news\ Jul 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Microsoft in position to make 'comeback' with Xbox One, says research firm

Xbox One

Nearly a month after Microsoft's 180 on the Xbox One's strict DRM, social media research firm Fizziology believes Microsoft's next-gen system could be in position to "make a comeback."

Fizziology, a company who tracks social media reaction to key things and products, supplied us with a breakdown of the "negative conversation" that surrounded the Xbox One for the two weeks after E3 in June. Of the more than one million mentions on Twitter and Facebook in the two weeks, 33% of the conversation was negative.

"While social chatter was more negative than the PS4, almost all of the negative Xbox One chatter came from people upset about the restrictive features like non-backwards compatibility, DRM and the always online requirement; features that Microsoft changed soon after the negative backlash at E3," Fizziology told GameZone.

Of course, shortly after the trade show, Microsoft announced a complete reversal in Xbox One's policies -- removing the DRM and allowing users to freely play and share pre-owned games, without having to check-in online. Fizziology believes that the changes in policy could help Microsoft make a comeback with the Xbox One, since most of the primary concerns were rectified.

Breaking down the negative Xbox One conversation looked like this:

  • Xbox One features: 20%
  • Used game restrictions: 25%
  • Always online requirement: 20%
  • DRM: 15%
  • Non-backwards compatibility: 5%
  • Too expensive: 8%

"Xbox One had a challenging launch with gamers which was reflected in strong negatives in the social conversation," said Fizziology CEO Ben Carlson. "But Microsoft listened – nearly every major driver of negative buzz was addressed and 'fixed.' The challenge now is to change the narrative and make up ground with Sony's PS4 prior to release."

The research company pointed out that "since most of the negatives came from people who said they wouldn't buy the console because of those restrictive features, Microsoft would be smart to launch a campaign in the fall eliminating any confusion and could come out on top."

Despite how much emphasis has been placed on the price discrepancy between the two systems (Xbox One being $100 more expensive than the PS4), the Xbox One's $499 price only factored into 8% of the negative buzz.

By focusing more on the messaging that the Xbox One no longer requires internet connection and places no restrictions on your used games, and less on the price, Microsoft could make a strong push for the Xbox One heading into the holiday season. And if you look at how the Xbox One is selling out lately, it seems Microsoft is heeding this advice.

To learn more about Fizziology, click here.

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