Microsoft is about to show that it is incapable of learning from the mistakes of others. Remember PlayStation TV? I bet you think I am talking about something else. That was called PlayStation Vue. No Playstation TV was the bright idea of a team at Sony that wanted to market a less expensive, less powerful device with fewer capabilities to people in order to play games that were only available through streaming.
It was also seen as a way to allow PlayStation owners a way to access games that were loaded to their consoles on other TVs sort of transforming the primary console into a hub of sorts and a way to invite more people into the PlayStation ecosystem.
So do you have one? Do you know anybody who knows anybody who bought one? Because within about a year, nobody could find one anywhere (if they looked) and it was not because it was highly in-demand like the PlayStation 5 is today.
They were not on the shelves because they were a waste of space. Why? Because despite Sony being integral to the gaming world it did not understand the appeal of its devices or the needs of its customers. Gamers want to play on the best TVs in the house. And they want the interactions to be instantaneous. You can not get that using a satellite system that uses Wi-Fi. Plus, people who were not already invested in the PlayStation world had no need for a limited device for streaming and online gameplay when they already have cheaper streaming options.
This brings us to the rumored “Microsoft streaming Stick“. It is being reported that Microsoft, (does this sound familiar) is looking to release a product that “will let you stream movies, TV shows, and the catalog of games included in Xbox Game Pass.” Microsoft is also developing partnerships with smart TV manufacturers that will integrate the system directly into their TVs.
Again, a gaming giant thinks that people outside of the ecosystem that invests in high-end gaming hardware and expensive software will want to invest in something that accesses essentially an accessory service that comes built into Microsofts online access (an essential part of gaming in the modern era allowing users to play games with anyone in the world with a stable internet connection). This is why people have these services. They own an Xbox. They invested a few hundred dollars in a game that has an online play element that allows them to play with, mock, cheer on and interact with others instead of play in isolation. And with the access to the online play, they also get in with a gaming service that they might use to supplement their experience. That allows them to play Fortnite and…. Or Madden and… But the reason they have access to the service is not for the service itself. The service is derivative.
So here is my prediction. If Microsoft does release a streaming stick as it will be called by tech writers even though early reporting indicates that it will be more like the size of a Roku or Apple TV, it will not sell to people who are not invested in the Xbox ecosystem. And on top of that, it will probably not sell to those who are invested in the Xbox system because they are already Xbox owners who, play the games on the Xbox and need the power that is built into the dedicated gaming system.
The most well-known maxim on history is that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The other side of that coin is that those who totally remember history as if it happened yesterday can see it coming from a mile away. And we are here flashing the light at the end of the dock Microsoft. Don’t we didn’t warn you.