Xbox Live still remains one of Microsoft’s best advantages in the console video game market. Microsoft made a few marketing miscalculations leading up to the Novemeber 2013 launch of the Xbox One. The console has a passionate following and it should have had a lot of hype leading into release. Many people turned on Xbox due to unpopular features and negative propaganda. These miscalculations led Microsoft to change their approach with consumers and regain some popularity for the Xbox One.
Ed Fires is the former Microsoft VP of game publishing. He believes that Microsoft is still in a good position, because of the quality of the Xbox Live online service and the Windows software running on the Xbox One.
“Microsoft has always been ahead in system software as well,” Fries told CNET. “Xbox Live is still the best and the new system is even better than before.”
Many critics have praised Xbox One as having much better online user experiences than Sony or Nintendo. Even with an excellent head start in the online arena Xbox Live has seen many improvements via free online updates in the last few months. According to attackofthefanboy.com the following updates were installed in April; Blu-ray player supports 50 Hz video output for content recorded at 50 Hz, controller and headset adaptor firmware updates will reduce audio static and improve wireless connectivity, and silent reboot after system updates and system update on demand.
Xbox Live has been a reliable service for over a decade. Players who purchase Xbox Live by the year pay $60. That works out to just five bucks a month. Compared to the cost of things like cable, smart phone data plans, and the NFL network, Xbox Live is a great deal.
“I think the Xbox One hardware is just fine,” Fries told CNET. “I like the fact that both Sony and Microsoft have gone back to a more PC like architecture like we did with the original Xbox. I also like that every Xbox One is the same, which is important for developers. On 360, for example, you couldn’t count on there being a hard disk.”
“So far there aren’t enough games for the system though,” Fries continued. “If Microsoft can bring the best first- and third-party games to the platform then they will be tough to beat. I got to play the ‘Titanfall’ beta the other day and I think the release of that will be a huge boost to Microsoft’s platform.”
“Microsoft has always been ahead in system software as well,” Fries also noted. “Xbox Live is still the best and the new system is even better than before.”
Even though Ed Fries still believes that Xbox Live is the best, Microsoft still has room for improvement in this regard. Sony’s PlayStation Network has seen huge improvements in the transition from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4.