May 21st is rapidly approaching where it is expected that we’ll see the launch of Microsoft’s next generation Xbox, which has been codenamed the Durango and called the Xbox 720 by just about everyone over the past few years. There are a lot of expectations as to what we’ll hear about the new device; such as features, hardware specs, a release date as well as some games that will be coming out for the new Xbox. What better time to put together a wishlist of sorts as to what kind of stuff should be revealed at the upcoming event and what stuff can stay very far away.
- New IPs. This one seems vital, at least in my estimation. We all know the properties that are bound to the Xbox brand and have certain expectations placed upon them, but with a new console comes excitement and new ideas. What better way to kick off a new console launch than to launch an exciting, AAA-level new game property? It was the hype behind the original Halo that helped to make the Xbox brand a success in the first place and they can’t ride on that series’ coattails forever, can they? A new first party game done right could really help shift some momentum into Microsoft’s corner when they launch the Xbox 720 and get more gamers excited in the console.
- Lay off the Halo and Gears of War. We know that these are huge games for Microsoft and the Xbox consoles, but honestly, it might be time to give both of them a rest, even if it is just for a short while. Halo 4 is still fresh in everyone’s mind as is Gears of War: Judgement. While both game series have been instrumental in the building of the Xbox brand over the years, promising new titles in either series at this point would seem rushed. Give them some time to breathe and let fans digest what is already available. While I wouldn’t expect a new Halo title for a while, you never know what kind of game within the Halo universe we could see as a way to try to bolster sales at the new Xbox’s launch.
- If you are gonna do Kinect, do it right. By now we know that the second generation Kinect sensor is going to come standard with the next Xbox, but part of why the original was such a disappointment was the lack of support and original titles for it. Some games had some cool Kinect features, like it is fun to do shouts in Skyrim at the television, but there are so few original games for the Kinect that are worth playing at this point. More games like the Gunstringer and fewer party games and download-only throwaways will make it seem like a worthy addition.
- Big third party titles. This is something that we know that we’ll see, but it has to be on full display to really instill confidence in the system. Part of what has made the Wii U struggle has been the lack of third party support from the major publishers and developers. We all know that the Xbox 720 is going to have all of the major titles that come out, but reiterate it as many times as necessary because third party support can make or break a console.
- Show the console. Sony failed to do this and while it has led to some healthy speculation, it has led people to believe that things aren’t finalized yet and that everything might not be in order.
These are just a few things that I’d love to see at Microsoft’s event next week, hopefully they can deliver on at least a few of them.