Microsoft understands that achievements are a major highlight of their service, which is why they have hinted at offering gamers even more gamerpoints for watching shows, movies and even advertisements. But offering such achievements would only dilute and possibly destroy the impact that it has on their customer base.
The one aspect keeping Xbox users from switching over to the PlayStation is the loss of their identity. Aside from factors such as friends and exclusive games, Xbox users do not want to lose their gamerscore which represents seniority and self-worth within their gaming community. This achievement system may seem menial to the average person, but it truly stimulates the reward system within the brains of Xbox users. Achievements prove that you have been to hell and back in a game and survived to tell the tale.
If Sony wants to transition loyal Xbox customers over to the PlayStation, then they need to start targeting this feeling of accomplishment and identity. In order to win the console war once and for all Sony must be the bigger man and offer a system that will reward prior Xbox users in the PlayStation Network. This system would offer equivalent points to any Xbox user who decided to switch consoles and in turn allow them to keep a high status within their new community.
The console war between PlayStation and Xbox surfaces such high emotions because that consumer identifies with that console’s community. An Xbox gamer with a 20,000 gamerscore feels like the top dog on Xbox live, but if that same gamer was offered the same position in the PlayStation Network they’d be much more likely to reconsider their position.
The announcement of such a program would reaffirm the availability of choice in the gaming console world and show that Sony cares about every gamer regardless of their previous loyalties. The program would allow a smooth transition between systems and promote general acceptance in the entire gaming community. A gamer’s need for recognition would never be left unattended to.
Public relations is an art based on emotion and opportunity and with this program in place they would gain quite a substantial increase in new customers. The announcement of the Xbox One has caused weakened ties within the Xbox community and given Sony a golden opportunity to offer safe haven to distraught consumers.
The console war does not have to be a battle between Xbox and PlayStation consumers. This program would show the world that Xbox customers are not PlayStation’s enemies, they are their potential allies. Many are looking for a reason to abandon the Xbox name and now is the time for Sony to offer them a reason to take the leap.