“We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”
That makes step 1 complete. Step 2 will likely be happening on May 21st, if sources are correct.
This does beg the question about pricing and was one of the main reasons the PS3 had such a hard time penetrating the market. 2006 was a good financial year and still the >$600 price point was too much. Today’s market is garbage, worldwide. For the same price you can get a decent laptop and build a media center, wifi everywhere and build a massive collection with Steam/GoG.
Microsoft’s push towards the subscription model isn’t folly. They’ve had it since the first XBOX with a sub model to connect to their network. This “subsidized” model allowed them to sell consoles at a loss and make it up over the years. Sony did not do this, but instead gave you the best price Blu-Ray player at the time. If MS is going to push a contract model, similar to cellphone arrangements, this could work in their favor. Let’s say they sold you the console with free network access for 600$ but also had a 300$ console with a 15$/month connection fee, I would gather the former would sell like crazy. You’d end up paying more by year 2 with the contract but the system would be on your shelf.
If you were to read the internet about this whole MS vs. Sony debate, the only “
known” factor seems to be the network connection – and it’s not even confirmed. People can’t compare price, spec, game selection, there’s just no information out there. Instead people will latch on to the tinniest piece of information, rumor or not, and preach it as the death of X console.
In my RL job, I do a lot of analysis and this entire process is quite the case study. There is the advantage of early PR on Sony’s behalf, with not a peep from them since – nearly 2 months ago. The big picture PS4 is out there but we have next to no details past that. MS has a die-hard following on XBL, with 10+ years of network service behind them. That they maintained the console lead for so long, with next to no technical/game reason for it is a testament to the online service’s integration. You would think by this time more info from MS would be revealed, even if it was just a teaser site. This gap of information, in an age of instant information, is causing massive speculation. I have never found a time where speculation was positive.
May 21st is a long time out, a couple weeks before E3. With a near complete lack of details from either camp, there really isn’t much to do until then. But when has that stopped the interweb?