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Recommendation report Executive

Recommendationreport

ExecutiveSummary

Microsoft,one of the well known companies that make accessories and gamingsystem, unveiled their latest generation of Xbox consoles, known asthe Xbox One. However, Xbox console has certainly not been the firstconsole, and most likely, it will not be the last of Microsoft’sgaming venture. Microsoft capitalized on their expertise in PC gamingby releasing the Xbox console back in 2001. Since then, the devisehas continued to improve and increase its capacity over the years.The recent Xbox one is found to have an impressive array ofexclusives including call of duty, sequels of gamer favorites, anddead rising among others games. More so, every Xbox one comespre-equipped with a second-gen kinetic that has better motiondetection, voice command activation and a heart rate monitor. Withsuch advanced technology, Xbox one’s biggest feature is the abilityto multitask. There is no previous Microsoft gaming console that hashad the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. With Xboxone, it is possible to have both the Xbox OS and Windows 8 core OS upand running simultaneously. However, the video game industry iscompetitive, as Microsoft faces competition from other newgenerations of consoles that dominate the market that include, PS3and Nintendo’s Wii.

Introduction

Onlinegame play and networking have become a standard feature in differenttypes of video games today. Microsoft’s Xbox game system was thefirst to successfully implement the online gaming for a home gamingconsole. Although the Microsoft was not the first to make an attemptof taking the console online, it was the first to do it in a way thatchanged the game industry making it the first success outside of thePC. Before the release of the Xbox Live, only PC gamers reaped thebenefits of having games online. As a result, the PC gamers enjoyedgreat multiplayer experiences for many years with additionaldownloadable content releases, online communities, game fixes, anduser generated content.

Microsoft’sXbox has set a standard that no other console maker has been able tomatch to date. According to Perry and Sherrod (461), the Xboxconsoles are sold worldwide and by March 2013, the total number ofconsole sold totaled up to 77.2 million. Fullerton also adds that therelease of Xbox one has increased focus on home entertainment throughthe ability to multi-task, pass television programming from a set-topbox over HDMI, and the use of a built-in electronic program guide.Microsoft’s main intent in the introduction if the unique consolewas to be in direct competition with other videogame consoles, suchas Sony’s PlayStation and PlayStation 2, and Nintendo’s GameCube.As a result, Microsoft’s entrant in the market and the introductionof the console made the company a worthy competitor over Sony’sdomination in video game consoles.

Theentry of Xbox consoles in the market resulted to a series of pricecutting by market players in order to maintain they market share.Regardless of the price reduction, Microsoft has a large market asthe console targets various divisions of the population across theworld. The use of innovation has enabled Microsoft to take over thegaming market over Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft has also gained thissuccess by the application of the market target strategy, whichfocuses on targeting consumers from both genders and of all ages(Chandler, 223). For this reason, Microsoft continues to gainpopularity in the gaming industry, making it the most successfulgaming company around the world. This report presents findings andrecommendations of Microsoft Xbox, which is presented after carefulevaluation of its usability issues, strengths and weaknesses.

Background/Brief history

Microsoftis a Company that founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. Thecompany began by selling ‘Basic,’ a computer language program,followed by CD-ROM application among other in the 1980s. The companygained popularity later in the years by introducing Windows 7, gameplay system, Windows Vista and graphic among others. Conversely, thehistory of the video game industry is articulated by the progressionof the game consoles technology. This progression can be demarcatedbe the different generations that are introduced from the order ofthe older to the latest consoles in the market.

Graphrepresenting Microsoft company growth over past three years (2010 –2012)

Theuse of technology to further today’s video game industry is viewedas new and better. Therefore, the current video game consoles arepitched as offering the most advanced technology, thereby deliveringbetter gaming experience. Xbox was not the first attempt used byMicrosoft to get into the gaming market. Microsoft had partnered withSega to port WindowS CE, but it did not go well. When the salesceased, Microsoft decided to extend their existing knowledge andtechnology in developing Xbox.

Asthe first video game console, Xbox featured a built-in hard diskdrive that was primarily used for storing games. In 2002, Microsoftlaunched the Xbox online gaming service that allowed subscribers toplay online Xbox games with other subscribers across the world, aswell as, download new improved game content directly to the system’shard drive. These two functions have always been at the core of Xbox.Duggan (54) points out that, within the first two month after thelaunch, around 250,000 subscribers signed up, and by May 2009, thenumber had gone up to 20 million subscribers. Today, Microsoftportrays long range plans for its Xbox console game system becomingan all-compassing digital entertainment device. The introduction ofXbox one has helped to further narrow the gap between consoles andcomputer games. However, the next few years should be interesting interms of seeing how console games merge with traditionalentertainment equipment.

Scopeof the study

Thisscope of this study focuses on analyzing the strengths, weaknesses,opportunities, as well as, the threats of the Xbox one console. Thisstudy will also proceed on presenting findings and recommendationsobtained after analyzing the consoles and different views fromparticipants.

