Tech industry new year’s resolutions

Come the end of the year there’s two things you can always count on. First, all facets of the media will be teeming with lists. Lists of the best whatever from the past year. Lists predicting the best whatevers of the year to come. There’s much to be done toward the end of the year and lists present an easy and fun option both to the producer and the consumer.

The second inevitability is that people will make promises to themselves and those close to them about the ways in which their behaviour will improve during the incoming year, as though the sun that rises on January 1 is especially imbued with some hopeful potential-freeing energy and is different from the sun that casts a bitter resentful gloom over April 27.

So in the spirit of such arbitrary conventions, here’s a list of resolutions that probably should be taken up by our biggest games and tech companies.

Apple

I will be a little less cocksure, and a little more receptive to help from outside.

Apple’s decision this year to jettison Google’s map app in favour of its own was a great indicator of how bloated the company’s opinion of itself has become. Google’s app has at least 10 years of research, data refinement and hard work behind it. Apple’s effort was admirable (and looked amazing) but it’s certainly no surprise to find that huge landmarks were misplaced or missing, step-by-step directions were unreliable and several tourists got horrifically lost in the Australian outback. Apple needs to realise that it can’t do everything in-house. Forming an alliance with a group that is the best at what they do is a better move than trying and failing to one-up them.

This is one of the funnier and more harmless mistakes.

This is one of the funnier and more harmless mistakes.

Nintendo

I will do what I do best, and leave the rest to everybody else

I really like just about everything Nintendo’s done this year. Their launch of a brand new console has gone well all things considered, and they’ve made significant leaps and bounds towards applying their creativity to social media and digital distribution. However my main concern for the company’s 2013 is that they’ll spend more time and resources trying to please everybody than focusing on their core audience. A new Wii Fit game is coming, but frankly we don’t need it. Nintendo could partner officially with (for example) Nike and Ubisoft to bring a fitness regime to Wii U. The stage is set for the oldest console manufacturer currently in the game to remind everybody why they’re still around. But if they’re going to do it they need to do it with games and innovation. Leave the lifestyle and home entertainment stuff to talented third parties.

Sony

I will be more aggressively creative with my products, and take full advantage of my assets.

Sony put out plenty of kit this year, but nothing that really wowed anybody. Their new flagship phone – Xperia T – is by all accounts a really solid device, but it was hardly ever mentioned in the same breath as Galaxy S III or iPhone 5. Their handheld gaming system has suffered a similar fate even with much less competition, and the most frustrating part is that both the Xperia T and the PS Vita are incredibly capable machines compared to their more popular adversaries. As a company that produces top of the line televisions, camera sensors, audio equipment, films and music services, it certainly seems as though a Sony multimedia device should deliver the best of all worlds. Yet the company seems to lack any communication between its different diversified companies as far as research and development goes, and they certainly don’t do a good job hitting the public in the face with their products like Samsung or Apple do. If this changes they could become one of the real heavy hitters in more sectors than video games, particularly in phones and PC hardware.

Sony's president - one of four people that actually owns the Xperia T.

Sony’s president – one of four people that actually owns the Xperia T.

Microsoft

I will forget Kinect ever existed.

Seriously. Back to the drawing board. Also absolutely do not call your new games console Xbox 8. Spread the Xbox brand to into Windows as much as possible, not the other way around.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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