Xbox One: Let's Not Give Up Hope
I want to preface this by saying that I have no loyalty towards any particular company, be it Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, or Valve. I had an Xbox 360 for most of the beginning of this console generation, but I sold it once I realized that Microsoft didn't have any more exclusives that interested me in the pipeline, and my PC was sufficient enough to suit my gaming needs until the next generation. I also bought a PlayStation 3 a few months ago, because Sony's upcoming exclusives look great, and I want to play some of their older ones that I missed as well.
With that being said, I feel like the gaming community is being overly critical of Microsoft with the announcement of the Xbox One. I was disappointed with the press conference yesterday too. I hoped that Microsoft would have the self awareness to not focus too much on entertainment, which would surely upset their core gaming audience that helped to build the Xbox brand. Unfortunately, they did what many of us feared. They focused on TV, sports games, and Call of Duty, none of which seem to resonate with the core gaming audience at all. This overly generalized approach was just the first of many missteps that Microsoft made yesterday, another being the PR nightmare that surrounded their unclear messages about their strategy for used games.
The reaction I've seen on the internet has been overly negative and is somewhat premature. In the comments sections on various articles and Youtube videos, I've seen hundreds of people saying that this press conference sealed the deal, and they're going to buy a PS4. Let's all remember that Sony has yet to reveal their plans for used games, meaning it could be very similar to what we're hearing from the Microsoft camp. Sony's seems laser focused on gaming and strengthening developer relationships with their new console, which I love, but can we give Microsoft some credit for trying to implement some bold and innovative technologies? I don't watch much live television, so that stuff doesn't really excite me, and I think requiring Kinect will anger a lot of gamers, but there are some cool things going on. The gestures and improved voice recognition seems really compelling. The multitasking abilities are also cool to me, and could lead to some interesting use cases. I see a lot of people saying they buy a game console just for the games. If that is the case, I'm sure a lot of these features can be largely ignored. The requirement for Kinect may be a downside for these people, but I think giving the box more capabilities is only a positive. It isn't black and white, games or entertainment. What's so wrong with a box that does both?
It's okay to criticize Microsoft. As a matter of fact, I think it's important that we do so, so that they know that we don't like the direction they're heading. With all of us speaking up, hopefully they'll change course, but I think it's a bit early to give up hope on the console when we haven't seen all of the types of games it is going to offer. I understand the anger towards this announcement, but Microsoft has explicitly stated that the full story will be told in two parts, the second part focusing solely on games. I would advise that we all reserve judgement until after E3, when we have the full picture.
There is a bunch of stuff I didn't get to cover, such as the indie game situation, so feel free to discuss or disagree in the comments.