I will be buying the Xbox-Next only after a few months of it being released. I will need solid convincing that the $400 product that I recently brought won’t convert into a slick paper weight.
(I hope I have not jinxed my PS3. That would be ironic.)