Thoughts on the Xbox One, Part II
Continuing from my last post about the Xbox One reveal, I wanted to talk a little more about what happened yesterday at the Microsoft E3 press conference.
More specifically, what didn’t happen. Originally I gave Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when they raised a number of suspicious red flags. Always On DRM? How will used games be handled? Why does the Kinect sensor need to always be on and watching me? Given that the Xbox announcement was only two weeks away from E3, naturally I assumed these questions would all be answered at their big press conference. Of course I was wrong. All the questions (read: whining) the Internet made for the last couple weeks was completely ignored. Not a single one of the concerns were addressed.
The concerns of the majority of gamers simply didn’t bother me. I’ve been primarily a PC gamer my life. The inability to lend games to friends, or even resell games have never bothered me with platforms like Steam. When these concepts were brought to a console, I didn’t even have to blink twice. I do believe we will eventually end up with these closed systems once physical media goes away, but to completely ignore these topics yesterday was a bad move. Especially if your competitor gets the final word later that night.
The price was also another let down. I knew full well we wouldn’t see another console under $400, but for a price point starting at $500 is too steep for a console with very few games I care about. To get me to spend that much money on console when I could go buy a new PC for that much, you really have to have an outstanding sales pitch. Microsoft simply failed to deliver.
They did however keep their promise about E3 being all about games for them. Killer Instinct looks just how I imagined it would on a next generation platform. The demonstration switching between a single player game of Ryse to a multiplayer match instantly was impressive. We saw some kind of new Halo game where Master Chief gets a Gundam. We saw in game footage of Ryse and TitanFall for the first time. But sadly, none of these titles really won me over as games have done in past years. Quantem Break by Remedy (the creators of Alan Wake) is the only game that peaked my interests. I’ve always had a guilty pleasure for games with full motion video in them. Combining gameplay with a show that is customized based around your actions is genuinely interesting to me. And even though alan Wake fell short on several points, if anyone can create this new hybrid TV show/game, I have faith Remedy can.
I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, or even hoped to see at the event. One of the great things about these big press conferences and conventions is they always leave you with feeling excited, like a child days before Christmas. For the first time in years, I didn’t get that from Microsoft or the Xbox One. if anything, the entire event left me bewildered. Why yet another new redesign for the 360? What happens when Xbox Live goes down?I left with more questions than I had answers to.
With features like the cable box built in, and switching between TV and games instantaneous, I would eventually like to buy the console. Its still a beautiful device for what it does. But so is the iPad for that much money. Then again. that’s been out for years, and I still don’t own one of these either.