Ponderings on Microsoft’s decision to do a complete 180

If you’re a fan of games, you will no doubt have seen the news last night that Microsoft have reversed some of their initial decisions about the Xbox One and its policies. This has clearly seen some backlash from the consumer, once again, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

I was one of the people who was dead set against many of the policies put in place by Microsoft. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, the policy about Kinect having to be connected and on at all times is still in existence, but some of the more anger-inducing policies have been completely reversed in response to ‘consumer feedback’. Whether that’s true, or whether it’s in response to Sony, or indeed the poor Xbox One pre-orders, still remains to be seen. It will also be interesting to see if it is ever revealed to us who actually decided to reverse the policies.

Personally, I couldn’t believe how much of a hole Microsoft have been digging themselves this past month. First of all, they completely ignored the massive consumer backlash on the internet, and then Don Mattrick proceeded to tell those who couldn’t get an Xbox One, to simply buy an Xbox 360. Now, I’m not saying companies should cave into all consumer feedback, but when it’s that angry and adamant, it was a bit stupid not to.

However, I think the biggest problem is this; it’s been a whole month since these policies were announced, and this reversal is simply a little bit too late for some. There are some comments I have seen online that have indicated that people will now buy the console due to these reversed policies, but I am not one of them, and I know I’m not alone.

Xbox_Consle_Sensr_controllr_F_TransBG_RGB_2013I admire Microsoft for doing this, don’t get me wrong, but for me it’s too little, too late. Crisis management a month after the initial fallout is just too late. I thought back to Jack Tretton’s heart breaking apology on stage at E3 2011 about the PS3 being hacked, and it really made me feel for the company. Putting a human face up on a stage, and apologising in such a heartfelt way really helped Sony out of a bad situation. It may not have been their fault, but they took responsiblity for it, and regained the loyalty of fans. However, this press release on the Xbox site just doesn’t feel the same. Personally, if Don Mattrick, or any Microsoft executive, were to post a video saying the same thing, then I think it would have received much more sympathy, and fan loyalty. Words on a page mean very little when it comes to things like this.

As nice as this policy reversal is, it still doesn’t alter the £80 price different between the Xbox One and the PS4, and also the compulsory nature of the Kinect. Some people like Kinect, some don’t. I think it should still be an option, not a necessity. For those two reasons the Xbox One is a no go for me, at least until there’s a drastic price drop.

What do you think? Are you going to buy an Xbox One now? Or has the damage been done?

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