HomeGamingIs Microsoft The Most Consumer Friendly Game Company?

Is Microsoft The Most Consumer Friendly Game Company?

Many people attribute the PlayStation 4’s early lead in the console sales race to the fact that Microsoft botched the reveal of the Xbox One.

The original Xbox One was expensive, dependent on the controversial Kinect, and built around despised policies which would have required owners to have a stable internet connection in order to actually use their console. Prospective owners were concerned.

While Microsoft was busy trying to ease consumer’s fears, Sony was garnering acclaim for their design of the PlayStation 4. Not only was the PlayStation 4 cheaper than the Xbox One, but it was a far more traditional console that didn’t scare gamers with controversial features. The simplicity of the PS4 allowed Sony to focus on the games.

By the time that Microsoft untangled the Xbox One’s knots, the damage was done. Sony had established the PS4 as a console for gamers like you and me, while Microsoft was fighting the perception that the Xbox One was a glorified multimedia device that so happened to play games.

Over the last four years, though, Microsoft has made quite the effort to flip that narrative.

It started with Games for Gold. Microsoft’s helped ease the pain of having to pay for their premium online service by giving gamers free games every month. Microsoft released this program for the Xbox 360 but soon carried it over to Xbox One. Sony soon incorporated a similar program. Even then, some argued that the average value and quality of Games for Gold was regularly superior.

Later, Microsoft began to slowly make the Xbox 360’s library compatible with the Xbox One. While not every Xbox 360 game is compatible with the Xbox One, the number of games that have been added to the console since this program launched is impressive.

Neither Sony or Nintendo offers a similar program. Instead, both companies opt to charge users for previous generation titles via digital downloads. The closest Sony has come to introducing a similar program is their PlayStation Now service which allows users to stream a select library of PS3 games for a yearly fee of $99.99 or $19.99 a month.

Even there, Microsoft is preparing to undercut them. Soon, Xbox One gamers will be able to access Game Pass; a rotating monthly collection of games that can be played for a $9.99 a month fee. Unlike PlayStation Now, Game Pass will feature both current and previous generation games.

Recently, Microsoft has even revealed that they intend to allow Xbox and Windows 10 gamers to receive a refund for any game or app that they’ve played for less than two hours or owned for less than two weeks. Sony and Nintendo have not yet revealed their plans for a similar service.

Add it all up, and you’ve got a pretty compelling argument that Microsoft is the most consumer friendly console manufacturer in the business.

Then again, why wouldn’t they be? Given that there is almost no chance the Xbox One will match the PlayStation 4’s global sales figures, Microsoft has to start building a more intimate image for themselves as a company that values their gamers over money. Whether or not that’s actually true is kind of irrelevant so long as they continue to introduce similar policies.

So yes, Microsoft is the friendliest company in the industry at the moment, at least so far as console manufacturers go. So long as they continue to grow that image, gamers everywhere will continue to benefit from their effort.

Matthew Byrd
Matthew Byrdhttps://hd-report.com
Matthew Byrd covers the gaming industry including indies, consoles, PCs, iOS and Android apps, as well as topics related to entertainment and technology. He also writes for IndieGameSource and DenOfGeek, and has his own blog at PixelCritique.com.


  1. If previous, anti-consumer tactics and market decimation force you to act, I’m not sure that can be called consumer-friendly.

  2. There is no such thing as a consumer friendly company. Every trick every company does to make you like them is intended from the start to get you to give them your money.

    And Microsoft is no different if not worse.

    The reveal of the XBone 4 years ago hi-lighted many anti-consumer policies. This article doesn’t mention MS didn’t just bundle the Kinect in with the console but told us all the console couldn’t work without it and it’s microphone would always be on even when the console was off so that you could “turn it on with your voice”. Yeah right. Couple that with the constant connection to the internet and you have a permanent set of ears in your living room feeding data back to a company that can make millions from it buy giving it to other companies.

    And remember their used game policy? I mean wtf? And now because they fucked up and haven’t sold half as many consoles as they had hoped to they are throwing all the poor early adopters of the XBone under the bus so they can release a new console which will hopefully do much better for them. Not for you. For them.

    What has happened over the last 4 years isn’t a sudden change of heart. MS haven’t come over to the light side. They got caught being too damn greedy and are not sorry they did it but sorry we all realised it. They will try it again in the future.


    Sony and Nintendo are no better.

    As soon as Sony realised they could re-sell their old games they removed backwards compatibility from the PS3. PS Now is a huge rip off, they don’t have a good refund policy and they have terrible customer support.

  3. pay to play online

    hide services like netflix behind xbl

    always online drm

    hardly any investment in exclusives outside of forza, halo, gears

    forced kinect bundles

    launched a system knowing it was defective from the start, then denied it and it took a lawsuit to make them cover it with the warranty

    ….. Like what part of MS is consumer friendly again?

  4. You wanna talk about consumer friendly? How about all of last-gen, when Microsoft made every developer stick to a rigorous cert process, the result of which reduced the amount of bugs in shipped games, and guaranteed every digital-only title had a free demo the player could try, before buying the game.

    A couple of indie developers like Phil Fish (who famously refused to fix a game breaking bug in his own game) cried to high hell when they were hit with Microsoft’s fines for needing to patch their games, and the internets exploded with talk that Microsoft was “not fair”, and anti-this, and anti-that. Never mind the reason the fines existed were as a measure to discourage lazy developers and greedy publishers from releasing buggy games and crappy code to the consumer. Microsoft were the bad guys for doing so.

