Opinion: Why I don’t give a crap about the Xbox One
It’s been a week since the Xbox One was revealed to the world and gamers collectively let out a yawn. On last week’s podcast I was caught in a glass case of emotion and more than a little disappointed. After seven days my opinion hasn’t changed all that much.
This is not going to be a rant. Initially it was, but I wanted to take a cooling off period to let the dust settle and see if I got caught up jumping on the bandwagon to lay the boot in, or was genuinely unenthused. It is definitely the latter. I’m not going to break down the technical specifications, I’ll leave that to my esteemed website colleague Josh to get into the nitty gritty. Instead, I’m going to break down what it means to me a gamer. Not a reviewer, or writer, just a regular guy who likes to play video games.
First impressions last, and are everything. It’s all about initial perceptions. Whether it’s a first date, meeting someone for the first time or watching a trailer for an entertainment property, those first precious moments are everything. It’s when you watch a trailer and your jaw drops. It’s when you spy a pretty lady across a crowded room and your heart skips a beat. It’s when a new console is announced and you can barely contain your excitement as you muse over the possibilities.
That’s how I felt after the PlayStation 4 announcement. Even if Sony comes through with half of what it promises, the PS4 marks a revolutionary step forward for gaming, and I didn’t even see the console itself. Instead, I glimpsed a trailer-fest and was teased with demonstrations of what the console had to offer. The Xbox One, in stark contrast, did show off the console, but offered very little as far as games were concerned and instead focused on it as an interactive television experience using Kinect to invade privacy, monitor users’ actions, impose multiple use limitations and foist forced Internet connectivity.
Not only that, but Microsoft didn’t even have a united front on what the console would actually offer, with here-say and confusing mixed messages from its hierarchy on whether or not used games can be played or the nature of required Internet connection. This doesn’t send through a strong or confident message to the gaming public who you’re trying to entice to buy your console.
It seems like every day since there’s been a new round of clarifications and with the console barley a week old, I’m already disinterested. Hell, even the Wii U serenaded me with its potential. It hasn’t been realised as yet, but I still have faith. In the Xbox One? Not so much. There was a lot of talk about TV interactivity, picture in picture capabilities, Skype, the use of the Xbox One as a multi-media hub and the utilisation of Kinect to control it all. Achievements for TV? No thanks. Colour me unimpressed.
While I don’t begrudge Microsoft getting a piece of Sony’s multimedia entertainment pie many gamers already own multiple platforms. I’ve been using my PS3 as my entertainment hub for nearly seven years now. Bar the Kinect bells and whistles, (features I’m not interested in, not in the slightest) the Xbox One really isn’t offering anything mouth-watering. Why would I buy something else to do the same thing as I product I already own?
I get that Microsoft has invested a lot of time and money into Kinect, but ramming it down our throats isn’t going to make it a success. In all the years it’s been around I have never, not once, had a conversation with any gamer on any game where they told me the Kinect version was the best to play. Nor has any discussion begun “Have you played [insert Kinect game name here]? It is the fucking tits!” or words to that effect.
I may be way off base. In two weeks, after E3, maybe the Xbox One will announce new IPs and franchises that will make my head explode with their awesomeness, but as of right now, at this moment I’m not impressed in the slightest. If you want to take over the living room Microsoft, be my guest. I wish you the best of luck. As far as console gaming is concerned I’ll stick with my PS3 and the potential the PS4 is hinting at, thanks.