A lot of people are wondering ‘why‘ when it comes to all the many mis-steps Microsoft have taken with their Xbone release announcements.
Here’s my brief take on it. In my opinion they are living in ‘2 years ago’ land when they probably started spec’ing and finalising their next-box ideas. They also believed their own conclusions from their own data too strongly and made the wrong conclusions about what that meant going forward.
One point of anecdotal evidence I have for this is I’ve always done most their monthly surveys for years (for the free MS points) & naturally I secretly survey them back, by noticing the kind of (mainly dumb) questions they are asking me and how they change over time. 2 years-ish ago, I am pretty sure MS was getting data that everyone loved Kinect as it was one of the ‘fastest selling electronic devices’ out & that more people were using their Xbox 360s to watch Netflix & Sky & BBC iPlayer etc. than they were using them to play games.
But I think they’ve gone seriously wrong in interpreting this data… Kinect’s huge initial sales were a large chunk of sheer novelty effect in my view & also because it came at an extremely dead time in the console market when people were wanting something new but there was little being released (consumerism eh?). The fact that novelty has now worn off actually counts against putting Kinect 2.0 in as part of the Xbone. Basically, Xbone would be better off if the 360 Kinect had never come out as it would appear to be doing something obviously new at least. As for people watching streaming or even live TV on their 360s – well in my opinion that was just a side effect of people already having the 360s under their big HD-TVs. It was just a handy add-on feature that they ended up using a lot as a convenience, but it wasn’t the reason they bought their consoles, nor would they buy a console to do that & it wasn’t even the reason they paid for Gold Live accounts either. Also, all of these people still have their 360s & are now more likely to have upgraded their TVs to ones with built-in streaming features so even the most ardent TV watcher still doesn’t want an Xbone.