The other day I talked about the Xbox 360 and how they are slowly loosing the console war for themselves. I never got to the point where I talked about how they are loosing it for themselves, just what was going on, and what I think Microsoft is thinking right about now.
So how are they loosing the console war on their own? They have indeed done a lot of things right. There are some key things that they need to do. I will list 5 things Microsoft needs to change to keep from loosing the console war.
5. Paying for Xbox Live
I will be the first to admit even of no one else will, Xbox Live is well worth the $50 bucks a year. That being said, Microsoft still need to figure out a way to make Xbox live free. The reason is basically because every other system that has online gaming has no charges for their service. In this situation, it doesn’t matter if Xbox live has a better service. Think about it, If someone refuses to pay for Xbox live because online gaming is free everywhere else, they will not know how much better Xbox live is compared to everyone else. All they know is to play Madden 09 on PS3 is free but not on the 360.
I don’t think that Xbox gold should go away, I just think that Microsoft needs to restructure what comes with the silver and gold tier of Xbox live. First, add all of the online gameplay to xbox silver. That way anyone that buys a game will be able to play that game online, just like everywhere else. Anything that you get for free, that involves games, Extra maps, playmodes, tournaments etc, make that exclusive to Xbox Live gold for a limited time when it is released. Also create a Silver based stat tracking that only shows minimal information, if you sign up for gold, you get full blown information. All of the media that is free, like TV shows etc, leave all of that on Xbox live gold only (with the exception of the occasional promotion). Create some Xbox live gold only programming, for example add all or part of Microsoft’s TV service to Xbox live gold. Get the VIP community to create a Revision 3 style set of shows that Gold subscribers can watch. I dunno, but figure something out.
The biggest thing Microsoft needs to do here is make it so everyone can play games online. Xbox live gold should be looked at as a "Premium" service with "Premium" content, not the "standard" service as it is now. This will work out better for Microsoft, Not only will they have that many more people playing games online, They could then count the Silver subscribers when they want to brag about how many people are on Xbox live, which always look good.