Thoughts on the Xbox One announcement

May 29, 2013

I originally planned to list all there is to know about Microsoft’s new console so far. However, you have probably read that all over the internet already. Instead, I’m going to give you my thoughts on the Xbox One reveal.

I don’t think the big reveal excited core gamers. Although, I don’t think that was Microsoft’s intention for this conference.

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They want everyone in your household to be able to enjoy this system, including non-gamers. They highlighted all of the cool things you can do with television, which is appealing to people besides just gamers. Here’s the problem: People aren’t going to buy a gaming console just to watch TV and Skype with their friends.

Remember the Wii U, Nintendo’s newest console that is struggling to stay afloat? It has this thing called TVii, and it does everything with television that Xbox One is claiming it will do. As we all know, the Wii U isn’t selling so well. Why? Because of it’s small game library. The same thing is going to happen to XBO (I'm coining this term) if they don’t deliver on games.

On the other hand, if Microsoft can bring promising, non-gimmicky, non-Kinect titles to XBO, this console could be a big hit. I thought that the Wii U would be a big hit, but because of the focus on 3DS games and lack of Wii U titles, it’s not doing so hot. Ah well; that’s a topic for another column.

As for the name, I don’t care for it. I understand that it’s supposed to be the “One” device you need in your living room, but that’s not the reality for most people. I’m still going to have my Xbox 360 in my living room because Xbox One isn’t backwards compatible. I’m also going to have my PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Wii U, and so on. So, it’s not the “One” device I need in my living room. All in all, though, the name of a console doesn’t really mean much.

I think they are reserving the big game announcements for E3, which happens in just a few weeks. They did mention that there will be 15 exclusives within the first year after the system’s launch, with eight of them being brand new IPs. I am excited to see what Microsoft has in store. If they don’t deliver games to their core audience, however, Xbox One is going to fall behind. TV and Skype and Kinect and all that jazz is nice, but that stuff comes second; people aren’t going to buy a GAMING console for TV alone. Games come first, and they are what is, ultimately, going to sell (or not sell) this console. We shall see what E3 has in store for Xbox One.