In Microsoft’s quest to consolidate the living room into one convenient little box, they may have put the last nail in their own coffin. In addition to being an always-online console, even after the shady break with Adam Orth for comments defending its position, the news seems to continue getting worse and worse.
The Xbox One demonstrates itself as a great piece of machinery for the casual gamer. And it may be a fantastic system that companies who have developed titles for the Xbox 360 will continue to develop the same quality games, if not better, for the Xbox One. So why not encourage Microsoft to branch out and broaden its horizon? Well, simply because we already have all of these systems in our living rooms!
Most people who have the Kinect love the Kinect. There’s nothing like being sick on the couch, or having lost the remote, yet maintaining the capability to scream “Xbox play ‘How I Met Your Mother’!”, only to have the Xbox play ‘How I Met Your Mother’. It’s also funny to tell the Xbox to shut off in the middle of a game where someone is being cheap and deserves it… but the Kinect really isn’t the issue here. What they’ve done to this machine has really maximized it’s capabilities. Some of these features are futuristic despite it being the present.
Xbox Smart Glass, for example, utilizes an electronic most people have; i.e. a smartphone or a tablet and allows you to use it as controller. That’s a great idea! And since it has become available for the 360 more than 10 million users have downloaded it. But can that same logic be applied to Wi-Fi and always-online console gaming? Well, no. Sure most of us have internet, but not everyone does, particularly in other countries or more rural parts of the world. If you took a skip down south of the American border you’d find lots of well-off individuals who can’t utilize most of the features on the 360, let alone the Xbox One. This is a big indicator as to why outside of the USA the Xbox doesn’t hold its own next to the PS4 and Nintendo. This alienates a huge group of people, because even for just single player titles you will need to be connected to their Microsoft cloud.
The TV functionality is great, once again; if you’re in America. However, most of us aren’t in America. And even some of us who are, well, we’re still waiting for Fios. Everyone loves to sit and watch a movie, but we didn’t come to the Xbox Reveal to hear about things that we already have access to! We wanted to know will we have the same rights to the games we purchase? Will the Kinect ever turn off, or will it be always listening with its microphone waiting for your ‘command’ to turn it on? Is that even justifiable? The answers we received were not the kind we wanted to hear. The backlash of social media tweets contradicting company officials, answers being swirved around and half complete, those which were completed didn’t seem to settle well with audiences. An interview with Matt Booty confirmed that even when in ‘sleep mode’ the Kinect will always be listening.
The whole result is a seeming disaster, topped off with the Microsoft stock falling more than 1% and the Sony stock increasing to about 10%! Things couldn’t have gone much worse. E3 is around the bend, with the promise of title reveals and a focus on what we all wanted to hear; games! Till then tell us what you think in the comments below!