After closing two studios and causing worry with the removal of project logos, Microsoft is attempting to clear up any misconceptions, but is the Xbox One struggling to find its true worth as a product?
Microsoft's decision to shutter two gaming studios earlier this week has left the gaming community questioning the company's strategy once again.
The Xbox division has released a statement in an attempt to calm nerves, but once again it seems as though the Xbox One is a confused product, caught between being a true gaming machine and a living room entertainment unit.
In a somewhat surprising move, Microsoft closed Lionhead Studios (Fable series) and Press Play Studios on Monday, although admittedly neither had been successful in recent years.
Following that, Microsoft started removing logos related to Microsoft Studio projects, leading some to suspect the company is culling more developers and could even be priming for job cuts in the Xbox division.
An email sent by a Microsoft spokesperson to GameInformer aims to clear up the confusion:
On Monday we announced changes to Microsoft Studios including Lionhead and Press Play … As part of these changes, we did a site refresh and removed several logos for older studios and projects that have been consolidated during the past several years into other Microsoft Studios and teams. As games launch and new projects come online, we routinely make these kinds of moves to ensure we have the right development support on the right games.
Xbox One Still Confused
Many gamers are still unconvinced by Microsoft's strategy for the Xbox One, despite the company saying it is now approaching the project as a gaming machine. While making the consoles backward compatible for Xbox 360 games shows Redmond trying to win over hardcore gamers over, other decisions may not.
For example, while introducing the Windows Store to the Xbox One is a massive thing and something that should be applauded, it is interesting how many “gamers” simply don't care about such a feature. Of course, the game's console is so much more than just catering to gamers these days, the Nintendo Wii opened the market up to the “casual”.
However, Sony positioned the PlayStation 4 as gaming console from the start, keeping the wider features to a minimum to reap the rewards of a sizeable market lead. Microsoft's Xbox One has felt more confused from launch, unsure of whether it wants to be your do it all entertainment hub or your games machine.
The truth is it can be both, but Microsoft needs to focus on the console more, something it has claimed in recent months it is going to do.