Has Microsoft made a major marketing mistake?

I downloaded the new Xbox Live Experience and Dashboard for my Xbox 360 last night, and while the functionality is taking a little bit of time to adjust to, I’ve already decided I don’t like a major part of the strategy. And more importantly, it may be a big mistake for Microsoft.
Badgergravling on new Xbox Live

Everyone in the world knows the success that Nintendo has had with the Wii – which ignored the graphical arms race to focus on party games and family friendliness, plus little WiiMii avatars etc.

But I didn’t buy an Xbox 360 for those reasons. I bought it because I loved the Xbox Live functionality, enjoyed fairly mature games, and saw the potential for digital music and film distribution.

I liked the fact the Xbox was seen as slightly more hardcore than the family Wii or the trendy PS3. I liked the fact it was more of an unusual choice, and that in my opinion it looked quite stylish. I like the fact the dashboard system was quite simple and functional.

But with the new dashboard update, Microsoft has essentially forced me to turn my Xbox 360 into a less fun Wii.

And suddently the Xbox looks more like a copycat than a leader. That’s the marketing mistake.

The two incarnations of the Xbox did something different to the rest of the market by concentrating on online gameplay, and becoming the first console to make good use of broadband. That was the Purple Cow. It’s what built a following for both Xbox and Halo.

It’s what made me tell friends and colleagues why they should get an Xbox and meet up online. Why I talked about how Microsoft were being brave enough to blaze the trail for online gaming. And why people talked about Sony killing their brand. There was talk about convergence, and owning the living room. And as someone who grew up with videogames and has now reached middleage, it was a sign that the average adult could engage with gaming on their own contemporary level, rather than as a childish indulgence.

All that’s now gone.

Not because now I’m forced to represent myself as a cute little fella in a suit and comedy hat.

But because I’m forced to admit MS has copied the success of Nintendo in the cute market, and forced consumers who paid for a different brand and image to copy as well. It’s no longer a hardcore choice, or a Purple Cow. When two competitors start chasing the same ideas, and Nintendo already has the lead and a price advantage, it’s a battle the Microsoft brand can’t win.

Have you upgraded to the new Xbox Live experience, and do you agree or disagree? More importantly, how do you feel about the avatars, and the fact it brands Microsoft as copycats, not tech innovators – and could a brand with the legacy of Microsoft ever compete on that level against Nintendo?

Note: edited a reference to prices, as I incorrectly priced the 360 as more expensive than the Wii.

Comments

  1. Why I think Microsoft has made a mistake with the Xbox update: http://bit.ly/DJ8N

  2. @gapingvoid I don’t know if it’s of interest from a Blue Monster perspective – http://bit.ly/DJ8N

  3. Blimey..loads of comments on my post suggesting Microsoft has screwed up the appeal of the Xbox 360: http://bit.ly/DJ8N

  4. I seem to be having my best traffic day ever on http://www.thewayoftheweb.net thanks to http://bit.ly/DJ8N Thanks Microsoft!

  5. Yes, I see your point. The avatars do look very much like Mii cones and a bit pointless. I actually find it harder to tell who’s online by seeing if their avatar is awake than just by looking at an icon.

    One thing I really do like, though, is the option to copy a game to the hard drive. In that sense MS are still tech innovators, but in terms of style? I think they’re barking up the wrong tree and, as you say, entering a race they won’t win.

  6. Yes, I see your point. The avatars do look very much like Mii cones and a bit pointless. I actually find it harder to tell who’s online by seeing if their avatar is awake than just by looking at an icon.

    One thing I really do like, though, is the option to copy a game to the hard drive. In that sense MS are still tech innovators, but in terms of style? I think they’re barking up the wrong tree and, as you say, entering a race they won’t win.

  7. I have to say I agree… I was very excited to download the nle and after an hour or so with it I felt like I was in 360s midlife crisis, it felt like it wanted to appeal to the nintendo fans while trying to show it could stand up to playstation home.

    I am quite happy with the 360s collection of games and couldn’t care less about avatars and putting them into games… I dont want a 360 avatar!

    I think some of the updates; such as the party system and ripping game to drive are well overdue but never the less they work well.. and are functions that the other consoles sorely miss..

  8. I have to say I agree… I was very excited to download the nle and after an hour or so with it I felt like I was in 360s midlife crisis, it felt like it wanted to appeal to the nintendo fans while trying to show it could stand up to playstation home.

    I am quite happy with the 360s collection of games and couldn’t care less about avatars and putting them into games… I dont want a 360 avatar!

    I think some of the updates; such as the party system and ripping game to drive are well overdue but never the less they work well.. and are functions that the other consoles sorely miss..

