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Top Five Xbox One Suggestions


Front

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

Price

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

Backward Compatible

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

Kinect 2.0

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

Digital Download

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

  Games 1

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?

Games 2

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!

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About RedGuinness

Andrew Shortall (RedGuinness) is the Writer, Editor, Administrator and founder of Stay-At-Home Gaming. He also suffers from sleepless nights, summer new release withdrawals and trying to behave himself in front of his new nephew.

10 comments on “Top Five Xbox One Suggestions

  1. bm23tvreviews
    June 29, 2013

    I think the launch titles for the next generation are really good, and after all if you want want to play 360 games get a 360 (this is a reference not a serious comment).

    • RedGuinness
      June 29, 2013

      Don Mattrick is too quotable at this point not to make the reference. Touché.
      I agree heavily that the launch titles look incredible. However I did say the same about Gun when I bought it on the launch of Xbox. And although Destiny will probably be the best-selling launch title, it’s one EA-style SimCity fiasco away from death. Praying it doesn’t happen.

  2. Digitoll
    June 29, 2013

    Kinect off would be a great “un-installment” for the paranoid, which could or could not include me haha!

    After Microsoft did a “180” and decided to take off the DRM it looked a whole lot better. The price is still around $100 more than Sony’s ps4, which isn’t a whole lot to some people, but i’m sure it makes a difference.

    I’m not very happy about the whole TV thing Microsoft is doing, but that just me though I don’t watch television very much.

    In all reality i’m stuck in a null area. I can’t say i’m all Sony or all Microsoft, I’ll just have to wait to see if anything else might “drive me” to a specific console. For now i’ll just keep playing my 360! haha.

    • RedGuinness
      June 29, 2013

      Pretty much in the same null area. Fixing things would tilt me toward Xbox One, but Sony still has time to wow me. A few months will bring clarity.

  3. Hari
    June 30, 2013

    I don’t know that I 100% agree but I totally get your point. It’s true that this system has been highly anticipated and really was almost incapable of hitting the bar set, a problem many tech giants (ie: Apple) have seen before. That said, I think this may be a bit critical. I don’t understand the backlash over connected gaming. An overwhelming majority of American households with Internet have it provided for them by the cable companies. That means that their connection is constant anyways. This isn’t 1995 any more, we’re not at risk of missing a phone call, or more over getting kicked off before we can load out still image porn if someone picks up the phone.

    As for DLC and fully available downloadable games, I’m all about that. Truth is GameStop and similar gaming shops make an overwhelming majority of their profit on used games. As you stated, that business model mostly cuts out the dev houses that have slaved over this product. If you are going to enforce a DRM restriction anyways, you may as well make the actual game cheap to buy via online medium anyways. This will ensure that you alleviate customer issues and save face … kinda. There are some marketing and consumer pattern issues here that would suggest that it is in the best interest of all parties to continue the existence of dedicated gaming purchase centers like GameStop, but in a world of best buy and Walmart, the DRM restriction was going to be a deathblow anyways. When you’ve got 10 seconds left and your at the 40, you don’t go for the conservative right-side hand off to a middle-string running back. You pitch that pig skin like its a bomb and pray your receiver finished his route and is in the endzone.

    As for the multi-media integration and fantasy football thing and number of other seemly small functions, I think that’s a clear representation of where the market is as a whole and what they’re already asking for. I know that my Xbox is only 90% of the time
    For Netflix, Hulu and HBO-to-go. Truth is with the integration of live TV, I wouldn’t have to change outputs to enjoy television. I think the voice and movement capture justifies the Kinect to a degree. I know that I’m less angry about its integration knowing that this lets me use my Xbox as a cable box.

    • RedGuinness
      June 30, 2013

      I love well thought out responses to articles. Here we go…

      I completely agree that the article was critical, but for valid reasons. Internet, while more stable and available than ever before, does still have areas that are not covered (let alone soldiers overseas, sick kids in hospitals and gamers who travel often for example), or if there are service issues, whether weather related or switching providers, or any other reason Internet connection would not be available. It’s hard to back a product that becomes useless after 24 hours when a comparable, less expensive product is available without that issue. Fortunately this is no longer an issue one way or another.

      DRM has been a gaming issue for years, from limiting installations to the aforementioned always online requirement. Steam has done well by remembering gamers will trade physical copies for lower costs, and Microsoft hasn’t learned the lessons yet. This generation will allow them to start showing us what they’ve got.

      As for the multimedia integration, I agree that they are all cool ideas that will bring in a wider audience than just the gaming crowd, and from a marketing standpoint this is a logical progression of the system and it will bring in those people. At the same time, I’m a Gamer first and everything else second. And at the end of the day, Xbox is a video gaming brand. When people hear the name, video gaming comes to mind first.

      Microsoft’s hour-long reveal included much less about the games than the TV features, and the gaming community, which were the majority of the presentation’s viewers, responded negatively to that. We wanted to see how gaming would be better and we were let down. The original Xbox introduced the Xbox Live network, DLC and a new, more PC-based controller, and while these some of these features hit or miss, 360 improved these gaming features incredibly. The Xbox One, aside from the fascinating possiblities of Cloud-based gaming, isn’t doing much more than giving gamers the graphical upgrade expected of any new system five-plus years after the last one.

