So, today we witnessed another console unveil this time from Microsoft. After Sony unveiled their new console features earlier in the year and with Nintendo already putting the Wii U on store shelves, this was the next anticipated release. Microsoft didn’t really build-up much fanfare behind the console reveal unlike Sony, but the show went on and we got our first glimpse at the new console, named the Xbox One. Having sat through the whole conference though, it is safe to say that the reveal itself was a total failure. Of course, this is directed more towards the gaming community and its expectations rather than the wider audience Microsoft is catering for, but the gamers are also the most important group. Here thus are the five main reasons Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal was a total failure.
5) Xbox One Is A Stupid Name
Let’s face it, the name for Microsoft’s new device was a hot topic leading up to this reveal. My personal favourite being the Xbox Infinity (of which I’m sure I saw something like XInfinity on one of the slides shown at the conference), but the final name was revealed today: Xbox One. The ‘One’ moniker is supposed to reflect the all-in-one entertainment system focus of the new console. It’s a stupid name. It conflicts with the original Xbox and also seems like a downgrade in naming from the Xbox 360. Sure, that’s not really important, and gamers will get used to it, but that doesn’t excuse the fact. It’s also likely to be confusing to casual customers. Imagine a conversation going like this:
Customer: I’d like to buy the new Xbox
Sales Clerk: The Xbox One?
Customer: No, no, the new Xbox.
Sales Clerk: Yea, the Xbox One
Customer: WTF? Am I getting screwed here?
4) Kinect 2.0 Forced Onto Gamers
Apparently, Kinect 2.0 is mandatory with Xbox One. Now, at least it comes with the console, but the bad news is that it has to be connected in order for the Xbox One to work or function properly. Don’t be an apologist here, this means that if your Kinect breaks down for any reason, you can’t access or play on your Xbox One. No one would accept this if your standard gamepad controller broke for whatever reason, so why should we accept this for the Xbox One? This isn’t even getting into how Kinect is a massive turnoff for gamers not into motion controls.
3) Xbox One Is A Massive Device… & Ugly
The Xbox One is huge. It looks bigger than the original fat PS3 system. That’s not a good thing. It also seems to be simply a big ol’ black box. That’s it really. Nothing inspiring. It’s also relatively ugly, unless a big black box is your thing. Reasons for the size seem to relate to heating issues and the fact that the power supply is integrated within the console instead of being a brick attached to the cord. It does look like it has massive vents on the sides, which does bring to question how noisy the thing will be too. Gamers can most likely live with a big console, but damn, if the system requires other accessories to do all that all-in-one jazz, that will be majorly annoying.
2) No Backwards Compatibility & Pre-Owned Fees
Now, these issues weren’t even noted in the conference. I wanted to add how Microsoft left out crucial info regarding rumours that had built up surrounding the console at the conference, which was stupid. Microsoft didn’t really address those internet rumours during the conference, but luckily the press got to dig a bit deeper after the event. So, apparently the Xbox One is not backwards compatible with the Xbox 360. That’s amazing to me, given that that was one of the PS4’s negatives that the new Xbox could have capitalized on. Worryingly too, Xbox One might not be compatible with previous XBLA games. That one is still a fresh rumour going around, but is still equally baffling. We’ve also been told that pre-owned games will require a fee to be played. How much this fee is hasn’t been stated so there’s plenty more to come about that. It also raises the question about always-online. Microsoft seem to have implied that you don’t have to always be online to play games, but you undoubtedly need to be online to activate your games (so that the Xbox One can check if it is new or used). Does that mean that’s the only time you need to be online? I mean, if you get timed out after 5 minutes like a previous rumour suggested, that’s still technically not requiring the gamer to be always-online. It’s a terrible notion if true.
1) Gaming Is Secondary, Not Primary Concern For The Xbox One
The worst part of the Xbox One reveal was how little Microsoft focused on gaming. This may just be a one off for this conference, as Microsoft has made mention of 15 exclusives that are in the pipeline featuring 8 new franchises. That sounds great, but this disappointing conference was unnecessary. It gave nothing to gamers, and just little extras to casuals. Microsoft might as well have waited until E3, because the fallout from their conference will be immense. They even delayed this conference by a month. Perhaps they did that to soften the blow of this failure of a reveal in hopes that E3 will save them. It may very well do so, but how much hope are you holding out for that? You know a good number of those exclusives will be Kinect games and XBLA games anyway. Microsoft has shown nothing that will trump a high-end gaming PC, especially by modelling the Xbox One after a PC in terms of punishing used games purchasers and requiring a good amount of internet connection to operate. Ultimately, the Xbox One seems to have an identity crisis.
What are your thoughts on the Xbox One?