  9. Surely your argument would make any sense if the “overpriced” 360 wasn’t cheaper than the Wii?

  10. Surely your argument would make any sense if the “overpriced” 360 wasn’t cheaper than the Wii?

  11. I think you are exaggerating a little when you say that the xbox is now a “clone” of the wii- the only thing similar now is that you can make a little person that looks like you. Just because you have a little avatar doesn’t change anything else related to the box. Games, movies, arcade, its still there, and in a much more eye pleasing and accessible manner.
    Basically, you just need to see the avatar as a way to laugh it up with your friends, and then realize that the rest of the system is better than ever.

  12. I think you are exaggerating a little when you say that the xbox is now a “clone” of the wii- the only thing similar now is that you can make a little person that looks like you. Just because you have a little avatar doesn’t change anything else related to the box. Games, movies, arcade, its still there, and in a much more eye pleasing and accessible manner.
    Basically, you just need to see the avatar as a way to laugh it up with your friends, and then realize that the rest of the system is better than ever.

  13. Ultimately I think you have to judge the console on the maturity of the games rather than the ridiculous/childish avatars & dashboard we’ve now been forced to use, although I do think that the avatars should have been an option for the younger players and not forced upon everyone

  14. Ultimately I think you have to judge the console on the maturity of the games rather than the ridiculous/childish avatars & dashboard we’ve now been forced to use, although I do think that the avatars should have been an option for the younger players and not forced upon everyone

  15. “Microsoft has essentially forced me to turn my Xbox 360 into an overpriced Wii.”

    I’m sorry, but I must say that your argument makes no sense to me.

    I’m a Wii man, granted, I love my Wii, and I have never felt like I needed to buy an Xbox of any variety. And I don’t in any way think that this is in any way an incentive for “Wii-people” to buy an Xbox or for “Xbox-people” not to.

    It’s still the same console. It still plays the same games. It’s not a Wii because of the look and functionality of a part of it’s use outside of the gameplay.

    People in this business have _always_ copied each other. Nintendo “invented” the directional pad, and suddenly everyone stopped using digital joysticks and instead had something very similar to the d-pad.
    Someone started using tiny analog joysticks and now every console has them.
    Nintendo started using motion sensitivity and Sony copied it.
    Dreamcast or something was first to start shipping with a built in network adapter and now every console has it.
    And people have surely been “inspired” by each other in the little things like Miis and avatars too, many times before. It’s just how things work and it doesn’t turn one console into another.

    So unless you’re complaining about “Oh people are going to think that I’m a little kid because I use a console that has Mii-like avatars” I don’t know why you’d complain. Ignore the feature and keep playing Halo or whatever you play.

    I guess I just react on articles that draw on the stereotypes for different consoles.
    I play, among other things, some fairly adult games on my Wii. I love to shoot Nazis and zombies and space pirates in some nice games. But some people feel the need to always repeat “It’s a family console! It’s kiddie! You’re stupid if you buy a stupid Wii for things like that; it’s a console for kids! You can tell by the bad graphics that it’s just for families and kids!” and so on.

    But I have a Wii because I love the Wiimote. And not because of the motion sensitivity, even though that can be sweet at times. No, mostly because of the pointing-functionality, which I think is wonderful. Among other things because I love to be able to point at the things I want to shoot instead of trying to aim with a fidgety little analog stick.

    And I don’t care about the graphics; PS2 graphics are still good enough for tens of millions of people who still buy PS2 games, and the Wii has better capabilities than the PS2.

    So, what I’m trying to say is: small, gimmicky things isn’t what makes a console. Copycating doesn’t play into it. All that matters is what YOU play on YOUR console.

    Do you play “mature” games on your 360? Then it’s a mature console. Do you play learning games for kids? Then it’s a kiddie console. Do you play puzzle games and exercise games? Then I guess it’s a console for middle-aged housewives.
    And the same with any other console. It is what we make it, and the sooner we understand that the corporate image of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft has _nothing_ to do with your console in your living room, the sooner we can forget about things like this and enjoy the games instead of the console.

  16. “Microsoft has essentially forced me to turn my Xbox 360 into an overpriced Wii.”

    I’m sorry, but I must say that your argument makes no sense to me.

    I’m a Wii man, granted, I love my Wii, and I have never felt like I needed to buy an Xbox of any variety. And I don’t in any way think that this is in any way an incentive for “Wii-people” to buy an Xbox or for “Xbox-people” not to.

    It’s still the same console. It still plays the same games. It’s not a Wii because of the look and functionality of a part of it’s use outside of the gameplay.

