I guess I missed this whole thing while at work today.
And by “this whole thing” I mean Microsoft’s completely uninteresting XBox One announcement.
Admittedly I don’t really use my 360 that much these days. While at one time it was my go-to for most of my multi-platform gaming I’ve come to really appreciate the PS3’s strength as far as digital content goes, as well as it’s complete lack of dashboard advertisements and cluttered menu design.
But that doesn’t mean I strongly dislike Microsoft or the system I’ve spent thousands of hours with over the years. But the focus that Microsoft took with it deterred from my interests — I’m not a big television fan, I’m not a big sports fan, I’m not a big digital music fan, and in order to enjoy more than a handful of XBLA games and DLC I’d have to upgrade to a bigger HDD or invest in USB drives or externals. I don’t want a digital media center — some people do, but I don’t do much with my television aside from watch the occasional DVD/blu-ray, stream Netflix, and play video games.
So the PS3 was a more viable and convenient option for these things, and it has a stronger library of IPs and exclusive franchises. Was the PS4 announcement mind-blowing? No, but the positives outweighed the negatives as far as I was concerned. Was the XBox One announcement mind-blowing? No, and I can’t say that the positives outweighed the negatives.
Here we go:
- Kinect is a requisite for play: This doesn’t bother me much because honestly the camera will come packaged with the system and I can (most likely) still rely entirely on my controller to navigate menus and games — the Kinect 2.0 will be a requisite for the games that deem it as such. Have I spent a lot of time with the current Kinect? Not a lot, but a decent amount, and it’s pretty fucking shitty — the negative sits with the possibility that the next iteration of the hardware will be as big of a disappointment as its predecessor. If Microsoft can actually release this camera/mic control device that works seamlessly with games with little-to-no lag then I’ll certainly show some interest, but they lost me initially with the first Kinect.
- No backwards compatibility: This sucks but really should be expected, I suppose. The PS4 isn’t backward compatible either, but at least Sony noted that the library of Playstation titles will be available digitally — what that library includes I have no idea.
- Always Online but not always Online: So this one is a bit tricky. Apparently the system isn’t always online, but whether or not games require an online connection to play is still a possibility, it’s just reliant on the developers and whether they want to utilize the XBox Azure Cloud thingy to help alleviate the console of some processing power. Will developers force players to remain online to play their games? Some won’t on principle alone, but some *coughEAcough* probably will, and Microsoft has noted that they HOPE developers go the online-only route. Oh, and apparently to run a lot of games the system will need to go online once a day? I’m not 100% on that yet.
- No used games without a fee: So goodbye second-hand games and rentals. Microsoft didn’t outright shut down used games, but basically each disc is going to have some sort of activation code that tethers it to an XBox Live account, and if someone else wants to install that disc to their system they can do so after paying a fee. How much is the fee? I don’t know. But I am pretty certain it ain’t gonna be no $5.
- You can sell and trade games through Microsoft: So to fill in for the lack of used games and to avoid the whole fee process I guess Microsoft is going to set up some sort of trading/sell service themselves, but have absolutely no details regarding it.
- Current XBLA games won’t work, but achievements will transfer: So my achievements will continue to live on, but the games that I earned them with won’t be playable on the new system.
- You can Skype/watch TV/etc.: I don’t really care about these things, to be honest. I mean, sure, I may utilize Skype or other programs if I want my television to be my computer monitor, but I usually am fine with my computer monitor being my computer monitor WHILE I’m playing something on the console. The inclusion of applications that are pretty much cross-platform now isn’t a negative, it just doesn’t really affect my decision at all.
- Moar sports games: Don’t care.
- Moar CoD: Don’t care. I mean, I know Microsoft is saving its game announcements for E3 but were that the case I’d have used up a few of your more interesting releases now and saved the boring shit for the showroom floor. Who the fuck didn’t think Assassin’s Creed, Madden, etc. would be going to the XBox One?
- A Halo television series by Spielberg: This could be interesting, but it isn’t really a selling point and I’m certain that this series will be available through other means after the initial release on the new system. Plus after playing through Spartan Ops I’m not really that interested in a Halo series…because I sort of already played through one and found it to be kind of meh. But it’s Spielberg.
- The controller is nice: It’s the same-ish with some tweaks, nothing big added, but it’ll work well. I’m at least glad they didn’t make drastic changes to it.
Honestly, what it comes down to is what someone wants out of their system. At one point I was down with moving movies and music to my systems and the multimedia elements that most current consoles utilize, but nowadays I really don’t care — I don’t want a TiVo videogame console that is also my laptop. I mean, more features are nicer, but they aren’t selling points — there was absolutely nothing that Microsoft announced today that made me sit up and pay attention.
The PS4 wasn’t a complete shocker either, but at least there were a few elements (the share button) that caught me attention and made me start to think about what sort of fun things I could do with such features. The XBox One is my 360 with more of the same types of shit, including shit like no used game usage without fees and the possibility of online-only games.
There better be some fucking amazing games at E3.