With the recent announcement of the PlayStation 4 there has been many wondering what Microsoft have up their sleeve. In terms of gamers the PS4 announcement gained very positive feedback despite the console not being shown and Sony not breaking the mould with the capabilities and new features of the machine. What Sony did do here was focus on gamers and game developers, they took on board everything that gamers and developers complained about the PS3 and fixed it. They didn’t re-invent the wheel but instead gave people what they wanted, they refined and improved. There was no gimmicks live move or kinect like device trying to grab those casual gamers this was an announcement of a games console catered towards gamers.
Jonathon Blow a games developer behind Braid has said that Microsoft are not strictly focused on games anymore and want to be the hub of the living room. The disturbing thing for Microsoft here is that this is a games developer basically showing that he is more inclined to work on the PS4 than the next Xbox. The Witness by the same developers as Braid is a timed PS4 exclusive and it would be worrying if this was the start of a downward gaming trend for Microsoft. If one developer is thinking this then it is a distinct possibility that others are too, Sony have gone out of their way to create a developer friendly console and it is already reaping rewards.
Whilst this is all worrying Microsoft have not made any announcements on their next console, we could get a very gaming focused reveal from them too which could erase all our worries. However with those comments from Jonathon Blow and Microsoft’s Kinect focus of recent years it is hard to see that being the case. They are already trying to have the 360 as a living room media hub with kinect, music, films, and social aspects, gaming seems to come as an after thought sometimes. It surely makes sense that Microsoft would continue this trend with their successor to the 360.
From a gaming point of view this is not great news, we might get more Halo or Gears, COD DLC first etc but what Xbox needs for gamers is reasons, what will Xbox give a GAMER that PS3 and WiiU won’t?