    People in this business have _always_ copied each other. Nintendo “invented” the directional pad, and suddenly everyone stopped using digital joysticks and instead had something very similar to the d-pad.
    Someone started using tiny analog joysticks and now every console has them.
    Nintendo started using motion sensitivity and Sony copied it.
    Dreamcast or something was first to start shipping with a built in network adapter and now every console has it.
    And people have surely been “inspired” by each other in the little things like Miis and avatars too, many times before. It’s just how things work and it doesn’t turn one console into another.

    So unless you’re complaining about “Oh people are going to think that I’m a little kid because I use a console that has Mii-like avatars” I don’t know why you’d complain. Ignore the feature and keep playing Halo or whatever you play.

    I guess I just react on articles that draw on the stereotypes for different consoles.
    I play, among other things, some fairly adult games on my Wii. I love to shoot Nazis and zombies and space pirates in some nice games. But some people feel the need to always repeat “It’s a family console! It’s kiddie! You’re stupid if you buy a stupid Wii for things like that; it’s a console for kids! You can tell by the bad graphics that it’s just for families and kids!” and so on.

    But I have a Wii because I love the Wiimote. And not because of the motion sensitivity, even though that can be sweet at times. No, mostly because of the pointing-functionality, which I think is wonderful. Among other things because I love to be able to point at the things I want to shoot instead of trying to aim with a fidgety little analog stick.

    And I don’t care about the graphics; PS2 graphics are still good enough for tens of millions of people who still buy PS2 games, and the Wii has better capabilities than the PS2.

    So, what I’m trying to say is: small, gimmicky things isn’t what makes a console. Copycating doesn’t play into it. All that matters is what YOU play on YOUR console.

    Do you play “mature” games on your 360? Then it’s a mature console. Do you play learning games for kids? Then it’s a kiddie console. Do you play puzzle games and exercise games? Then I guess it’s a console for middle-aged housewives.
    And the same with any other console. It is what we make it, and the sooner we understand that the corporate image of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft has _nothing_ to do with your console in your living room, the sooner we can forget about things like this and enjoy the games instead of the console.

  17. Hah, I do apologize for my long comment though ๐Ÿ˜‰ I write fast and think while I write, and just let my pondering flow out even if I think of much more than I meant to write. And sometimes I don’t realize how much I’m writing. So again, sorry ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hah, I do apologize for my long comment though ๐Ÿ˜‰ I write fast and think while I write, and just let my pondering flow out even if I think of much more than I meant to write. And sometimes I don’t realize how much I’m writing. So again, sorry ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. I don’t mind it. It still does all the stuff it did before the update.

  20. I don’t mind it. It still does all the stuff it did before the update.

  21. Gerben Rampaart says:

    Hi Dan, thx for the read but allow me to completely disagree with you.

    While it is certainly true that the commercial aspect is more prominent in the “Xbox Live Experience” dashboard, it is in my opinion mainly focused at the fancier and clearer presentation of all content associated with your Xbox 360.

    Think about how the old Xbox dashboard would have scaled with more video, games and misc. content on your hard drive. By now the number of content that I have (marketplace videos and about 72 games) absolutely did not agree with the dashboard. The My Games section became increasingly slow and the directory structure for videos changed in a more ‘windows like’ concept where I had to browse directory after directory to find videos I downloaded. This was fixed pretty nicely in the new release.

    The dashboard experience also grew for me as I noticed myself scrolling through my friends more frequently, visiting the marketplace more often and requiring less actions to get to my media center. I just looks and acts better and snappier. Another example is the Xbox-button menu being less intrusive even though it’s full screen. I never really liked the in-game slide-on of the old dashboard.

    The console has lost nothing of it’s hardcore-ness. That is way more defined in the games than the ‘operating system’. I think they lowered the bar for users by making it visually more pleasing. Think of the holiday season where these consoles will be demonstrated in every store with this dashboard. It’s a good move all together.

    Lastly, I like the avatars. I like how Microsoft (indeed clearly) took Nintendo’s idea and made it better (leave that to MS). The avatars are more detailed, more immersive and likably compared to the Wii. They integrate with XBL well (like the gamerpic and the friends overview) and make other Xbox Live players more relatable and more human. Not just a gamertag across the wire.

    I’m completely not bothered by the fact that MS shows lack of innovation. Will you be bothered by (for example) a Wii like controller which MS will probably introduce? Everyone knows they are ripping off but it does not diminish the gamer experience for me nor does it for other gamers. Microsoft showed incredible innovation with Xbox Live over the years, still unparalleled by any other console. If the PS3 copies it or does it better I won’t be complaining about stealing, rather, it makes me want to go out and buy a PS3.
    Hi Dan, thx for the read but allow me to completely disagree with you.

    While it is certainly true that the commercial aspect is more prominent in the “Xbox Live Experience” dashboard, it is in my opinion mainly focused at the fancier and clearer presentation of all content associated with your Xbox 360.

