The gimmick Microsoft desperately needs is one that will magically put their budding technologies in first place before Christmas. When there is a need to focus on building a “new” version of a corporation, most likely darkness follows. However, there is still much time to revive the brand.
Last year, the Xbox One was supposed to have been Microsoft’s golden goose. The problem was there were too many bad decisions at the outset. The decisions of restricting gamers by enforcing DRMS, along with the 24 hour check-in controversy have turned even Xbox fans against all things related to the system. Just recently there was a controversial debate regarding Ubisoft’s game Unity, another installment of Assassin’s Creed franchise. The software development company, though not exclusive to Microsoft, might be constraining Unity’s game resolution on the PS4 console in hopes that Xbox One will have a fighting chance in game sales. Not only is it that unfair to the console that was built for more resolution, but it is also unfair to the consumer.
What Microsoft needs to do is stop whining about what their competitors are doing and develop a gimmick that works by welcoming the consumer to the product, rather than kicking the consumer below the belt and telling them to pay more for their product, even though their competitor’s product is more powerful and less expensive.
The strategy on the mobile front was not a successful one. Even after the controversial acquirement of Nokia’s mobile services, sales for Lumia and Surface remain steadily low. It is unfortunate that Google and Apple have a firm grip on this market. Perhaps Microsoft needs a gimmick that screams “Hey, we might not be as cool as Apple or as hip as Google, but at least we have a good OS.”
However, there might be hope for the technology giant yet. A project has already gained much attention from gamers – the Oculus Virtual reality (VR). The market for virtual reality gaming has yet to be cornered, and as the gaming industry becomes more aggressive, immersive gaming will undoubtedly put Microsoft back on the map. However, Sony is also developing its VR called Project Morpheus. But in comparison, Microsoft’s VR prototype RoomAlive is far more superior to Sony’s Morpheus as RoomAlive uses an interactive projection mapping with six procams, which automatically adjusts as the gamer immerses into gaming. Microsoft’s future in the gaming industry looks promising and might garner enough notoriety to help rebuild the brand.
In the end, Microsoft can put up more of a competition than it has thus far. They proved it with the Xbox 360 and their OS. They just need to be willing to listen to their consumers, and not be so careless in restrictions and whiny about their competitors. The gimmick does not have to be a hip or cool ploy – it needs to be a clever one that gives consumers an idea of what they mean to those who could have gone to Sony or Apple. And truly, if the much-needed gimmick fails, Microsoft can always rely on “good karma.”
Opinion by Dianna Coudriet