Microsoft recently announced the Xbox One–its next generation Xbox console.
The presentation was disappointing to say the least, let me be honest about it. In a way it’s something I was expecting them to do with the Xbox One. They showed what is possible with the console when it comes to things that aren’t gaming, and they were impressive.
The new Kinect sensor seems to be the best thing about the whole system, as it can recognize your voice and display things on screen with precision–or at least that’s what they claim. It all worked well during the Xbox One reveal event, and as a technology point of view, it is a good advancement over the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor.
The company had always planned to create something that will be the all in one solution for households all over the world, but the apps that were showcased during the event were strictly for the US. I mean, that’s the market Microsoft has been targeting with the Xbox 360, and with much success too.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice
The major reason why the Xbox 360 managed to build a significant install base in the US was due to how it appealed to the hardcore demographic that loved action games and provided a social interaction platform with Xbox Live.
It was this initial boost that helped them build on that using the Kinect sensor and even though they changed their business model later on, the console still was in a strong position in the US market. But the next generation is a reboot and all the stats will be reset to zero. Only the brand value accumulated during the last gen will remain.
We saw what happened to Sony. How they flustered. Same thing could happen to Microsoft if they take the market for granted. While Microsoft will undoubtedly go with a massive marketing campaign for the Xbox One, the price will still be a deterrent to whatever they do considering the Kinect sensor that will be packed in with each console.
If Microsoft forgets what made the Xbox 360 so popular in the US market and use the entertainment hook to try to win over people, it just won’t work. This year’s E3 will be vital and interesting games have to be shown, and by games I don’t mean the usual Forza, Halo, and Call of Duty.
The console is a bulky box that is reminiscent of the ’90s. Remember the VHS? No? Yeah, even I don’t, kind of. But there’s a plan behind the design of the system. It is supposed to go under your TV and never come out. A permanent place in the living room. That’s one way to achieve it I guess.
It comes with a Kinect sensor which is quite impressive and supports 1080p resolutions. Microsoft has done a good job here and this could be vital in attracting the casual crowd to the console. Imagine saying, “Xbox One! Start Call of Duty: Ghosts” and entering the game immediately before you can pick up the controller. This is the promise that was shown with the Xbox 360 Kinect, but now fully realized with the Xbox One Kinect.
Yes, the design is impractical and not something that most people will be found of due to the size. We live in an age where mobile and smartphones have redefined electronics and driven the thought process that small is better and cool. Will the Xbox One appeal to this demographic or will it be an instant turn off? Based on the initial reception, the latter seems likely. The design is unremarkable and very dull, but it’s something that is made for the living room.
It plays games too
The company’s focus recently has shifted from games and has settled into making an all in one console, proving diverse entertainment. They showed Forza Motorsport 5, a new IP from Remedy called Quantum Break, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and some EA engine trailer that was pre-rendered.
Compare this to Sony? And it’s not really surprising why the event managed to bore plenty of people. They did mention that they will be creating eight new IPs that will be shown at E3 along with 15 games, so that’s a positive thing, but one can’t help but feel most of them are going to be for Kinect and including one that we already know like that Crytek’s game, Ryse.
The conference lasted one hour and was one of the dullest things I have ever seen in my life. It was bad. It was unremarkable. Uneventful. And filled with boring moments that is a complete antithesis to what a console reveal should be about.
But hey Microsoft, you are playing to your plan, and will probably succeed. With the always-online and anti-used games rumours, one can’t help but feel the gaming industry is ended towards an utter collapse since disrespecting consumers will not work, when there are other cheaper alternatives waiting in the wings to pounce on the opportunity.