    Think about how the old Xbox dashboard would have scaled with more video, games and misc. content on your hard drive. By now the number of content that I have (marketplace videos and about 72 games) absolutely did not agree with the dashboard. The My Games section became increasingly slow and the directory structure for videos changed in a more ‘windows like’ concept where I had to browse directory after directory to find videos I downloaded. This was fixed pretty nicely in the new release.

    The dashboard experience also grew for me as I noticed myself scrolling through my friends more frequently, visiting the marketplace more often and requiring less actions to get to my media center. I just looks and acts better and snappier. Another example is the Xbox-button menu being less intrusive even though it’s full screen. I never really liked the in-game slide-on of the old dashboard.

    The console has lost nothing of it’s hardcore-ness. That is way more defined in the games than the ‘operating system’. I think they lowered the bar for users by making it visually more pleasing. Think of the holiday season where these consoles will be demonstrated in every store with this dashboard. It’s a good move all together.

    Lastly, I like the avatars. I like how Microsoft (indeed clearly) took Nintendo’s idea and made it better (leave that to MS). The avatars are more detailed, more immersive and likably compared to the Wii. They integrate with XBL well (like the gamerpic and the friends overview) and make other Xbox Live players more relatable and more human. Not just a gamertag across the wire.

    I’m completely not bothered by the fact that MS shows lack of innovation. Will you be bothered by (for example) a Wii like controller which MS will probably introduce? Everyone knows they are ripping off but it does not diminish the gamer experience for me nor does it for other gamers. Microsoft showed incredible innovation with Xbox Live over the years, still unparalleled by any other console. If the PS3 copies it or does it better I won’t be complaining about stealing, rather, it makes me want to go out and buy a PS3.

  22. Gerben Rampaart says:

    Hi Dan, thx for the read but allow me to completely disagree with you.

    While it is certainly true that the commercial aspect is more prominent in the “Xbox Live Experience” dashboard, it is in my opinion mainly focused at the fancier and clearer presentation of all content associated with your Xbox 360.

    Think about how the old Xbox dashboard would have scaled with more video, games and misc. content on your hard drive. By now the number of content that I have (marketplace videos and about 72 games) absolutely did not agree with the dashboard. The My Games section became increasingly slow and the directory structure for videos changed in a more ‘windows like’ concept where I had to browse directory after directory to find videos I downloaded. This was fixed pretty nicely in the new release.

    The dashboard experience also grew for me as I noticed myself scrolling through my friends more frequently, visiting the marketplace more often and requiring less actions to get to my media center. I just looks and acts better and snappier. Another example is the Xbox-button menu being less intrusive even though it’s full screen. I never really liked the in-game slide-on of the old dashboard.

    The console has lost nothing of it’s hardcore-ness. That is way more defined in the games than the ‘operating system’. I think they lowered the bar for users by making it visually more pleasing. Think of the holiday season where these consoles will be demonstrated in every store with this dashboard. It’s a good move all together.

    Lastly, I like the avatars. I like how Microsoft (indeed clearly) took Nintendo’s idea and made it better (leave that to MS). The avatars are more detailed, more immersive and likably compared to the Wii. They integrate with XBL well (like the gamerpic and the friends overview) and make other Xbox Live players more relatable and more human. Not just a gamertag across the wire.

    I’m completely not bothered by the fact that MS shows lack of innovation. Will you be bothered by (for example) a Wii like controller which MS will probably introduce? Everyone knows they are ripping off but it does not diminish the gamer experience for me nor does it for other gamers. Microsoft showed incredible innovation with Xbox Live over the years, still unparalleled by any other console. If the PS3 copies it or does it better I won’t be complaining about stealing, rather, it makes me want to go out and buy a PS3.
    Hi Dan, thx for the read but allow me to completely disagree with you.

    While it is certainly true that the commercial aspect is more prominent in the “Xbox Live Experience” dashboard, it is in my opinion mainly focused at the fancier and clearer presentation of all content associated with your Xbox 360.

    Think about how the old Xbox dashboard would have scaled with more video, games and misc. content on your hard drive. By now the number of content that I have (marketplace videos and about 72 games) absolutely did not agree with the dashboard. The My Games section became increasingly slow and the directory structure for videos changed in a more ‘windows like’ concept where I had to browse directory after directory to find videos I downloaded. This was fixed pretty nicely in the new release.

    The dashboard experience also grew for me as I noticed myself scrolling through my friends more frequently, visiting the marketplace more often and requiring less actions to get to my media center. I just looks and acts better and snappier. Another example is the Xbox-button menu being less intrusive even though it’s full screen. I never really liked the in-game slide-on of the old dashboard.

