Xbox One Has the Right Idea – Consoles Need to Evolve Beyond Games

2 min


The general consensus online seems to be panic and scrambling to find a way to condemn the Xbox One to a quick death because of the laser-sharp focus that Microsoft showed towards the Xbox One being a home entertainment console, not just a game console, earlier this week. We’ve seen our share of controversies large and small over the span of this generation of consoles being unveiled. The PlayStation 4 reveal didn’t show enough exclusives or show the console and also didn’t feature any women at the presentation. The Wii U was too focused on established names and didn’t bring anything new to the table. The Xbox One doesn’t care about games.

We’ve basically heard it all when it comes to complaints about this generation of consoles, which the Wii U, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One belong to. Now is the Xbox One’s turn to be barraged with insults and hate, deserved and not deserved.

What many gamers don’t seem to understand is that a lot can be gleaned from the disappointing sales of the Nintendo Wii U. Many have pointed to the lack of games for the new console, including a lack of “killer app” from Nintendo like with the Wii and the lack of third party support. The reality here is that most game consoles have rather disappointing offerings around the time of the system’s launch. I couldn’t name a truly exciting lineup of games for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 3, Wii or Xbox 360 even if I tried. Every system had some highlights, but had some serious lowlights as well. In light of that, most of them still sold pretty well and the Wii U is simply not performing up to expectations right now, while home electronics gadgets like iPads and other tablets fly off of store shelves.

The market is rapidly changing and game consoles might not be on everyone’s wishlist right now compared to ultra-mobile devices like tablets, even if the gaming offerings on them are weak at best. This isn’t 1992 anymore where game consoles just need to play games, which we’ve seen develop as virtually all home consoles now have to compete with Smart TVs in featuring a full multimedia experience otherwise be shut out of consumers’ televisions altogether. Things are not going to get easier for game consoles and as much as it might pain some to say, Microsoft is being forward thinking with the Xbox One.

It might have some weird features that seem superfluous at best, but routing your television through your Xbox One means that you are using your Xbox One more, watching Netflix on your Xbox One means that you are using your Xbox One more, the same can be said for watching live sports or even using Skype through it. No, it may not related directly to games, but Microsoft is not trying to convince the hardcore gamer to buy their game console, because they know that there is already an audience there who will buy game consoles to play games no matter what. They are going after that elusive crowd of consumers that have disposable income and are looking to buy the next hot gadget.

Not so long ago the Nintendo Wii was that hot gadget, serving a very broad group of consumers with pure, unadulterated fun for a lower price than most of the competition. Microsoft is looking to capture an audience beyond just gamers with the Xbox One, but no, they probably haven’t forgotten you, which is what E3 will be about. As most of you know, there is a “console war” raging and this is Microsoft’s tactic to attempt to win it, like it or not.

We are all invested in video games because we love them and do not want them to go away. With the looming threat of consumer electronics devices that show a lot of flash and little value on the horizon, this might be the right strategy to keep game consoles alive and relevant.

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  1. PlayStation® franchise is way much bigger than any console on the planet. Asian geniuses at SCE are proven and beyond. We also have some westerners, like M.Cerny, but they’re just our great puppets to make you believe in other regions so people can’t deny us for race issue. Sony is the biggest, most successful Asian company in the entertainment industry. We’re always proud to be the only ONE to trust for your money, facts can be seen on N4G .com

    You’ll see our profits be skyrocketed when we release the PlayStation® 4. Thanks to our faithful and dedicated sheeps.

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    SONY
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  2. Great Article,
    Glad someone ELSE gets that xbox is trying to move beyond just bieng A device you play games on for 3 hours then power off.
    The reaction from gamers ( and even some well known journalists ) has been absurd at best.
    MS knows what they are doing.
    If the last 7 years hasnt shown us that then i dont know what will?

    1. The PlayStation played audio CDs, the PlayStation 2 played DVDs, the PlayStation 3 played BluRays, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., why such an uproar over this?

      Microsoft is trying to make a next, logical step, which is difficult as the PS3 and Xbox 360 already offer just about all that they can. I get that people wanted to see more games, but they will show us more games, just like Sony will.

  3. Fair enough, but I have no interest in buying something like that. Sure netflix, amazon hulu plus, amazon, and television are fine, but I can already do that on my table, tv smartphone and computer. The reason I would buy a new console is simply because there is a game I want to play on it.

    This may just be me, but I suspect a large percentage of core gamers agree. . .

    1. Sure, there are a billion devices that can do all of that stuff now. I think the idea behind Microsoft’s attempt at this is to have you use THEIR device to do all of it, because you’ll already be playing games on there, why not watch your TV through it and watch a movie on it as well?

      The talking point seems to be that Microsoft is not “putting games first,” but I think that is simply a misconception and an overreaction that the internet is prone towards. Obviously their intention is to make a game console, they probably just didn’t think that the internet would have such a hard time understanding that.

    2. You’re making too much sense. Nothing Microsoft showed at the reveal is anything I’m not currently doing. My tablet controls my entire entertainment system. My television has apps that give me access to any website or streaming service I want. You know what’s great about that? My PS4 won’t have to split it’s resources to do all those things so more of it’s superior specs will be applied to making my games look and play better. So what exactly am I buying an Xbox one for? Why would the average consumer, if the systems main selling points deal with functions available elsewhere, and done better by others? Where are the exclusives? I will laugh my ass off if their so called upcoming exclusives are revealed to be primarily kinect focused casual shovelware. Literally, my ass will fall off. They better show some showstopping games at E3. I’m not holding my breath. I am confident that Sony will bring games I’m interested in. Therein lies Microsofts problem. They are trying to be a jack of all trades but are seemingly mastering none. Sony has great first party exclusives for the PS4 and a focus on letting indie developers flourish on their system. Microsoft has shown me little of interest.

    1. Who says that they didn’t put games first? Because this presentation was about the features of the system?

      1. Well, being that it was 40 min into the 60 min presentation before the mentioned a game, and even then it was all pre rendered footage. So by all means please tell us how they put games first.

  4. The Ps4 also isn’t just about games. It’s also a home entertainment system. I think they also talked about this on the Ps4 reveal although not as much as the Xbox 1 reveal. Pretty much most of the features they showed in the Xbox 1 reveal is also available on the Ps4, even the Ps3 and Xbox 360, with motion control and basically Kinect the only exception. I don’t why many people(not specifically the author of this article) have been saying that the Xbox 1 got it right because of it’s home entertainment features and the Ps4 is just a gaming console when both feature almost the same number of said features. Also, both system use the Cloud feature.

  5. DID THAT ALREADY EXISTED WITH THE PS3 ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM SINCE 2006…………..DOES BLU-RAY RING ANY BELLS ???????????? PS3 STILL HOME ENTERTAINMENT THANKS TO THE PSN AND APPS…..NOW PS4 WITH THE CLOUD

  6. THEN GOOGLE STILL ITS IDEAS FROM MICROSOFT…..THE ANDROID PHONE THAT CONTROLS YOUR CABLE…..DID THAT ALREADY EXISTED IN MY ANDROID APP RIGHT NOW………….

    ITS LIKE MICROSOFT IS PULLING THIS OLD IDEA LIKE THE FAILURES OF WINDOWS 8 METRO AND TABLET SURFACE I FEEL SORRY FOR THEM….IS MICROSFT IS CATCHING A VIRUS ALREADY THAT EMPLOYEES SPEWLING AWFUL IDEAS

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