Thoughts on the Xbox One reveal

I was very excited for the big reveal from Microsoft, and literally was counting down the days.  When it finally arrived, I could hardly contain myself!

My initial reaction was that I was somewhat underwhelmed, but generally excited and liked everything I saw during the presentation (even though I could very easily admit that they just didn’t show enough).  The TV integration stuff I thought was very neat, and more importantly the pure speed of how everything worked on the system really wowed me and put to rest the biggest complaint I have with the current generation: how slow/long everything seems to take “using” the system.

The COD stuff was really cool – but none of the graphical elements really screamed  “next-gen” to me – and to be fair neither did Sony’s.  The reveal event seemed more of a message about “this is what the next generation of set top boxes looks like” and not “this is what the next generation of gaming looks like”.

However I can’t seem to wrap my head around the sheer amount of hatred and venom spewing all over the internet.  It’s literally insane and I just don’t get it.  Almost every complaint people are tossing around is either completely wrong, has little to no merit, or is based on little to no information – or worse complete misinformation.  To be fair, Microsoft didn’t really do a good job disseminating information after the press conference and only fueled the fire that people were already angry about.

Some of the main points that people are complaining about:

  • Constant Internet connection required – personally this is a non issue for me.  I never really believed the rumors that the system would require a pure, uninterrupted internet connection or would be rendered literally useless.  My personal belief is that the system needs internet more or less to function and have all of its fancy bells and whistles functional, but if you yanked out that Ethernet cord I’m sure the console will be just fine. Maybe not “forever” (i.e. notes of it needing at least some kind of connection every 24 hours, etc).  But again, there’s little to no information known about this quite yet.
  • No ability to trade in games – this one really pisses me off.  People are so entitled nowadays they have no idea.  First of all, trading in games is a current-generation phenomena and its not a right.  The developers and publishers get screwed in that situation and the ONLY people that truly make out, in the end, is Gamestop.  Period.  Second of all, Microsoft has said that they have plans to support the trade-in business but they are revealing more at E3.   I believe they will wow us all with a pretty innovative and clever way to handle trade-ins – especially digital trade-ins (which is completely uncharted territory!)  Oh then there’s this: http://i.imgur.com/gsJpvRj.png
  • No Backwards Compatibility – again with the entitlement!!!!  People, consoles are NEVER backwards compatible!! (its a HARDWARE thing, not a business thing)  Oh, OK the PS3 launch edition was, but it was 799 bucks too!! You basically bought 2 consoles.  When they lowered the price, they removed BC.  THEN, they started charging for old gen games as digital downloads.  That’s sleazy!  And in case you all forget and go on and on and on about your huge library of 360 games and WTF are you supposed to do with them… last time I checked, the Xbox 360 will still function even after an Xbox One enters your home.  Pssst: PS4 is not BC either!
  • Too much emphasis on TV and not Games – I think Microsoft dropped the ball on who they were exactly targeting with this big reveal event.  Personally, I kind of knew going in that it was going to be more business and less “hardcore gamers” rallying cry.  But, it was a little TOO geared towards Joe Sixpack (i.e. TV and NFL!!). All the business stuff I just wasn’t into – BUT I did love the direction they are going with thinking outside of the box besides JUST being a games-only device.  People don’t seem to realize that the single mindset “games device” is dead – no one cares any more about that and if the PS4 ONLY played games and that’s it, it would die a very quick death. (*cough* WiiU *cough*).  However, Microsoft prefaced the reveal (and again in the end of it) with the big reminder that E3 is right around the corner and E3 IS all about games.  Somehow, I don’t think the president of NBC (or whatever dumb person that has to do with TV) is going to headline the press conference during E3.
  • “Always on” Kinect recording your every move – really?! Really?! Do you seriously think that Microsoft is going to be recording your every move and conversation in your living room and upload it to a master server where the CEO’s of WalMart, Toys R Us, Best Buy and AT&T can all browse and watch at their leisure and then target you with advertising?  Better get your tin-foil hat on!  Hey, maybe that’s what all the extra Xbox Live servers are going to be for that they bragged about during the press conference!

A few important takeaways for everyone that’s raging right now and super pissed:

  • These consoles ARE a luxury item – it is not a right to own one, but a privilege.  If you aren’t happy about it – don’t buy it.  But, please DO make an actual educated decision on your purchase and not one based purely on emotion because you think someone is just out to get you. And remember: if they implement a feature that you DON’T like or they don’t implement a feature that you DO want- it doesn’t matter because you aren’t king shit and you don’t matter.
  • Roughly 60 minutes – was all the time they had to show us the new hardware, the speed and fluidity of the new OS, the new features wrapped around the future of the console and the future of our living rooms… on June 10th they will have AN ENTIRE FUCKING WEEK to show us the GODDAMN GAMES!  So… relax.
  • NOTHING is known right now and NOTHING is concrete.  The release is nearly 7 months away, A LOT can change by then (including the design of the hardware possibly).  Lets slowly take a breath and try not to get lost in all the noise out there right now.

You might call me a fanboy, and you’d probably be right.  However, I’m doing the opposite here – I’m not believing in Microsoft on blind faith.  I’m choosing to believe that they aren’t evil monsters hell bent on world domination.  I believe that there are some truly smart people behind the wheel that have spent more than 5 minutes thinking about how to change the future.  I believe that they wouldn’t commit financial suicide by implementing extremely polarizing features when there is a HUGE competitor chomping at the bit to capitalize on their mistakes.  If the PS4 truly turns out to be the better console, I’ll gladly admit it – but I will HAVE to be convinced first, I won’t assume either way.

E3 is going to be Microsoft’s chance to convince GAMERS that this is the console to buy. If they screw THAT up, after ALL the noise on the Internet between now and then, they deserve to lose the next-gen war.  They MUST show us the games, and go big!  They MUST clear up all these nonsense rumors and misinformation!  They MUST bring, big, bold ideas and they MUST make their message clear.  Fingers crossed until June 10th 😉

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