    The console has lost nothing of it’s hardcore-ness. That is way more defined in the games than the ‘operating system’. I think they lowered the bar for users by making it visually more pleasing. Think of the holiday season where these consoles will be demonstrated in every store with this dashboard. It’s a good move all together.

    Lastly, I like the avatars. I like how Microsoft (indeed clearly) took Nintendo’s idea and made it better (leave that to MS). The avatars are more detailed, more immersive and likably compared to the Wii. They integrate with XBL well (like the gamerpic and the friends overview) and make other Xbox Live players more relatable and more human. Not just a gamertag across the wire.

    I’m completely not bothered by the fact that MS shows lack of innovation. Will you be bothered by (for example) a Wii like controller which MS will probably introduce? Everyone knows they are ripping off but it does not diminish the gamer experience for me nor does it for other gamers. Microsoft showed incredible innovation with Xbox Live over the years, still unparalleled by any other console. If the PS3 copies it or does it better I won’t be complaining about stealing, rather, it makes me want to go out and buy a PS3.

  23. Thanks for the all the comments, long and short, agreeing and disagreeing.

    I probably could expand my thoughts a little more to give some more background!

    I’ve been gaming for 26 years now, starting with a ZX Spectrum, and including every console from Sega, Nintendo (Up to the Wii), Sony (Up to PS3), MS, etc. So I hopefully don’t have the ‘fanboy’ loyalty to a system that would make me insult alternatives regardless.

    I do see some of the intentions and benefits of the update to the 360 dashboard, and I’m glad that MS are taking the time and effort to continue to develop it, rather than waiting till the next gen of consoles.

    But what I’m discussing is really from a marketing point of view – every successful brand has a ‘belief’ with it, from the company, and from the consumer. In consoles, Sony was a great example with the original Playstation, coming into a new market and becoming the coolest option available, regardless of functional spec.

    Meanwhile Sega had a cool image with the Megadrive and Sonic etc, but got confused with the MegaCD, 32X etc, and never really recovered (The Saturn and Dreamcast were fine machines but commercial failures).

    To use a comparison with PC gaming, it’s akin to building the Alienware brand up for a few years, then producing a low spec, low cost Alienware netbook because Asus had some success. Regardless of the actual functionality, Alienware would look like it’s copying someone for the sake of it.

    I agree you get out of a console what you put in, in terms of games etc, but products are also about beliefs and the feeling you get from them – hence why you pick one newspaper over another, or a website over another, without examining exactly what stories are in each in detail.

    I bought into the belief and branding of the 360 at launch until now – the existence of games like Viva Pinata were accessible to children, but for me it was a machine for adults to enjoy online gaming.

    Now it doesn’t feel like a place where adults can hang out and play games whilst drinking beer and chatting. Now it feels like a place for children and early teens to compare the clothes of their avatar, whilst they tell the ‘grandads’ to get out of their network…

    It’s the equivalent of buying Forza Motorsport, playing it for months, and then finding out that overnight someone swapped it for Juiced!

  24. Thanks for the all the comments, long and short, agreeing and disagreeing.

    I probably could expand my thoughts a little more to give some more background!

    I’ve been gaming for 26 years now, starting with a ZX Spectrum, and including every console from Sega, Nintendo (Up to the Wii), Sony (Up to PS3), MS, etc. So I hopefully don’t have the ‘fanboy’ loyalty to a system that would make me insult alternatives regardless.

    I do see some of the intentions and benefits of the update to the 360 dashboard, and I’m glad that MS are taking the time and effort to continue to develop it, rather than waiting till the next gen of consoles.

    But what I’m discussing is really from a marketing point of view – every successful brand has a ‘belief’ with it, from the company, and from the consumer. In consoles, Sony was a great example with the original Playstation, coming into a new market and becoming the coolest option available, regardless of functional spec.

    Meanwhile Sega had a cool image with the Megadrive and Sonic etc, but got confused with the MegaCD, 32X etc, and never really recovered (The Saturn and Dreamcast were fine machines but commercial failures).

    To use a comparison with PC gaming, it’s akin to building the Alienware brand up for a few years, then producing a low spec, low cost Alienware netbook because Asus had some success. Regardless of the actual functionality, Alienware would look like it’s copying someone for the sake of it.

    I agree you get out of a console what you put in, in terms of games etc, but products are also about beliefs and the feeling you get from them – hence why you pick one newspaper over another, or a website over another, without examining exactly what stories are in each in detail.

    I bought into the belief and branding of the 360 at launch until now – the existence of games like Viva Pinata were accessible to children, but for me it was a machine for adults to enjoy online gaming.

