microsoft-xbox-one-review-console-kinect1

Changes to Xbox One & Xbox Live services: Customer satisfaction or financial loss?

So a couple of days ago Xbox announced a few changes they are making to the Xbox One & Xbox live services.  To me, this not only shows they should’ve listened to the consumers sooner, but that because of their inability to listen, they could be taking a hit financially based on poor decision making.

First and foremost, they announced a release of the Xbox One that does not include the Kinect which will start selling at $399 USD starting June 9th. One could view this as a way to make the Xbox One more competitive & affordable with their price (a full $100 drop), but I can’t help but think it’s more so due to the fact that Microsoft’s estimated 5 million Xbox One retailer sales just aren’t cutting it compared to Sony’s Playstation 4 consumer sales estimated at 7 million units. Not to mention that the Kinect just is not a gaming necessity, or even something that many game designers see as a profitable avenue for gaming. With only 5 games (Kinect Sports Rivals, Just dance 2014, Xbox Fitness, Zumba Fitness WP, and Fighter Within) that actually require it, and a small handful of games that utilize its function with even less that do so in a creative and interesting way, the Kinect is a gimmick at best.

 

Xbone Kinectless
The Xbox One can breathe now that it’s not longer auto-bundled with the Kinect sensor

Next up, starting early June, “Games with Gold” & “Deals with Gold” will also be available on the Xbox One system. This means if you own a Xbox 360 & Xbox One you will be able to receive different games on each system for free, just from having a paid subscription to Xbox Live. I do not personally own an Xbox One, but I still think this is a smart decision on Xbox’s part. I don’t really believe it will increase their actual Xbox One console sales, but they will definitely see an increase in the amount of people purchasing a subscription to gold.

Xbox apps
The wide variety of entertainment apps on Xbox will now be available regardless if you own a Xbox live Gold membership.

The last and probably my favorite change, entertainment apps such as “Netflix”, “Hulu”, and more no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership to use starting in June as well. That’s right, the irritating restriction of using apps (that you usually pay for separately) unless you also pay for a Gold membership is no longer in place. To me, this is single handedly the smartest decision they’ve made in recent announcements. Not only has their competitors Nintendo and Sony never required a subscription with their online services to enjoy their entertainment apps, but having the restriction in the first place never made any sense. Certain customers mainly use their consoles for entertainment app usage, which means certain customers not only pay $7.99/mo on Netflix and/or Hulu plus, but also an additional $9.99/mo just to use it on their console.

 

All in all, while the changes they are making to the Xbox One and Xbox Live services are smart, I believe they should’ve been made a long time ago. Because of the late response to these problems, Xbox has already lost customers to Nintendo and Sony, and responding to the issues AFTER losing customers instead of BEFORE when they were asked to be dealt with makes it seem as though Xbox doesn’t care about its supporters as much as they try and seem like they do.

So what do you think?
Is Xbox making changes because they have finally decided to listen to customer feedback, or do you think Xbox is trying to fill in the financial hole they’ve dug themselves into?
Shoot me a reply or e-mail me at codyfye@gamingtechunited.com and let me know!

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7 thoughts on “Changes to Xbox One & Xbox Live services: Customer satisfaction or financial loss?”

  1. See the bigger picture.

    Even if the financial reason was true, it wouldn’t affect Microsoft being a healthier company than Sony.
    Sony has been losing more and more from other departments, even after the PSN+ with ‘FREE’ games campaign it wouldn’t help much Sony as a company. The stock price is now getting the lowest $16+, while MS stock has been stable around $40.

    That’s a telling.

    1. Fair enough.

      But with dealing with Microsoft and Sony comparisons like that, you have to take into consideration that both companies have other things besides their consoles that affect their stock prices and such. Either way, I feel like Microsoft is feeling the blow from the poor decisions they made initially.

      Good point, thanks for the response!

    2. Wow what a trolling fanboy. 3rd website I’ve seen this true on sayings exact same thing. Anything that’s slightly bad for Microsoft. This guy automatically goes in armchair financial analyst mode lol get a life.

  2. You are commenting on Xbox and don’t own one?
    IMHO if $60 (Live Gold) a year is killing people, then they should rethink their decisions on some of the things they are doing in life.

    I’m paid up on Live Gold to about 2020 and never paid over $35 for a 12month Gold Pass. When I had the extra loot, I would just grab a pass and stash it away.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some things that shouldn’t be behind a paywall. But I’ve always been the you get what you pay for type of person.

    And Kinect should of stayed bundle with the Xbox One, and Microsoft slash the price to a permanent $429.99. That way, when a game or Live Gold is purchased, they break even instead of taking a financial hit. And the price point would be more comparable with Sony. Because they can say for $30 (not $100) You get the best camera ever made.

    They didn’t have to do a full $100 IMHO. $70 would have been more than enough and keep Kinect in there.

    1. I own an Xbox 360 and have for several years.

      To me the point being is nobody should have to pay an additional fee to use their entertainment app that they already pay for, unless they get something extra out of it. Even if it’s only 1 dollar, that’s an extra dollar that I have to pay for… For what, exactly? Especially when the competition doesn’t require it.

      I believe that it’s a drawback, but also a plus that they dropped Kinect. It hurts them because it makes them seem as though they don’t have faith in it as much as it did. Check out Rich’s article on the subject: http://gamingtechunited.com/2014/05/15/the-kinect-is-officially-dead/.
      But it’s beneficial because it lowers the price and let’s people who never wanted or cared about the Kinect have an option to not get it.

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