The New Consoles: A Semi-Casual Gamer’s Point-of-View

What does the new console war look like to a semi-casual gamer?
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With a new console generation on the horizon we’ve been seeing the big three (scratch that… two) competing fiercely for the affections of hardcore and casual gamers alike.

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I think it’s pretty clear given the success of the Wii that, while the hardcore decides superiority, the casual declare the winner of a generation. Yes, the hardcore write about games, talk about game, live, breath and eat games all day every day. But the majority of the money comes from the outskirts of the market that decide to grab a system and unwind with a game from time to time. This prompted me to wonder which of the two new systems a semi-casual gamer would be more attracted to: Enter my roommate.

**He’s the one in the glasses… He should know better than to put this on Facebook.**

My roommate, Scoots (yes, that’s his name–for real, it’s what I’ve called him for the past decade), is a semi-casual gamer. He likes sitting down once or twice a week to play the newest thing. Maybe he’ll finish it up, maybe he won’t; it depends entirely on how entertaining it is for him. The market of gamers like Scoots is supremely valuable to companies like Microsoft and Sony in that they’ll buy systems and games and likely be very loyal to one system. I’d like to quote him on his thoughts about the Xbox One prior to the E3 press event:

“Yeah I’ll buy an Xbox One… When I lose both my damn arms and can’t change the channel anymore.”

I honestly couldn’t have said it better myself.

His opinion changed slightly post conference to something more along the lines of (not a direct quote):

“I could put away money every month for the $500 Xbox One, but why would I when the PS4 is cheaper and more powerful and will let me trade games with friends?” 

Also, a valid point. 

This is coming from a person who is an Xbox 360 guy. Scoots is the kind of gamer that likes what he has, and I know for a fact that he, like many others, is loyal to his systems. If Scoots’ reaction to the Xbox One is any indication, this is a huge loss for Microsoft.

**You hear that Microsoft? Armless!**


What would Microsoft have to do to get Scoots to purchase an Xbox One over a PS4?

The price is locked, it’s too late to change it at this point–so we can count that out. In spite of the price I think the biggest problem is how Microsoft is coming across to consumers.

Microsoft is riding high on this generation. They’ve had great success and have been crushing the industry for years; I guess they think this makes them invincible. As a result every time an Xbox representative opens his or her mouth I’m getting the vibe that they feel like they’re doing us a favor.

All the pre-owned nonsense, the authentication, the online babysitting wreaks of hubris and listening to is like having lunch with a guy that works out and REALLY needs everyone in the restaurant to know it. We get that you’ve got sweet lats friend, but you vastly overestimate how much anyone in the world cares.

**I’m pretty sure I heard him say that. Right?**

Meanwhile Jack Trenton, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA), got on stage with a combination of class, humility and Xbox One-shaming-snark and essentially said the consumer is what drives the industry. Which is true. If Microsoft is that gym dweeb, then Sony would be the friend you grab a drink with and make fun of that other guy.

E3 has just begun, but it seems that Sony has already super-glued the bejeweled-console-crown to their head; turning Microsoft into the court jester that you kind of feel bad for, but they’re just so annoying it’s hard to care. Here’s to hoping that Microsoft will change their tune and modify their policies sooner rather than later.

What do you think about what Microsoft would have to do to win over the vast semi-casual market? Is it too late, or can they win it all with some policy changes and a better attitude? Sound off in the comments down below and maybe I’ll let you watch me play my new PS4 this fall (I’m predicting October, I know it’s kind of early, but I wouldn’t put it past them)!

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Max Jay
I am an aspiring video game journalist and a professional awesome person. My words make knowledge parents in your brain that give birth to baby-smiles on your face. You can listen to my podcast by going on iTunes and searching Video Game Podcast Show!