Now that Sony (NYSE:
) jumped the gun and unveiled PlayStation 4 ahead of the
Electronic Entertainment Expo, all eyes are turning to Microsoft
) to see what the company will do next.
As of this writing, the Windows maker is rumored to be
developing everything from a handheld Xbox to a VR (virtual
reality) living room experience. A new version of Kinect is
expected to be a big part of the company's plans.
Microsoft has not said exactly when it will reveal its next
game console, but many speculate that it will debut this June at
In order to ensure that the console has a spectacular launch,
Microsoft should make sure that the next Xbox contains the
Launch Games on Par With the Original Xbox
, 24.6 million people purchased the original Xbox. While Xbox 360
had the luxury of launching in 2005 (one year before Wii and
PlayStation 3 arrived), the original Xbox came out a year after
the hugely successful PlayStation 2. It also shipped days apart
Thus, few consumers realize (or remember) how great the Xbox
was at launch. From Halo (the game that finally dethroned
GoldenEye 007) and Project Gotham Racing to Fuzion Frenzy (an
underrated party game) and Dead or Alive 3, Xbox featured several
attractive games. Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee proved to be a
disappointment, but it was still worth playing. The same cannot
be said for most of the titles that have accompanied other
consoles at launch.
If Microsoft wants to take down PlayStation 4 this fall, it
needs to have a lineup that is on par or better than the original
Compelling Gimmicks That Actually Work
No one likes a gimmick -- unless it is so freaking awesome
that you cannot live without it. Enter IllumiRoom, a
proof-of-life concept system from Microsoft Research.
researchers at the company
, IllumiRoom "uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to
blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we
live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical
The Kinect/projector combo allows Microsoft to change the
appearance of a room, induce "apparent motion" and extend the
field of view beyond the display. It is able to do this by
capturing the appearance and geometry of a room, which allow the
software to "adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any
need to custom pre-process the graphics."
Microsoft insists that the effects in the video were captured
live and are not the result of any special effects added in post
Could this be used to sell the Xbox 720? One of Benzinga's own
developers said it best: "I don't buy gimmicks. But I'd buy
144 (Or More) Development Studios
Right now, Sony (NYSE:
) can brag that it has
143 development studios
working on games for PlayStation 4.
Microsoft does not need to come out and say that there are 144
studios working on Xbox 720. If it did, however, the company
would have another bragging point against Sony. It would also
indicate that Xbox 720 will have the strongest third-party
support of any console this generation.
A Revolutionary Controller and/or a Brilliant Kinect 2.0
Sony is bringing a fresh controller and a new PlayStation Eye
camera to PlayStation 4. It may also use a new version of the PS
Move controller, though it is possible that the console will
simply use the existing device in
more creative ways
) latest console, Wii U, also features an all-new gamepad.
Thus, Microsoft needs to do one of two things: A) introduce a
great, new controller that will take Xbox to the next level, or
B) refine Kinect and turn it into a seamless, hardcore gaming
Maintain the Xbox 360 Pricing Strategy
All signs indicate that Sony will not charge $600 for
PlayStation 4. In fact, the company is expected to keep it in the
$350 to $500 range for all models.
If Microsoft maintains the pricing structure of Xbox 360, the
new console should come in two packages -- one for $300 and
another for $400. This would make it extremely competitive with
Wii U and likely undercut the price of the most expensive version
of PlayStation 4.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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