Are you passionate about gaming? Do you call yourself a gamer? Have you replayed old 360 games multiple times to boost your gamerscore? Well then, Microsoft just doesn’t care about you anymore. Yeah, it’s true. If you don’t believe us, head over to Steve Ballmer’s interview in USA Today where he strongly feels the world should see the Xbox360 as a “family entertainment center” instead of just a “gaming console”. So the next time you sit down and play Gears of War with your mates, don’t be surprised if you hear his grand mom cheering him on as he chainsaws you in half.
I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
Oh wait. But isn’t Gears of War too violent for “families”? Yeah I guess it is, which is why Microsoft have concentrated on Kinect this past year and will continue to do so. Why? Because it sells dummy. According to certain figures divulged by Ballmer at CES 2011, Microsoft shipped (not sold) nearly 8 million units this holiday season alone. This obviously spurred a bunch of meetings at Microsoft where some high level executive must have been like “Screw gamers man. Catering to them isn’t paying the bills. Let’s concentrate on their families now”. Exec No. 2, “Yes, let’s make everyone the controller and sell them obscenely priced hardware while they move around the living room looking like complete asses”. Cue maniacal laughter.
Microsoft's new target audience (Image courtesy: msresort.com)
Making matters even funnier (or embarrassing) is Ballmer’s quote from the USA Today article where he feels the Xbox360 should excite 15 year old girls as much as it does 15 year old boys. Is it just me or is that wrong on so many levels?
All jokes aside I understand Microsoft is a corporate powerhouse who like all of us love the green stuff. They also need to pay the bills so going in guns blazing with something that sells isn’t exactly rocket science. But that doesn’t mean they alienate a whole group in the process. When the Xbox360 launched, they were pushing it through games like Halo and Gears of War which obviously weren’t very “family” oriented. Now with Kinect, the sudden change in priority is not only jarring, but a bit insulting to early adopters.
I will never become a Kinect game. NEVAAAA….
There was a time the Xbox360 had a killer line up of exclusives and the PS3… well… had diddly squat. Now the tables have turned and apart from Gears of War 3, Microsoft doesn’t really have any worthwhile exclusives this year. The PS3, on the other hand, is rocking hard with games like Uncharted 3, MotorStorm: Apocalypse, Killzone 3, Resistance 3 and lots more. At the same time they’re offering Move support for games like SOCOM and Killzone 3 whereas Microsoft is still putting out casual crap for the Kinect. Even in the casual arena Sony has a game like LittleBigPlanet, which isn’t necessarily targeted at the hardcore gamer. You don’t see Jack Tretton making a big deal of it, annoying his core audience in the process now, do you?