October 15th, 2018, 16:35 Posted By: wraggster
It goes without saying that Microsoft has had a tough time of it this generation - the kind of tough time that leads inevitably to a certain kind of commentary where each bit of positive news is placed under the microscope to see if this time, finally, it might be the long-awaited sign that things are "turning a corner" for the embattled platform.
This kind of discussion hovered around the PS3 in the last few years of the past generation; it was conspicuous by its absence from the ill-fated Wii U, which nobody ever really expected to turn a corner, or indeed to do any manoeuvring that didn't involve running into a wall.
Lately, it's the turn of Xbox; after a woeful start to the generation and a couple of years coughing on the dust kicked up by PS4 as it raced ahead, Xbox now seems to have made enough solid, good moves for people to start thinking in corner-turning terms.
"The resuscitation of the Xbox brand will come as the result of many, many positive decisions and morsels of good news, not as a single turning point" Console platforms don't turn corners, though - not in the snappy sense that phrase conjures. Console platforms are like giant seafaring tankers; they don't spin on a dime, they ponderously and carefully change course, manoeuvres that must be carefully plotted and which take a very long time to execute. The resuscitation of the Xbox brand will come as the result of many, many positive decisions and morsels of good news, not as a single turning point - and progress to that end needs to be measured as a summation of a host of things about the platform, not assumed from a single hit title or high-profile studio signing.
Where, then, does Xbox stand right now - as we reach the point in the generation where companies actually start to talk openly about plans for future hardware, as Sony did this week? Well, a fair assessment of everything that's happened of late would conclude that Microsoft seems to actually be succeeding in turning the tanker around.
In this week's news alone we saw great performance for Forza Horizon this week, reports that hugely respected studio Obsidian might be added to the already impressive line-up of first party developers announced earlier in the year, and updates to a few more slow-burning stories like the very solid expansion of the back-compatible library that's been happening for quite some time now.
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