Our Own John Escudero and Daniel Hill give their opinions about what we know so far about the Xbox One reveal.
So, the Xbox One – I’m a little late to the party on picking this whole thing apart, but here I am. What we saw today made a lot of gamers upset, and understandably so. They came looking for games, and got a whole lot of…not games. Microsoft also missed an opportunity to make just how “always online” was going to work, and Major Nelson’s whole thing on used games left a sour taste in many people’s mouths. However, I’m not exactly shocked by what I saw, and thought that Microsoft took a smart approach to both their new console and the announcement.
Today’s technology is all about integration and ease of use, and Microsoft has clearly been following this trend. If the voice recognition and gestures work as shown in the presentation, it would really give Xbox One an edge over products that have similar features, but not the ease of use. Having cable, movies, music, and other multitasking abilities seems great, too, for when I’m not playing games. I do use my Xbox for other things.
A fair argument, however, is to say that the Xbox One is not a gaming device that happens to do some extra stuff, but a multimedia device that happens to be capable of gaming. I can understand why people think that, but here’s why it doesn’t matter. It still plays games. Besides the REALLY crappy situations with used games, and the whole “always on” issue still being left unanswered (which, what the hell?), it still does the same thing the original Xbox did, but also a lot more.
Besides, where does anyone get off saying the Xbox One doesn’t have games? Do they think that everyone will forget that they will be releasing 15 exclusive games – 8 of which will be new IP’s – over the course of the next year? Of course not, and if they expect the support of gamers, they will have to not just deliver, but deliver the goods. So let’s just wait for the “games” part until E3, where it makes more sense for them to talk about games.
All in all, I walked away from this reveal thinking two things. One: they are taking the safe approach with the Xbox One. By going after everyone and not just the gamer with the admittedly cool multimedia features they have, there is potential there to get support from people who won’t even be buying the thing to play games on it. If you look at how some of the best games built for gamers have fared in the sales charts, such as Valkyria Chronicles, Okami, and Alan Wake, one could understand why they may be leery to take the same route Sony did (as much as I appreciate that route).
Two – they didn’t exactly short change anyone. This was a console reveal. Not a press event to talk about every intricate detail of the console, such as games and nitty gritty specs. With E3 less than a month away, why do that? They showed us the Xbox One, told us what the thing could do at a basic level, and made it look relatively cool while they were doing it, minus the obnoxious pauses they took after everything they said to wait for applause (that was humorously awkward). They filled me in on the Xbox One as a device, and have plenty of time to fill us in on what it all means.
Personally, I’m excited.