Video Game News, Reviews and Reflection! New Articles Released Randomly Every Week!
This Eighth Generation of Consoles is a lot like a horse race: Nintendo entered a pony and took off before the race officially began, Sony had a good start and is gaining momentum with every press release, and Microsoft was late out of the gate, stumbled in front of it, and changed horses early on.
Since the original Xbox, Microsoft has had my faithful gaming dollars. With the jump up to 360, I was telling them to shut up and take my money. Now, with the Xbox One, I don’t know that they have more than my attention. As many others are switching their bets to Playstation’s Fourth Dark Horse, with complaints ranging from petty (“Xbox One is a silly name!”) to preemptively canceling purchase plans (Always-On DRM), I’m wondering what it’s gonna take to make me hold onto my investment and keep the Gamerscore I worked so hard to achieve (heh, a pun I don’t hate). Although some of these problems have been corrected, it’s gonna take more to catch up to PS4. Here’s our Top Five Xbox One Suggestions!
5.) Fix the Pricing
The most expensive eighth generation gaming console
Hey, remember when the PS3 came out, and it was $200 more expensive than the Xbox 360? How did that work out for Sony, again? Oh yeah, lagging behind for most of the Console Generation behind the Xbox 360, which was outsold by the much cheaper Wii. Not only was it a sillier name, but it was technologically the weakest of the three consoles and didn’t even have a DVD player. Microsoft is currently MSRP’ing (is that a word?) the Xbox One at $500 against PS4’s $400. Either bring the price to competitive levels, or justify the higher price point with more than the “required to use the system” Kinect (more on that to come).
4.) Backwards Compatibility
That’s a lot of launch titles!
Yes, we get that you’re trying to bring games to a new level. Hell, that’s half the reason we buy new consoles (the other half being an overabundance of money and/or a burned out console). But honestly, launch titles are notoriously lackluster, as is appropriate for a system that has barely been tapped for its greatness yet, with only a fraction of the games being worth noting. While nowhere on the graphical level of a new system, adding the last generation of games with Backwards Compatibility not only instantly increases your launch lineup by five years of developer’s progress, it means gamers will be able to nostalgicly enjoy wonderful memories without having to put your console away for a time. As someone who plays an annual runthrough of Earthbound, and who understands the need for technology to advance, if this game were supported by new consoles, I’d still be in Nintendo’s camp (and still might be thanks to Virtual Console). Cartridge to Wii Optical Disk is a ridiculous expectation, but DVD working on Blu-Ray shouldn’t be that difficult; I mean, I’m no tech expert, but my movies work in a PS3. Why not my old games? (Keep your comments kind, I really don’t understand it)
3.) Kinect Off
Day One versions will occasionally play Don Mattrick’s rendition of “Every Step You Take” by The Police
I’m sure the last thing that Microsoft, and as recently discovered, the U.S. Government, cares about is watching me in boxers, sitting on my ass and moving only my fingers for hours as I play games. And though they may be interested in my secret recipe for Grandma-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies, (the secret ingredient is real bits of Grandma), I doubt they give a damn about my conversations either. However, until there are more safeguards on government surveillance and privacy is still a concern of American citizens, this one has to go as well. How this applies to countries other than the USA is dependent on the country. Please check your Federal, State and Local laws for how this applies to you. Seriously.
2.) Digital Downloads
Do what they did. Only Microsoft-ey. But not too much.
Despite the outpouring of malice against Microsoft’s 24-hour check-ins and linked physical disks and gamer accounts, when we eventually understood the original intent of these systems, we realized we missed out on some great new features like shared games played without disks and developers being paid more for their often months-long work. I think game publishers and developers should be profiting more from their labor than Gamestop, but NEVER at the expense of the consumer. This is the generation to change things. Making downloadable counterparts to hard copies less expensive is a good start. It takes less money when omiting disks, instruction manuals and cases, it’s more convenient than stores, and downloaded games with lower costs have proven very profitable. Just ask Steam. Also, adding benefits like early access to new content like bonus in-game items or adventure paths to digitally downloaded games would be added incentive to purchase digitally.
If there’s no added benefit to the consumer, why would they choose to lose access to the way they’ve always played games so the company can reap more benefits? Answer: they wouldn’t. They’d buy the new Playstation.
1.) Focus on the Games
Why wouldn’t you just play Madden? Better Fantasy Football, made for Gamers!
Cool! I can watch TV on my Xbox One! I can also watch movies! And update my Fantasy Football team! And turn my console on and switch between views with my voice and hands! AND it only takes one machine to do it! I’M SO EXCITED!!! Wait, no I’m not. I’m paying for a new VIDEO GAMING CONSOLE, not a desktop. Honestly, the new features are interesting and add something new to Xbox, but how does it affect my video gaming experience aside from prettier graphics? From the original Xbox to the Xbox 360, we saw not only shinier pictures, but an easier way to get DLC, an Xbox Live experience designed as such from day one, an expansion of the Live Arcade, HDTV support, …need I name more? Aside from an impressive Cloud Computing concept, are we really taking any steps forward for the GAME aspect of this new video game console?
Bungie’s Destiny may reflect new gaming capabilities, but not an exclusive
Imagine if they had remembered what people get game consoles for and designed features for that aspect. Instead of paying ESPN for services, we could have gotten more gamer-centric programming. Instead of fantasy football we could have had a Fantasy Gaming Stock Market (a stretch, but still…) This console seems like it was designed to reach out to non-gamers to bring them into the gaming world, and I believe gaming is something everyone should be able to enjoy. At the same time, you don’t alienate your customer base by barely bringing gaming ahead at all. The games in development look great, some I may be interested in purchasing, but until I see the exclusive launch titles, reviews on them and in some way Microsoft shows me THEIR focus is on the video games and not on everything else, there’s little point in not going with Sony this generation.
What could Microsoft do to keep you, or lure you, from Sony? Throw down your two cents in the comment section below!