Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The New Xbox - Xbox One

Xbox One wants to be the One, but can it?

Following the announcement of the Playstation 4 people figured that it would only be a matter of time before Microsoft completed the trifecta of next generation consoles. The next Xbox was promised to be unveiled on May 21, which was yesterday, and the newest in the line of consoles, now dubbed the Xbox One, did actually make an appearance at its own pre-release conference.

Some of the aspects of the reveal were less than surprising of course, including the introduction of a sleeker looking controller, new and improved Kinect support, and the design aesthetic of the console itself.

If I may stop for a moment. I know it's a little bit of a personal aside, but does anyone else think that this console looks a bit ... weird? I know that basically has no real bearing on anything else, but when I look at the console I'm reminded of the way technology used to look in the 80s. Maybe it's the diagonal stripping on the side or the high and low gloss contrast, but it just seems retro to me. Anyways, that's not exactly a terrifically legitimate concern, so whatever, moving on.

The specs are what many would find acceptable for a next gen machine: 8 gigs of RAM, Blu Ray disc, 500 gig hard-drive, the chipset is AMD, which doesn't come as a shock considering the stance that Nvidia has recently taken regarding all projects but their own. If you want a more in depth look at some of the tech then this article is an excellent place to start.

For the most part I feel much the same way about this unveiling as I did about the Sony one. There's certainly potential, but I can't find myself getting excited about it in any way shape or form. Some of the information that has come to light has also been somewhat disappointing.

For example, like the Playstation 4, this console lacks backwards compatibility. I can't help but feel that Microsoft really missed an opportunity to get a leg up on Sony in this regard, since if they would have offered such a feature it would have been a huge advantage on getting people will libraries full of Xbox and Xbox 360 games to immediately make the switch over. I don't like the fact that backwards compatibility seems to be a thing of the past now, because it was part of why consoles were becoming more attractive; it was part of what made the Playstation 2 the behemoth that it was. But, it's not my choice to make, sadly.

Slightly more distressing though, is the information that perhaps the Xbox One might be cracked down on used games after all. Everything is conjecture at this point, so going forward it's important to keep this in mind. That being said, the article that I linked earlier that detailed some of the specs also raised this point, that Game Politics has spoken about a little as well:

"the report reveals that you will have to install retail games to the Xbox One's hard drive. After doing so if you want to install it on another system you'll have to pay a fee. Is this Microsoft's way of dealing with used games? We expect we'll hear more about this in the days ahead. Stay tuned."

While not shutting down used games entirely, it is something that if true will probably turn off a lot of gamers that are more inclined to buy used. At this point we're not getting a straight answer one way or the other, but the fact that we even need to have this discussion to begin with is not a good sign. The Playstation 4 also remains mysterious, having not divulged anything as of yet in regards to whether the console is used game friendly, aside from a remark from the president that may be unfortunately measured.

I guess that I would normally say that it's time to play the waiting game, but honestly, in my case, it's just a matter of me still playing the PC. It's weird because I still want to like consoles, but man, it's getting harder and harder to these days.


Okay, that above paragraph was supposed to be the end of this article. I'm not going to change it though, because this information just came to me. If THIS is true, then seriously, what the fuck Microsoft. Do you want to alienate a huge fucking percentage of your userbase? If so, good job.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you on this one (and a lot of people would probably agree, I'd assume) -- I can't get excited about the Xbox One, and it seems like the more they talk about it, the worse it looks. It's to the point where I almost want them to stop and go back into media blackout mode.

    I guess all we can do now is wait...except we shouldn't have to wait. All these issues and all these problems and all these questions are things that I HIGHLY doubt need to exist; they're just barriers and troubles that are sure to breed mistrust instead of hype. And if Microsoft is going to host an event like this, they need to offer something more substantial than thirty minutes of TELEVISION and save all the (potentially) deal-breaking details for articles scattered across the four corners of the internet.

    Now, to be fair, the saving grace could be the games they'll reveal in a month or so. And since this IS a successor to the 360, for some people this could all come down to trading up and accepting the future -- and a few years on, the One will have a healthy library of games that'll make all the problems and issues and questions worth it. But damned if the One didn't have a positively abysmal showing so far.

    Microsoft has some serious work to do, and a lot to prove. And I get the feeling they're not going to do it by chanting "innovation" and showing off a virtual dog.


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