    Now it doesn’t feel like a place where adults can hang out and play games whilst drinking beer and chatting. Now it feels like a place for children and early teens to compare the clothes of their avatar, whilst they tell the ‘grandads’ to get out of their network…

    It’s the equivalent of buying Forza Motorsport, playing it for months, and then finding out that overnight someone swapped it for Juiced!

  25. I like the NXE, though it is by no means original. The avatars stem from the Miis, obviously, and the idea of installing a game onto the hard drive was done to a lesser extent by Sony already.

    All in all, it’s flashy, and I enjoy most of it, though sometimes the avatars just overdo it. I’d rather a friends list than a garage of avatars who may or may not be awake.

  26. I like the NXE, though it is by no means original. The avatars stem from the Miis, obviously, and the idea of installing a game onto the hard drive was done to a lesser extent by Sony already.

    All in all, it’s flashy, and I enjoy most of it, though sometimes the avatars just overdo it. I’d rather a friends list than a garage of avatars who may or may not be awake.

  27. I do see what you mean about the marketing, but what I was trying to say before is that it shouldn’t matter in that way; people should understand that it can be BOTH.

    That was what I meant with my rant about the Wii; it can be used by adults, and increasingly people understand that. But then when there is something Wii-like on another console there are a large number of articles like this, trying to (unintentionally or not) reinforce the stereotype that a console is just for some specific group of people.

    In reality we know that the 360 is enjoyed by people of all ages and has always been. And we know that the same thing is true for the Wii and the PS3.

    I think that IF we can get past the narrow groupthink with “This console is for this group, that console is for that group” then it is always a good marketing move to appeal to an additional audience.

    Adults can still play with other adults and teens with teens, and maybe even a bit across generational lines, shocking as the prospect might be… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    What I’m trying to say is that no one is forcing you to compare clothes of your avatars and there will still be just as many people there for the gaming. And unless people keep writing stuff about how things will change because the addition of a small thing, it shouldn’t be a bad marketing move, but a good one. A move that brings more gamers of different types.

    Your Forza is still Forza; it’s not Juiced. It just has a cutesy addition that you’re free to ignore.

    (by the way; of course I don’t put all the blame on the stereotypical views of different consoles solely on people writing things like this. The companies (especially Nintendo) actively put out these stereotypes themselves, and I think THAT is what is the bad marketing move. Even though all current generation consoles (and older consoles as well of course) can appeal to gamers of every type, they actively alienated some potential buyers to attract just one certain group.
    Now some companies are trying to rectify that by showing that their console can appeal to a wider group than previously claimed, and I think that’s a good business move.)

  28. I do see what you mean about the marketing, but what I was trying to say before is that it shouldn’t matter in that way; people should understand that it can be BOTH.

    That was what I meant with my rant about the Wii; it can be used by adults, and increasingly people understand that. But then when there is something Wii-like on another console there are a large number of articles like this, trying to (unintentionally or not) reinforce the stereotype that a console is just for some specific group of people.

    In reality we know that the 360 is enjoyed by people of all ages and has always been. And we know that the same thing is true for the Wii and the PS3.

    I think that IF we can get past the narrow groupthink with “This console is for this group, that console is for that group” then it is always a good marketing move to appeal to an additional audience.

    Adults can still play with other adults and teens with teens, and maybe even a bit across generational lines, shocking as the prospect might be… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    What I’m trying to say is that no one is forcing you to compare clothes of your avatars and there will still be just as many people there for the gaming. And unless people keep writing stuff about how things will change because the addition of a small thing, it shouldn’t be a bad marketing move, but a good one. A move that brings more gamers of different types.

    Your Forza is still Forza; it’s not Juiced. It just has a cutesy addition that you’re free to ignore.

    (by the way; of course I don’t put all the blame on the stereotypical views of different consoles solely on people writing things like this. The companies (especially Nintendo) actively put out these stereotypes themselves, and I think THAT is what is the bad marketing move. Even though all current generation consoles (and older consoles as well of course) can appeal to gamers of every type, they actively alienated some potential buyers to attract just one certain group.
    Now some companies are trying to rectify that by showing that their console can appeal to a wider group than previously claimed, and I think that’s a good business move.)

  29. If you have studied a little history, then you’d have learned that Microsoft rarely, if ever, innovates to get where they are. They copy and sometimes outright steal to get where they are.

    Name one thing in there entire product line up that they haven’t stolen (as an idea) from someone else.

    Windows and Icons OS -> Macintosh (Apple licensed it fair and square from Xerox)

    Spreadsheet (Excel) -> Lotus 123

    Word Processors -> Word Perfect and WordStar

    MSDOS (and their original PCDOS) -> CP/M (seriously folks)

    Disk Compression in Windows -> Stolen from and then “absorbed” company when sued (or caught)… “Stac Compressor” from Staker Electronics.

