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Microsoft Told Michael Pachter E3 Will Focus on Media, Kinect: Is This a Good Idea?

Kinect Living Room 2012 E3

Less games, more living room, Microsoft say at this E3.

We’re expecting another E3 conference where Microsoft push the Xbox brand as machine for more than gaming

E3 is just a month away, which is crazy in itself along with the flurry of rumors that surfaced in the build up. We already know the times and dates for Microsoft’s and Sony’s conferences, but we don’t really know the content. Well known analyst Michael Pachter has apparently received word on what Microsoft will feature in its conference.

The news first came from Bonus Round, the show over at GameTrailers hosted by Geoff Keighley which brings three guests together to discuss topics. Michael Pachter was on the show, and was told that Microsoft’s focus is on new services and multimedia content as opposed to services. Specifically, Pachter was told to expect dashboard and interface content.

That sounds disappointing, because Microsoft still has strong titles coming out this year. In fact, Microsoft has had strong lineups over the past couple of years: Skyrim and Portal 2 – to name just a few – arrived in 2011 and this year we’re getting titles such as Halo 4 and BioShock: Infinite. If we get another E3 conference where Microsoft puts Halo at the end, then that’s annoying. While media app usage is more popular than gaming, I’d bet most people are buying the Xbox for games. Halo 4 is definitely one of those games.

Good or bad decision?

Let’s present two arguments over Microsoft’s E3 strategy, because it’s definitely a contentious decision. The first argument is that in what could be the final year for current consoles, Microsoft isn’t likely to attract new buyers. Trying to sell the Xbox 360 as a set-top box is Microsoft’s best option to increase sales, and gives the 360 more purpose after the next-gen Xbox releases. The Xbox has been a strong seller this generation, and lacks a wealth of first-party titles but is considered to have a stronger online community than the PS3 and Wii.

The second argument is that this is a bad idea, as Microsoft still have to sell the next Xbox as primarily as games console. Positioning the Xbox as a multimedia device might send people to competing consoles.

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Published: Monday, May 7th, 2012 Last Modified: May 7, 2012

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