Objectivesof the study

Thechief objective of this study is to:

  • Establish Xbox one usability issues

  • Compare Xbox one and other consoles in terms of the usability

  • Provide recommendations in order to improve and enable the comparison of Xbox one with other upcoming games consoles

Strengthof Xbox one

Theadvantage of using Xbox one by Microsoft is because has advancedversion of the motion sensing Kinetic camera, undated with theability to read biometric data and see using infrared. When Microsoftintroduced the Xbox one in the year 2013, it came with a new versionof Kinect known as the Kinect for Xbox one, also dubbed as the Kinect2. The Kinect makes Xbox one a powerful console than the rest as ituses the ToF technology and custom made CMOS for capturing data depthalong with projecting beams of laser. According to Falafati (25),Microsoft told the media that unlike the first version of Kinect,this latest one was completely made by the company without a thirdcompany involved.

Oneof the memorable features exhibited by Xbox one console is theability to surf fast (Derval, 24). Xbox one is configured to connectto the internet and has any available software updates. Users do notonly enjoy the fast speed internet, but they also increase theirinteractivity through online gaming. Furthermore, online gamingallows players to go up against distant opponents, and also downloadnew levels and add-onns to play games.

Microsoft’sXbox one has made the company gaming giants as it comes with a widevariety of games. The Xbox one has impressive arrays of exclusivegames with development time starting from the launch of the originalXbox. Microsoft’s multiplayer games allow people with the consoleto interact with other who are playing on their Windows PC or ontheir Windows phone. Jones and Hii (176) points out Microsoftincreased the costs of complex game development from $10 – 15million within a period of 36 months. In the event, the gameslaunched increased from 18 games in 2005 to 160 games in 2006, withthe launch of Xbox 360 (Hii and Jones, 176)

Weaknessesof Xbox one

Manypeople have raised concerns on the issue of the batter of the Xboxone controller claiming that it is short lived. Although the batteryis rechargeable, it is not removed and cannot be replaced. This meansthat when it dies, the gamers have to purchase a new one. Anothermajor disadvantage of the console that keeps gamers away is on theprice tag. Xbox uses the Xbox live during online multiplying and ithappens to keep the gamer away as they have to pay for around $60 peryear. Compared with other video game systems, Microsoft is said tohave a high price tag, an issue that has met heavy criticism.

Onemajor issue that has met much criticism is on Xbox’s voicerecognition. There have been many claims that it does not work wellfor all members of the household. Some claim that sometime it mayignore a command or brings one thing when it is required to bringanother. Although the voice recognition works most the time, thereare major improvements that should be done on the console concerningvoice recognition.

Theconsole can be a major money loser for companies because of the highinvestments, as well as the high cost of manufacturing. The Xbox’sinternal hard drive is particularly costly and may have accounted foraround &amp199 retail price (Rabowsky,23).As a result of the increasing competition, Microsoft is forced to cutprices because of its successor, thereby making losses. Besides thelosses, Microsoft is known to incur more cost and expenses thatresulted from lawsuits initiated after the story behind defects onproducts.

Opportunities

Oneof the opportunities that Microsoft has benefited from and mightcontinue benefiting on is the penetration of new markets. The companyhas developed a foresight about the new console market opportunities,and moved into when they first introduced Xbox console. Betteranticipation of the new market trends calls for research methods,communication and a set of internal organization processes. Newcomers such as Microsoft’s Xbox one have the opportunity to win aplace among the large and untouched market. For this reason, the firmshould manage to take advantage of new opportunities identified afterresearch, which also calls for speed-to-market capabilities.

Innovationthrough the use of the new technology has offered Microsoft anopportunity to penetrate in the new markers and earn the trust fromcustomers. The use of innovation and new technology represents a baseupon which several promising new lines of businesses can bedeveloped. For instance, when Microsoft introduces a toolkit for itsXbox game hardware, the toolkit acts as a platform where dozens anddozens of new products can be developed. The platform developmentalso represents a more efficient way of making R&ampD investment,since it promises multiple possible outcomes from a singulardirection.

Xboxone is a device that can combine various functions including theaccessing internet with a cable modem, personal video recorder, andwith the corresponding drive a DVD player among others. For thisreason, business alliance and partnership with other companies islikely to market and increase the sale of the console. As one of themarket strategy, Microsoft approached Hollywood studios on partneringon the Xbox video game ‘Halo’ based movies (Daft and Marcic, 20). Microsoft can expand their market by collaborating with variouscompanies by making the Kinect function beyond games.

Threats

Microsoftfaces the threat of substitute of the device and rivalry withcompetitors, thus increasing competition in the market. As a newentrant in the market, the company faced strong competition fromother more advanced graphics intensive gaming companies such as Sonyand Nitendo. However, despite the competition, Microsoft was able tosecure a second position in the console war, with Nitendo taking thenumber one spot.

Lowcost from competitors such as Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PS3 hasbeen the major threat of Microsoft’s Xbox one console. Low costfrom competitors encourages the reduction of price of the Xboxconsole to be greatly reduced from what the competitor’s price inorder to encourage sales. For this reason, the company should try tokeep production costs low in order to survive in the market, and theysell the console at prices lower than competitors.

