Cable TV Doesn’t Matter To Gamers

After listening to recent podcast chatter between programming director Larry Hyrb and Microsoft Game Studios’ Vice President Phil Spencer, it’s obvious that there is no stopping their continuous uprising mention of T.V.-cable integration into their Xbox One. The synthesis expands even more so with their rivals, as Sony struck fairly awesome deal with Viacom in order to potentially launch a paid-TV service on Playstation consoles.

The latter of the two seems interesting. Sony knows that Microsoft, as well as other companies like Google and Apple, are trying to get their system into family living rooms, so a business venture that would branch out towards that direction of working with major cable corporations is a viable move. However, this still doesn’t sit well for those who want to keep it separate—as it should be.

The effort in keeping video games and television together has been long-running, and prominently so since Microsoft put the idea in motion with their press conference that focused on unveiling the console and its features. Critics and would-be consumers bashed the conference because of the company’s focus on TV integration. Personally, alongside their 180 turnaround on policies and nuances, I would have expected Microsoft to dismiss this feature as well, but they, along with Sony, clearly see a market for gamers who want to instantly switch to a new episode of Duck Dynasty after having dominated the leaderboard in a first-person shooter game.

However, what companies don’t realize is that this need for being able to have this ability makes no sense, since we are clearly capable of doing this already—it’s called manually turning the channel output from ‘component’ to ‘cable.’  Sure, the next-gen technology is aiming to broaden all possibilities and also strives for accessibility—but where these two companies miss the point lies in their audience.

The majority of people who play video games and identify themselves as gamers are more than likely going to buy one or both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for the games. If they choose to pay for the extra T.V services, then they can make that choice. However, it won’t erase the fact that it’s still a gaming console. Avid gaming fans have since expressed this idea for a long time, even extremes (like myself) who find the idea repulsive and a waste of money.

There’s no lack of confidence in both companies knowing this or ensuring that they’ll put gaming experiences above all else, but this has to be where they will draw the line as far as the integration is concerned. If they continue to allow more T.V talk to seep into their product, there are three things that will ultimately happen:

1. They lose their core audience, and therefore…

2. They lose their core business values, which could either be switched around to meet the needs of their new ‘I want to watch more television!’ audience or…

3. Be forced to create a joint company with the likes of Comcast, Time Warner.

Whoever they join with, it’ll be due to a loss in revenue. This isn’t to say that it will happen, but when a company is on the verge of trying to include another mode of entertainment that is vastly different from itself and for the sake of extra profit, it should start to raise some concern for gamers. Point blank, Sony and Microsoft need to get out of T.V. realm and into what they are rather knowledgeable of—good ol’ fashioned video games. They should recognize that although some many use the service, it doesn’t mean that the majority wants it. For the rest of us, we ask that companies stop trying to shove the idea down our throats—we’ll only vomit it back out.