      Bottom line, I too am happy that I’ll be able to enjoy my television and movies in a new way. I’m just horribly disappointed thus far that those existing services overshadow improvements to the gaming aspect of a video game console. If any.

      • KotBT
        July 1, 2013

        I will third in this agreement that this article was quite critical, but I feel that it is appropriately critical. While I do concede that the bar was set a touch high, Microsoft’s reveal (and further e3 demonstrations) were lackluster at best.

        The thing that concerned me the most was the DRM, which they have fixed whilst destroying the only – I’ll use the word “innovative” rather loosely here – innovative idea that they had. I’ll get there in a bit

        The idea of requiring games to be always-online has been a flawed concept for any game that is not an MMO. It is based on the assumptions that first there is a perfectly upkept network network of hardware that never goes down and spans homes of the entire consumer base, and second that the people running the servers on the game company’s end have accurately predicted the server load. Both assumptions have been proved wrong time and again. Need I discuss Diablo 3 and SimCity? I personally have lost my internet connection twice in the past three months and xbox live has been down near me at least four or five times. Now I get that I’m a spoiled American who is overly burdened with first-world problems, but if I can’t play the game I just spent $60 on because Microsoft hasn’t given me the go ahead, I’d rage. Thankfully that’s behind us.

        The other issue I had with the DRM was the registration fees for transferring licenses from one profile to another. While I mourned for the would-be demise of the used-game industry, that was not my concern. Don’t get me wrong, I like Gamestop, but their profit margins matter less to me than a local theatre’s all illegal-Canadian-immigrant casted rendition of Cats. See, I’m broke. And the good majority of my gamer friends have little to no money. So when it comes down to rent or a game, I think about it for a good hour or so but have always settled on keeping a roof over my head and xbox. But I often have a friend or two who has shelled out for a fresh game, and beaten it in a week, that I can ask if I can borrow it to try it out for a few days. If I’m spending that kind of cash, I want to know with doubt small enough to convict with that I’m going to like the game. As much as I love and trust reviewers, I need to know for myself. (In fact I believe a certain RedGuinness who shall remain nameless has a game I lent him a while back). To say what I can and cannot do with a game that I bought just pisses me off. Once again, thankfully that’s behind us.

        Now off to how they destroyed their good idea. Microsoft has been pushing fully downloadable games. I am all for this. They have this now though. To combat the sudden and violent urge to regurgitate that many gamers experienced at hearing the DRM news, Microsoft presented Family Sharing. While this idea has been shrouded with rumors, essentially it allows for a shared game library of downloaded games. The only thing keeping me from downloading games now is the lack of a ‘lend’ feature, which this creates. However, with the reversal of the DRM policies, they removed Family Sharing. It’s not that they can’t allow for this, they just won’t. Why? Perhaps spite? Who knows.

        Over to the integration features. I love my netfliXBOX. I will admit that watching shows on netflix (currently in the last season of The West Wing) is my xbox’s primary function. But that is not why I bought it. That is not why I was excited for Xbox One’s release right up through May 20. It was for the games. So while I am delighted that at my very whim I can command my xbox to search the internet for the mating rituals of North American Lake Sturgeon and it will switch over from whatever I’m doing to present a Wikipedia article to me, if it doesn’t make gaming better I don’t see the point of paying out half a grand. My main issue with the PS3 when it first came out was that it seemed like it was a BluRay player that just happened to play video games. Well now Microsoft has presented a Home Theater Computer that just happens to play video games.

        That’s not what I expected for Gen 8.

        P.S. If they want to spy on me in my boxers with my Kinect, let ’em. I’ll make sure to scratch my balls for them. Twice. The left for Microsoft, and the right for god and country. Uncle Sam eat your heart out.

      • RedGuinness
        July 1, 2013

        I do still have your Mass Effect 2, but I believe you may still have a title or two of mine as well…

        It’s not spite that keeps them from family sharing, I believe it’s about not being able to guarantee publishers what they deserve. If they gave it an Apple iTunes Store concept (make it expensive enough that companies profit and other delivery methods less desirable as a result) they would put the Family Sharing right back into the fold.

        As for the multimedia, I think of it this way, I’d rather have a ten dollar extra controller than a five-hundred dollar camera/system that can do it by voice. With a few months left before launch, I hope the gaming aspects are better and give me a real reason to keep my Xbox Live account funded.

  4. Paige Six
    July 8, 2013

    I have so much to say about this topic, but little which hasn’t already been said. As far as the removal of ‘Family Sharing’ I’m more pissed that they have heavy focus on digital content however they removed your ability to trade in your digital titles. So with Live I will get two free digital titles a month which I can’t share or trade… and the same goes for the PS3. Yeah you can trade your physical copies…. but who is going to really buy them? Sounds to me just like DRM and I’m not buying it.

    • RedGuinness
      July 8, 2013

      I have a strange feeling by November, Microsoft will be pulling another One-80 and reconstituting the sharing capabilities for digital games at least. As much as I dislike DRM, it’s a smart strategic option to allow multiple users access to the game AND control who plays it. If SimCity can get an offline mode I’m pretty sure we can get one of the better features of Microsoft’s pre-E3 product.

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