Findingsand Discussion

  1. Expectation

Theparticipants’ expectation concerning the Xbox one was high as theylooked forwarded for an improved device from the previous Xbox 360.This was in terms of the size, whereby they expected a less bulkydevice and smaller in size, while some hoped for more improvement ongraphics. Some of the users who were more experienced on the use ofthe previous original Xbox expected the new console to be less noisy,as they held that the internal cooling fan was noisy.

  1. Setting up

Withpieces packed in the box, participants were requested to set up a newdevice. As noted, most participants do not read instructions and tendto spend a little time focusing on the instruction. Most of them, asobserved, went directly to opening the package and began to connectthe item. Furthermore, the participants did not follow the collectorder used in connecting the Xbox one console, but rather ended upspending and wasting more time struggling to connect without reading.However, some participants who took the time to go through theinstructions held that some instructions were unclear.

  1. Social interaction

Fromthe finding, it is established that there is a potential in engagingin computer meditated social interactions during that hinder theusability of the Xbox Live. In seems like, most participants do notlike using headphone in their conversation for the participant’sability to communicate with the other participant. In fact, whenparticipants tried to use headsets, they encountered problems ofidentifying whom they were talking to and could not connect socially.Therefore, it is evident that the inability to ascertain essentialsocial information such as identifying the other person who isspeaking reflects a lack of translucence on the Xbox Live.

  1. Dual space

Thereis a rapid shift of the attention of the user’s between networksand the local social space is more comprehensible to playersco-located with the user, than the fellow players who are present.This difficulty could be lessened by some means if representing thesocial space to which the attention is directed.

Recommendations

Microsofthas been facing stiff competition from other companies including Sonyand Nintendo. Researchers point out that Microsoft might experiencemassive losses because of the decline of the sales of the gameconsole. According to the findings, most gamers are turning to mobilephone devices as they are easily affordable and available.Researchers add that another reason opt out before making massiveloses if because of the high price tag that is making the productunaffordable causing the market to stagnate (Huang, 93). To ispossible that gamers may prefer game consoles from other companiesthat are selling the device at an affordable price.

Onthe other hand, Microsoft should be able to invest in the productregardless of the risk in the hopes of profits. Although theprofitability is not guaranteed, the company should continue sellingthe product at affordable prices to attract consumer. Additionally,the company should consider working with a third party in order toshare loses and to avoid pulling out of the market totally.

Conclusion

Theprimary aim of using the Xbox one console is to connect via theinternet and allow people to play games with one another despite thefact that they are in separate rooms. With the use of the currenttechnologies, Microsoft has increased the possibility of attainingfull entertainment alone in the living room, and the opportunity tointeract while still at the comfort of your home. However, the gamingcompany should also be careful before making heavy investment becauseconsoles can also be substantial money losers for the manufacturingcompanies. Microsoft, for example, terminated the Xbox productearlier with only 25 million units sold.

Onlineservices have currently been more appealing to core gamers and alarge number of the mass market consumers. The offer multiplayermatches to competitive core gamers and allow easy download ofcontents to the mass market consumers. Xbox Live is meant to competewith Sony’s PlayStation network as they both offer similar andextensive online functionality. However, Microsoft is the only onlinecompany that has pushed for its online service gold subscriptionmembership to access full benefits of the service (Johnsonand Mackenzie, 185).By providing high definition film and television content online,Microsoft poses a direct challenge to its competitors.

Microsofthas always insisted on the need for its relatively strong Xbox liveonline services as a key differentiator for its platforms, ascompared to its competitors. Xbox Live was the company’s firstfully realized closed network console for online gaming. It helped tocentralize and unify online multiplayer matching, with billing,login, payment and content controlled by the service provider, whichis Microsoft. This has allowed the delivery of more convenient,higher quality online gaming experience that services fromcompetitors or the previous services. Despite the fact that Microsoftis view as a console giant and market leader in console services, itsoriginal Xbox console achieved a smaller market share than itcompetitor PlayStation 2, which had much more limited servicesavailable.

Workcited

Chandler,Heather Maxwell. Fundamentalsof game development.Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.

Daft,Richard L., and Dorothy Marcic. Understandingmanagement.Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western, 2006. Print.

Derval,Diana. Theright sensory mix targeting consumer product developmentscientifically.Berlin: Springer, 2010, Print

Duggan,Michael. iPadaction gaming .Boston: Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.

Falahati,Soroush. OpenNIcookbook.Birmingham, UK: Packt Publishing, 2013. Print.

Hill,Charles W. L., and Gareth R. Jones. StrategicManagement: An Integrated Approach.Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2012. Print.

Huang,Andrew. Hackingthe Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering.14th ed. New York, NY: No Strarch Press, 2012. Print.

Johnson,Brian, and Duncan Mackenzie. Xbox360For Dummies.Hoboken: John Wiley &amp Sons, Inc., 2011. Print.

Perry,Jim, and Allen Sherrod. EssentialXNA Game Studio 2.0 programming.Plano, Tex.: Wordware Pub., 2012. Print.

Rabowsky,Brent. Interactiveentertainment A videogame industry guide.Oxnard, CA: Radiosity Press, 2010. Print.