Well, Microsoft’s announcement of the Xbox One was on Tuesday and it has left me scratching my head. The hour long conference was filled with buzzwords and flash, but it left me feeling more used than excited when everything was said and done. For all the bells and whistles that Microsoft showed off, it felt like there was actually little substance to the Xbox One reveal. I’ve thought a lot about what we can expect from the Xbox One, and I have to say that as a passionate gamer, it just might not be the right fit.
Microsoft is implying big things with titling their newest console Xbox One. The name can be looked at as a declaration that this console is truly a ‘one-stop shop’ in terms of electronic entertainment. While this might initially sound great, it is my opinion that this may also be the weakest selling point possible when marketing a video game console.
Microsoft was quick to show off all of the Xbox One’s new functionality, complete with Skype calls and voice controls, but this scared me more than impressed me. Do we, as people who just want to play games, need these things? Does the focus on multiple entertainment aspects mean that the focus for Microsoft is anything but the games? Regretfully, at this point in time, that does seem to be the case.
While it is certainly unfair to write the Xbox One off less than 48 hours after it was revealed to the world, I do find myself wondering if that is exactly what will happen. Microsoft showed only a handful of games during the announcement stream, which is a red flag to me. Sure, you can say that they are waiting for E3 in June to show off more games, but I feel that the initial lack of games might just signify a shifted focus in regards to the Xbox One. The fact remains that the Xbox One is a video game console, coupled with the fact that Microsoft was keen to show voice controls and NFL tie-ins before any games, just does not sit well with me.
Again, I have to state that this is my take on the console. I care not about how easily I can see what my friends are watching on TV, but for what games I will be able to play once I have purchased the system. I was left with a bad taste in my mouth after watching pointless ‘innovation’ after pointless ‘innovation’. I see no need to have the console turn on via voice controls or to be able to call a friend with Skype while I’m using my Xbox.
I have to give Microsoft credit for truly trying to make the be-all-end-all entertainment system, but I fear that this will hurt them in the long run. Adding more superfluous features isn’t the key to attracting a larger audience, focusing on providing the best experience with what you have is. It looks to me that the Xbox One is simply spread too thin trying to cover every little aspect of entertainment, and because of this, the focus on being a gaming console has shifted.
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