A lot of people in our community voiced their opinions on how they felt the next XBox reveal was going to go, and while the majority said it was going to be a bust, I (Nemesis) still had a bit of hope that they wouldn’t betray the core gaming community. Betray them how? Well, its fairly obvious and I don’t need to tell you. For me, I am primarily a PC player. When talking about non-exclusive titles, PC is my main form of gaming entertainment. Secondary to that, my 360, is my go to console for when I travel or when I want to lounge in bed or on the couch. When it came to console reveals in the past, the focus on gaming and it’s community had been strong. Why else would one shell out 300…400…500… or even more on launch just to get that sweet satisfaction of a fresh piece of hardware and new titles to satisfy yourself. But, as yesterday showed, Microsoft revealed what to many seemed to be an over-glorified DVR, with gimmicky motion/voice controls, game previews entirely pre-rendered, and them wanting to shovel the next generation of the Kinect down our throat. Are we a seeing a paradigm shift on who brings in the most money now for game console makers? Before I go into how I personally felt about the reveal here are the other writers and key-points they all want to share.
Dave – As an avid video game enthusiast, I went into the reveal with trepidation. I knew there were only a few remaining nails to be hammered into the home game console’s coffin, and I saw several being swiftly bashed in this morning. What I saw was an hour of brand whoring, and brand exploitation to move units. I know this thing will sell, and sell well. Unfortunately, it won’t be for those who helped establish the brand.
The original X-Box (which we can’t call X-Box 1, well because the new one is X-Box One) was a game console, plain and simple. The ability to play DVDs was the byproduct of the DVD drive, also seen in it’s contemporary the Playstation 2. Neither system was touted as a media center, but offered some basic home entertainment features. In the 360’s infancy, the “media center” experience was very much secondary to the new video game technology packed inside. Plain and simple, games were at the forefront.
It only takes looking at the constant iterations of the dashboard to see where Microsoft was headed with the X-Box brand. If you bought an X-Box eight years ago, you were welcomed to a home screen which prominently featured the game that was in the tray; the reason you even turned on the X-Box in the first place. Over the years, the internet has evolved and the X-Box with it, putting more emphasis on streaming media over games.
I don’t have a problem if the consoles include the ability to stream movies and music, or watch On Demand content. I do have a problem when it is the priority, and we have reached the point where it has superseded the original point of the hardware. The X-Box is no longer a gaming console. You can play games on it, just like you can play games on your cell phone. It’s a secondary function of your entertainment center.
Like I said previously, it will sell and probably sell well. It is aimed at a specific demographic and it pretty much nails that on the head. General ignorance of the game industry will lead a good majority of the public to buy into it’s media hype frenzy and purchase a console or two. Only then will they be disappointed that the game they bought will only work on one console.
What really irritates me the most, aside from their general disregard for gamers, is the fact that almost every single thing they said throughout the conference was more than likely obtainable using the 360’s technology. Aside from that, I’m not sure why you would want to switch to watching TV while in the middle of a race in Forza? Do we really need Skype on the console? We already have the XBL group chat feature, and I think it even works with the camera they sold for the fucking thing.
At this point it’s clear to me that if I am buying a next generation console, it will be the PS4. Even with their lack of imagination in naming conventions, I am still more on board with what they are offering. They at least attempted to show some interest in the gamers, instead of brushing them off. I’m curious to see if this generation of consoles will continue to throttle game visuals as the previous one did. Who knows what we’d have now if devs just said “screw consoles, let’s see what we can do.”
Long story short, I’m not buying this thing.
Tangerine — So wait, all this time, and they haven’t even shown a game yet? X-box, Playstation and the WiiU already have fairly good capabilities for streaming and networking, we don’t really need them to be the main part of the console. Something tells me they’re going to try and market this to a non gaming audience, to expand market share.
-Also, did they really have to do this at 4am?
-While also trying to get a market share of people who don’t play games, they are excluding those people who are unable to buy full priced games each time they are released by not allowing used games. Long term investors are going to see the benefits of using PC as their platform, which is a more easily adaptable platform in terms of software and hardware
-As others have pointed out, their games are going to be cross platform, hardly making their new-gen gaming engine worth the time. I’m not sure who this will piss off first; developers or the gamers who have to pay extra for the games they can now no longer get second hand.
-Lack of backwards compatibility will cause quite a few people to stick with playing their 360’s. They had better keep up their software and updates with their older generations, or else they are going to lose a HUGE player base.
-Admittedly, the Kinect camera now comes standard, meaning that instead of choosing to waste your money on something you can’t use, you’re forced to buy it instead!
Andrea – I dislike not having backwards compatibility AND the fee for buying used games. I don’t really want to pay $60 a game. Even if we don’t know how much the fee will be yet, I don’t think I’ve actually bought in new game in years. Those fees will add up quickly for people that purchase a lot of used games.
– Live TV integration does absolutely nothing for me. I don’t have cable and don’t plan on getting it any time soon. Plus I’m not really an all-in-one person, I prefer to keep things separate and I don’t think that a gaming console should really be able to let me watch TV and play fantasy football at the same time. It’s just not necessary.
– I’m not a fan of the voice activated style and the Kinect integration that we were shown. I don’t want my body to be the controller. Is there anything to prevent it from picking up on other people yelling things at it while I’m playing a game?
2. They didn’t say anything about changing their current system for selling Xbox licenses, currently even small companies are forced to pay a huge fee for the licensing cost. SuperGiantGames, the creators of Bastion (A very successful title, sold more than 550,000 copies which is huge for an developer) barely made it past sales on Xbox Live to pay the licensing fee & cost of porting the game.
Licensing for smaller studios is hopefully something they’ll talk about at E3.
3. Xbox One only has HDMI ports for connecting to the TV, HDMI 1.4 can only provide enough bandwidth to run 4K on 30 FPS. I have no doubt the Xbox One will be equipped with something like HDMI 1.5, but it seems like they’re shooting themselves in the foot when Microsoft is talking about using the Xbox as a pass-through device (running cable box to the Xbox One, then to the TV), yet not capable of running 8K resolutions.
If they want it to last as long as the previous generation, they need to equip it with something that will last just as long, even when it’s not needed at the moment.
That’s my 2 cents, I love the fact that they’re making new consoles, I truly am. It’s been 8 years since the 360 launched.