Critics attacked the reveal of Xbox One last week for a lack of games, too much TV content, and mixed messages on pre-owned.
But despite the backlash, UK retailers have rallied behind the new device. Buyers told MCV this week that they believe Microsoft will prove its gaming credentials at E3, dispelling concerns from fans.
But the High Street insists the platform holder must listen to the negative feedback it has received.
“I feel Microsoft was unfairly slammed by some commentators for not providing enough information. I'm sure they were keeping their powder dry for a game-packed E3 press conference,” said Green Man Gaming chief Paul Sulyok.
“It gives them time to listen and take note of consumer feedback around pre-owned games, pricing, always-on connectivity, Kinect information privacy and regionally relevant services among others. I think the console war will go in favour of the platform that listens to the consumer, publisher and retailer."
The buyer at one of the UK’s biggest games chains said: “Everyone need more clarification. But if Microsoft and suppliers want a cut of profit from pre-owned, then I can understand that.
“Ultimately, I believe Microsoft has shared its vision for the lifespan of the console and now must concentrate at gamers at E3. Otherwise they may lose them to a company in blue.”
And away from the forums, wider consumer reaction has been generally positive too, retailers claim. The console has topped pre-orders lists, with Blockbuster announcing that Xbox One is its fastest pre-ordered product in its 24 year history.
“We have been inundated with pre-order and product information requests from consumers since the reveal last week,” said Grainger Games sales director Phil Moore.
“We are confident that Microsoft have gamers backs and will produce a system that supports the video games market as a whole for many years to come.”
Commercial marketing director for The Hut, Sarah Jasper, said the firm “had an overwhelming pre-order response. We expect it to be a living room staple.”
ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta added: “Despite negative comments about the pre-owned model that has not been officially announced, consumer response has been extremely positive in terms of pre orders. And for the consumers that didn't like what MS has shown so far, they have placed a pre-order for the PS4 so we have an increase on both machines with Xbox One leading this week.”
But all retailers agree that Microsoft must try to win over disgruntled gamers when its press conference rolls around, or risk losing ground at launch.
“We look forward to seeing the games and some cutting edge innovations at E3,” said Sainsbury’s games boss Gurdeep Hunjan.
And the MD of indie chain Games Centre, Robert Lindsay, concludes: “Consoles need to evolve from pure gaming machines if they are to compete with the wide range of devices now available.
“At the same time they must keep gaming at their core and that’s the challenge.
“Microsoft has built up a strong relationship with core gamers. This could be undone very quickly if they don’t listen to their feedback which so far has been lukewarm at best.”
A lot rests on Microsoft's pre-E3 press conference, which takes place Monday, June 10th.