    And the shame of it is, both PC and PlayStation gamers also benefited from Microsoft’s cert process. As being able to pass Microsoft’s rigorous certifications, meant that the games in question would pass Sony’s and Steams more lax certification standards. Did it really come as a shock to everyone in the years directly following Microsoft watering down their cert process (as a direct response to internet pressure), that games got a boatload buggier? I mean literally within months of Microsoft being forced to roll back their high standards, bugfests like Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Sonic Boom were becoming the norm for game releases. By 2014, the situation of shipping broken games to consumers, was out of control – damned near every publisher was doing it. And the internets cried like little sissies over it.

    And what about free demos for all digital games? Those are all gone too – even on the Xbox One, due to Microsoft being forced to rollback their cert procedures.

    My point? Microsoft has been a lot more consumer-friendly, for a far longer time than people are remotely aware. And because they are not always publicly patting themselves on the back for it like other companies do, they just get thrown under the bus at every opportunity.

  5. You could try and make a case from them being the most gamer friendly company, had they shown a long term commitment to a console they manufacture. Their excluives support for Xb1 has been below average at best. To suggest that they are the most gamer friendly is ridiculous. All the info mentioned in the article translates to them trying to circumvent the investment in first party studios and third party excluives. Not exactly something to praise them for.

    • I don’t understand how one can correlate first party investment as a measurement whether or not a company is consumer friendly or not.

      1. Microsoft has taken risks this gen by producing games like Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break, and Ryse. And despite the internet circlejerk and what they subjectively spout about Halo, Gears of War, and Forza, these games have delivered both critically and financially for Microsoft.

      2. If games sell poorly or if a game is stuck in development hell, it would be anti-consumer for Microsoft to continue pouring money toward projects that their customers don’t want to spend their money on or that are taking up too many resources from other successful segments of the Xbox brand. Microsoft or Sony don’t all of a sudden wake up one day, snap their fingers, and say, we love our customers, let’s just make The Last of Us and Horizon Zero Dawn cause’ we know they’ll be amazing, well-received, and sell boatloads. No, just like any other art form, the process itself is a risky one and is unpredictable.

      3. Persona 5, Nioh, and Nier: Automata are usually touted as a pro-consumer cap feather for Sony because it just adds to the catalog of Sony exclusives. But what if I tell you that Sony’s way of making sure these stay exclusive to their platform was done through anti-consumer means? Yes, I’ll say it right now, the aforementioned games were money-hatted. At the very least Nioh and Nier would’ve done well enough on the Xbox platform to recoup publishing costs. Remember how ROTR led to many criticizing Microsoft for buying 1 year exclusivity? Why can’t the same be said for Nioh and Nier? Oh, that’s right, it’s cause’ its Sony where buying exclusivity is considering Pro-consumer, right?

      • “what if I tell you that Sony’s way of making sure these stay exclusive to their platform was done through anti-consumer means”.

        Lol, You really are clueless, aren’t you ? Might wanna Google Square Enix comments about the lack of the Xb1 version, then come back and read your comment. You think that a company spending money to make a multiplatform game in development exclusive to one console is the same as spending money to ” give birth” to a game that otherwise would have never even existed ?

        “I don’t understand how one can correlate first party investment as a measurement whether or not a company is consumer friendly or not.”

        That is because you are clueless. Supporting your console with first party games, is the basic of consumer friendliness. Consoles are defined by their exclusives, and always have been this way. Of course now that Xb1 is getting shafted in that area, who cares about exclusives.

        “Microsoft has taken risks this gen by producing games like Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break, and Ryse. And despite the internet circlejerk and what they subjectively spout about Halo, Gears of War, and Forza, these games have delivered both critically and financially for Microsoft.”

        That’s funny, so when can we expect the sequels to the financially successful Ryse, Qunatum Break, and Sunset overdrive ? Oh wait, Remedy went multiplatform AGAIN, Crytek is in a financial ” crysis” , and Insomniac abandoned the console all together. Proving again my point, first party studios are the first step in supporting any console, and the Xb1 is a proof of this.

  6. Is Microsoft The Most Consumer Friendly game Company?

    Here’s a hint.

    Also, Microsoft is not a game company, it develops software first.
    And not a single company is consumer friendly oriented, they literally exist to make money.
    Don’t think any single company is looking out for the consumer.

    Also, they had a few tries to show they support PC gaming industry and yet they are lightyears behind what other services offer. I do like that more and more XBO exclusives come to PC because exclusives are bad for the consumer, but most of those exclusives are very meh.

  7. No Scalebound, no fable, canceled games, No real exclusives, no GOTY contenders, terrible E3 2013 scandal…

    Microsoft = The worst company ever

    EA > microsoft
    Horizon ZD > BF1 > halo wars 2

    • You aren’t very bright are you? Neither Scalebound nor Fable Legends were going to be very good. Also Xbox had a GOTY contender last year, Forza Horizon 3 was nominated for GOTY at IGN. And the 2013 scandal? Get over it, that’s like still holding Sony accountable for the disaster of a 2006 E3 they had


      Witcher 3>>Borizon Ginger Yawn

        • Witcher 3>>Rise of the Tomb Raider>>Dogcrap>>UnFarted Snore

          MGSV, Forza 6, Forza Horizon 3>>>Persona Japanese garbage, Horizon Ginger Yawn

          Xbox Live >>> PSN which is down 70% of the time

          Xbox Controller >>> Dual Shit 4 that dies after 20 minutes

          RIP Ponies :(

        • Witcher 3 >> Overwatch and Forza >>> UnFarted Snore

          Gears, MGS, Rise of Tomb Raider, Dark Souls >>> All PS4 exclusives

          PSN = down 70% of the time

          RIP Sony fanboys :(


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