Microsoft is one of the biggest gaming companies in existence. Heck, it’s one of the biggest companies in existence period! They have had their hands in a lot of projects and, as such, have produced some pretty big failures along the way. However, these 10 Biggest Microsoft Fails are all about the video games. We aren’t going to talk about Windows Vista or anything like that. We are going to keep our focus on Microsoft’s blunders in the gaming industry. These are the 10 Biggest Microsoft Fails.
While the Xbox 360 is doing well in the American market, it never really took off in Japan. Microsoft even tried making one of Japan’s most popular RPG franchises, the Tales series, a console exclusive and even that didn’t sell the console. Sony kind of floated on their success in Japan through this generation, and now they are the fan favorite for the next. If the Xbox One doesn’t do so hot in American territories they will have to push themselves much harder overseas, or else this will truly be one of the 10 Biggest Microsoft Fails.
Cumbersome Xbox 360 Patching Process
Notice that Team Fortress 2 on the Xbox 360 has nothing other than the basic classes even though the game has released countless new weapons, stages, and hats. Notice that FEZ never fixed a game breaking bug, even though the developer had a patch for it ready. Notice that Skullgirls balance patch game out months later on the Xbox 360 than it did on the PS3. Why is this? Because Microsoft used to have a cumbersome patching process that required needless check ins, heavy expenditures of money, and strict guidelines that limited patch size. As a result, the Xbox 360 version of many indie games just isn’t as complete as the PS3 or PC version.
The Xbox 360 D-Pad is horrible. It has trouble detecting the four cardinal directions, which is the only thing a D-Pad is supposed to do! It rocks awkwardly and frequently causes false inputs, and it’s aboud as bad as you can get for fighting games or anything that requires quick and flawless directional inputs… like Pac-Man. There’s not much more to say about this failure other than “this D-Pad sucks!”
The Dreamcast Windows CE Integration
Bet you didn’t know this existed! Yep, Microsoft had a hand in making the Dreamcast. Specifically, they allowed Window CE to be run on the console. Or… at least they allowed games to run on Windows CE architecture. Actually, Windows CE would need to be included on the Dreamcast game disc to run it anyway, so this was all just funky background coding. Unfortunately, it was underutilized. The only two Dreamcast games that ran on Windows CE were Sega Rally and Resident Evil 2.
The Xbox One Non-Gamer Reveal
When the Xbox One was first revealed, what did they have to offer? Streaming services. Buddy lists. Dynamic achievements. Sports, sports, and more sports! The original reveal barely had anything to do with games. In fact, the only gaming related it had to offer was the Call of Duty dog.
There was a secondary war going on, aside from the standard console war, this generation. It was the war of optical media between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. The Xbox 360 utilized HD-DVDs while the PS3 utilized Blu-Rays and despite Sony’s console being the less popular one here in America, Blu-Ray still won. As a result, the Xbox 360 utilized an inefficient proprietary media that no one else used, right up until the end of its lifetime. This is why games like Final Fantasy XIII came on multiple discs. The Blu-Ray’s success over the HD-DVD shaped the face of optical media in the coming years, making this loss one of Microsoft’s Biggest Fails!
Even though the Xbox 360 was the more popular console in America, it still had its fair share of issues. Many gamers were wary of picking up an Xbox 360 because of its infamous “red ring of death.” Early Xbox 360s would encounter this error so often, some gamers have reported going through four Xboxes or more in just this generation. Hopefully the Xbox One will be a bit heartier.
Does anyone know what this does other than connect games to cell phones? The PS3 is already doing that with the new Beyond Touch app and Beyond: Two Souls. Can anyone actually think of a game that utilized the “smart glass” well? It seems like the only thing that this hyped technology can do is provide extra info on your Game of Thrones episode… and it can’t even do that yet.
The Original Xbox Controller
The Xbox Phat Controller, aka the Xbox Vanilla, aka The Hamburger, aka The Duke, was one of the worst controller fails in history. It was uncomfortable to hold, the buttons were a weird oval shape and were laid out in a slanted position, the sticks were loose… it was just a mess. Practically the only thing these were good for was salvaging PCBs for arcade sticks. In fact, this controller design was so bad Microsoft released a second Xbox controller halfway through the console’s lifetime.
Finally, we bring you to the #1 Biggest Microsoft Fail: the original Xbox One policies. For those of you who don’t remember, the Xbox One was originally not going to allow you to sell used games, needed to connect to the internet constantly for DRM purposes, wouldn’t include a headset, and required the Kinect to be always on. Then, after practically pissing off everyone in the gaming community including fans, indie developers, and even the armed forces, Microsoft pulled a 180 on their policies in order to placate the enraged crowd.