    Internet Explorer -> Netscape. Netscape was an original product, while IE was based upon outdated “Mosaic” code until their version 6.

  30. If you have studied a little history, then you’d have learned that Microsoft rarely, if ever, innovates to get where they are. They copy and sometimes outright steal to get where they are.

    Name one thing in there entire product line up that they haven’t stolen (as an idea) from someone else.

    Windows and Icons OS -> Macintosh (Apple licensed it fair and square from Xerox)

    Spreadsheet (Excel) -> Lotus 123

    Word Processors -> Word Perfect and WordStar

    MSDOS (and their original PCDOS) -> CP/M (seriously folks)

    Disk Compression in Windows -> Stolen from and then “absorbed” company when sued (or caught)… “Stac Compressor” from Staker Electronics.

    Internet Explorer -> Netscape. Netscape was an original product, while IE was based upon outdated “Mosaic” code until their version 6.

  31. I refer the Thornton to his earlier post

    Its not Emperors new clothes its a new skin.

    They moved some stuff around. And now theres a fresh bakery at the back which makes it smell a little better.

    I havent used everything on it yet but then i didnt use all the blades on the old section. It makes some stuff harder to find (Friends via Avatars for example) but then thats also available with a shortcut pop up

    This in its own right mean core functions and communications are available in two button presses without resorting to a side blade, now loads faster and has more and contextual functions.

    But IMO it’s uglier and does not gel with the rest of the new design which is more open and bright. Its almost as basic as the 2 dimensional OSD for the TV after they’ve added perspective to the main environment which jarrs a little.

    marketing mistake? time will tell but the core functionality is unchanged so its probably more a question of subjective taste and familiarity.

    And as long as the PS3 keeps updating their features we have a small arms race of design and function that means this will probably be replaced or updated in two years time to an equally astonished intake of collective breath, some careful probing and hissed warnings from soothsayers and bloggers that the end is nigh!

    i can sum up my feelings in a single word which i shall invent for the occasion: wootmeh

    an almost equal balance of childish excitement of something new with shiny buttons to press with the cycnical world weary knowledge that this is not earth changing or game changing but is sufficient enough to keep me mollified in my original and continued investment in the hardware and games.

    wootmeh its brilliant and amazing i ‘spose, if you like that sort of thing.

  32. I refer the Thornton to his earlier post

    Its not Emperors new clothes its a new skin.

    They moved some stuff around. And now theres a fresh bakery at the back which makes it smell a little better.

    I havent used everything on it yet but then i didnt use all the blades on the old section. It makes some stuff harder to find (Friends via Avatars for example) but then thats also available with a shortcut pop up

    This in its own right mean core functions and communications are available in two button presses without resorting to a side blade, now loads faster and has more and contextual functions.

    But IMO it’s uglier and does not gel with the rest of the new design which is more open and bright. Its almost as basic as the 2 dimensional OSD for the TV after they’ve added perspective to the main environment which jarrs a little.

    marketing mistake? time will tell but the core functionality is unchanged so its probably more a question of subjective taste and familiarity.

    And as long as the PS3 keeps updating their features we have a small arms race of design and function that means this will probably be replaced or updated in two years time to an equally astonished intake of collective breath, some careful probing and hissed warnings from soothsayers and bloggers that the end is nigh!

    i can sum up my feelings in a single word which i shall invent for the occasion: wootmeh

    an almost equal balance of childish excitement of something new with shiny buttons to press with the cycnical world weary knowledge that this is not earth changing or game changing but is sufficient enough to keep me mollified in my original and continued investment in the hardware and games.

    wootmeh its brilliant and amazing i ‘spose, if you like that sort of thing.

  33. bloody tag needs closing -sort it pls badger. ta

  34. bloody tag needs closing -sort it pls badger. ta

  35. Dan,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. Was not sure where to leave you a message, but chose the most recent post. Poked around your blog and liked it a lot.

    Thanks for visiting mine and consider yourself added to my blogroll!

    Mark Story

  36. Dan,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. Was not sure where to leave you a message, but chose the most recent post. Poked around your blog and liked it a lot.

    Thanks for visiting mine and consider yourself added to my blogroll!

    Mark Story

  37. Functionality ++ worth the update.
    Style — the downside.

  38. Functionality ++ worth the update.
    Style — the downside.

  39. The point is that you buy a game console for a a gaming experience. This new model of the dashboard hasn’t affected the games that will be produced. The games will still be edgier and more forward thinking than anybody else on the market. The dashboard hasn’t even affected online game play itself it only affect the means of getting to aspects of your gaming experience. Only one person can lead everyone else must follow.

