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PlayStation (Games) Input Devices Microsoft Sony Hardware Games

Sony's Favorite Gadget Is Kinect 222

Posted by timothy
from the they're-practically-tiering-up dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Gary Marshall writes that.Microsoft's marvelous motion-sensing device is doing really good work for Sony, helping the PS4 outsell the Xbox One in the US and rocketing it to the top of the world's console sales charts. With the Xbox One $100 more expensive than the PlayStation 4, the Kinect is the explanation for the huge difference in price between the rival platforms says Marshall. "That kind of money makes a huge difference, and I wonder: if Microsoft had kept the Kinect as an optional add-on, which we all know it should be, would the Xbox One be much more attractive?" Ben Kuchera describes the peripheral as one of the most hated pieces of equipment in current use. "The system is still new, but every Xbox One owner now has a peripheral that has little reason to exist, aids their gaming in very few real ways and costs them a significant amount of money." The common defense of the Kinect is that developers wouldn't support it unless it was forced on consumers but according to Kuchera pushing a product on the public with the hope that it will be useful once we have it is a cruel inversion of how product adoption should be handled. "The forced pack-in proves something we already knew at the beginning of this generation: Almost no one would want to buy the Kinect separately if they were given the choice," writes Kuchera. "It's time to make the Kinect a peripheral, not a pack-in.""
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Sony's Favorite Gadget Is Kinect

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  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:02PM (#46295113)
    Microsoft still has the Windows monopolistic, dictate what the market wants philosophy. Microsoft is unable to function in a marketspace where they are not the monopolistic bully in the room.

    .
    Maybe the new CEO will bring a change of attitude...

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Thursday February 20, 2014 @12:18PM (#46295263)

    The first and largest is that the Kinect is a product differentiater. It makes the XBone different from the PS4. There really isn't that much a difference between the two boxes otherwise. Fine, you can go on with the technical differences between the types of RAM and the custom silicon for the XBone's APU but those are not large concerns for Mom and Dad buying little Sally's birthday present.

    Until MS comes up with something besides the software that makes their product different, the Kinect is going to hang on. But the second that happens, it'll be tossed. They know they've screwed the pooch here. They know exactly what it cost them in terms of customer relations and in terms of developers.

    My friend has an Xbone. It turns out Kinect is what caused his WIFE to monopolize it. Yes, his wife took over the Xbone. Playing Just Dance 2014, Kinect Fitness and other Kinect games.

    Enough so it's hard to get him on his Xbone. (And apparently, his youngest kids are all seeing mom dance and doing it themselves. And no, he's responsible - they take their kids outside to play which is why his Xbone gaming time is limited - they purposely want to keep their kids from getting addicted so they only play normal games when the kids are in bed).

    Apparently they also really, really, really like Skype on it - the Kinect "zooms" in on the person speaking.

    Of course, a popular peripheral for the PS4 is the camera - which if it isn't used to stream amateur porn shows on twitch...).

    I have both, and find myself playing the Xbone a lot more than my PS4 - the camera's just so-so ($60 for what amounts to two $10 720p webcams...), and PS4 controller battery life is atrocious.

    The only really bad thing is, on the PS4, I'm not buying games on it - I'm just waiting for them to show up on PS+. I did buy two games, though, but those were on ridiculous sale.

    And no, the "p"s don't matter to me - because I end up playing PS4 using my Vita and remote play - about the best feature the PS4 has over the Xbone. But it also means the p's don't matter because ou're just squishing it down to quarter-FHD (540p) for display on the Vita screen.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:05PM (#46295749)

    (mostly alt accounts)

    This is incorrect. They lost mostly casual infrequent players. The multi-boxing alt players raised the biggest stink because they were heavy players, heavily invested, and their little hobby got a lot more expensive on them overnight, but the 'silent majority' that left were the more casual players.

    If you have 67 customers @ $16/month you make $1072

    Slightly better than break even, but at the cost of marketshare in an business where "critical mass" is crucial to growth and sustainability.

    AND you have less overhead.

    Again, incorrect. As they lost mostly casual infrequent players they lost the group of users that weren't really costing them anything in the first place. They lost the people who were playing once or twice a week for a couple hours.

    The 'hardcore' crowd sucked it up, they were getting a 100 to 200 and beyond hours per month of entertainment so even at $15 per month, even for $15 per month for a couple accounts it was still good value. But the casuals dropped like flies. And new players similarly dropped the game.

    And you needed those casuals playing, they formed up the feeder guilds that provided new players someone to play with and learn the ropes until they were ready move to the raiding guilds.

    Also, a lot of those users eventually came back at the higher rate.

    But most didn't, and a lot of people who'd have joined at $10 didn't join. And as you said, the price jump set the standard for the industry, and a lot of people who were playing 2 or 3 MMOs cut a title as a result.

    Plus SOE wanted $30+ bucks for a new expansion every 3 months, adding effectively $5+ / month to play since most expansions were nearly indispensible -- between the new convenience features they added, and the fact that it was usually tough to find anyone to play with outside the latest expansion zones the vast majority of players kept up with expansions, even the casuals.

    Not only that, but they set the standard for all their future MMOs and in fact, the industry in general settled on that rate.

    And now they are nearly all Free 2 Play with premium tiers, which is what they should have done back then. (Although SOEs Free2Play restrictions even today border on asinine -- why can't you move the XP / AA slider on a silver account in EQ2? At least they finally removed item unlockers and "frequent upgrade reminders" but they still haven't got the 'mix' right in my opinion.

    So the question isn't in the popularity of the xbox, it's the profitability.

    Short term profitability vs long term sustainability. Giving up some profit today to make more over the course of the games life cycle is worth it. That 30% of the accounts they lost stopped buying expansions, stopped introducing new players (some of which would have become core players) etc.

    Trust me it wasn't mostly 'alts'. They were just the loudest group of complainers that STAYED.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 20, 2014 @01:36PM (#46296023)

    The Windows 8 start screen is way better than the start menu from previous iterations. The "type to launch" behavior is effectively the same as the start menu (actually faster and more robust) but the added screen real estate makes it easier to find programs if you need to actually look through the list for something.

    Safe to assume that you don't know how to use Windows, much less Windows 8, if you're still carrying on with that idiotic position.

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