    Oh and by the way ms is only a tech innovator in the gaming world. Every other aspect of the brand has long been a copycat. The much despised vista program is just a poor attempt at a bad copycat of a ten year old apple os.

  40. The point is that you buy a game console for a a gaming experience. This new model of the dashboard hasn’t affected the games that will be produced. The games will still be edgier and more forward thinking than anybody else on the market. The dashboard hasn’t even affected online game play itself it only affect the means of getting to aspects of your gaming experience. Only one person can lead everyone else must follow.

    Oh and by the way ms is only a tech innovator in the gaming world. Every other aspect of the brand has long been a copycat. The much despised vista program is just a poor attempt at a bad copycat of a ten year old apple os.

  41. Keith Andrew says:

    I think you’re reading far too much into it. The new dash is pretty much a new way of representing the same old information. Yes, it has what are essentially Miis, but I think this dash is more of a reaction to the PS3 – the dash of which made the 360’s original look seem incredibly innocent and tired – than it is the Wii.

    It’s simply a mid-life refresh, and the brilliant thing about the current crop of consoles is, software updates can completely reinvent a console. I wouldn’t be surprised if, two years down the line, the PS3’s dash changes almost entirely. It’s an image thing, and not much more.

  42. Keith Andrew says:

    I think you’re reading far too much into it. The new dash is pretty much a new way of representing the same old information. Yes, it has what are essentially Miis, but I think this dash is more of a reaction to the PS3 – the dash of which made the 360’s original look seem incredibly innocent and tired – than it is the Wii.

    It’s simply a mid-life refresh, and the brilliant thing about the current crop of consoles is, software updates can completely reinvent a console. I wouldn’t be surprised if, two years down the line, the PS3’s dash changes almost entirely. It’s an image thing, and not much more.

  43. How was the 360 an unusual/stylish choice if it was the leader?

    • The 360 was unusual because when it launched, the original Xbox wasn’t the leader with the focus on online gaming, yet the 360 persevered and managed to capitalise on the growing trend for multiplayer gaming, combined with the increase of broadband availability around the world

  44. How was the 360 an unusual/stylish choice if it was the leader?

    • The 360 was unusual because when it launched, the original Xbox wasn’t the leader with the focus on online gaming, yet the 360 persevered and managed to capitalise on the growing trend for multiplayer gaming, combined with the increase of broadband availability around the world

  45. But I like the part it can copy a game to the hard drive! And perhaps you right… it’s a clone of wii ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. But I like the part it can copy a game to the hard drive! And perhaps you right… it’s a clone of wii ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. I agree, but i think Natal is going to be revolutionary.

  48. how to upgrade the newxbox?? any experience??

  49. i think the new dash is to appeal to where the gaming audience biggest growth is coming from: 12-24 yr olds, and also to appeal to families who, 'discovered' by Wii, no longer see consoles as the realm of the solitary nerd..(and are getting use to the bst TV in the house being comandeered ๐Ÿ™‚ and will perhaps like all the movies, 1 vs 100, primetime etc. the long term strategy is to get the xbox inside family-time in the living room. and personally its a milion times better than the old blades. the ps3 dash is sleek cool and smells of single professional male.

  50. i think the new dash is to appeal to where the gaming audience biggest growth is coming from: 12-24 yr olds, and also to appeal to families who, 'discovered' by Wii, no longer see consoles as the realm of the solitary nerd..(and are getting use to the bst TV in the house being comandeered ๐Ÿ™‚ and will perhaps like all the movies, 1 vs 100, primetime etc. the long term strategy is to get the xbox inside family-time in the living room. and personally its a milion times better than the old blades. the ps3 dash is sleek cool and smells of single professional male.

  51. I’m late, but i agree, what about Natal?

  52. Quit complaining, wah wah, it’s people like this that make me sad. I mean, come on, you got a damn xbox to play games online as opposed to having to work for a shelter day and night. Be happy you have free time to play games, like children in certain cultures your still a child who needs to grow up. So why do you complain about a relatively new gameing group copying a very productive and booming company such as Nintendo. You sound like a hipster who only thinks his xbox is cool cause it wasn’t cool. Get over the small stuff, and for the record, it’s all small stuff.

  53. Quit complaining, wah wah, it’s people like this that make me sad. I mean, come on, you got a damn xbox to play games online as opposed to having to work for a shelter day and night. Be happy you have free time to play games, like children in certain cultures your still a child who needs to grow up. So why do you complain about a relatively new gameing group copying a very productive and booming company such as Nintendo. You sound like a hipster who only thinks his xbox is cool cause it wasn’t cool. Get over the small stuff, and for the record, it’s all small stuff.

  54. Haha, that’s a great info ๐Ÿ˜€

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