As the curtain fell on the Xbox Reveal event this evening, a rumbling of discontent emanated throughout the crowd. Probably. We weren’t there. But we’re sure it happened, chiefly because despite the hype and the tentative, largely arguable ‘success’ of the show, Wired confirmed two things we’ve been dreading. And they were also dishing out week-old hot dogs to all attendees. Bang.
The One That I Want
First off, you need to know its name, ‘cause we here at Respawn are quite aware that you probably don’t read our awful titles. It’s Xbox One. Which is odd. Because there is an Xbox One already, depending on how numerically you enjoy your console iterations. We still think Xbox 8 or Infinity would have been fancier choices, or really anything that doesn’t make it sound like it’s three decades behind the new Playstation. But oh well, name calling is juvenile anyway, or so we’re told.
Dem Right Angles
Next up, we’ve stuck a picture in below, but it’s not exactly an eyeball slobbering masseuse in terms of technological aesthetical charm is it. We suppose the curvier edition will come out in a years’ time under the inventive pseudonym Xbox One S. Or Xbox Onsie. That’d be fun, and relevant wouldn’t it? Oh right, name calling.
Anyway, cosmetic niggles out of the way, let’s get onto the meat of the show, the aforementioned terrors that Wired have revealed.
- The Xbox One is not backwards compatible. Though we weren’t really expecting it to be anyway – we know the PS4 won’t be, at least not at disc level.
- The Xbox One requires an installation to the HDD which in turn ties the game to your Live account – if you want to play the game on a different console or even someone else’s account, you need to pay a fee to unlock it.
Essentially, the blocking of preowned this next generation COULD be the nail in the coffin for those slowly regenerating, yet still wounded high street retailers. Or GAME, as it were. And despite what you might think, that’s not actually a good thing for the industry. It’s also incredibly anti-user. Why, when buying a game, am I made to feel like I’ve done something wrong? That’s not exactly inviting the paying customer in for a seat in your lavish banqueting hall is it? It’s spitting at them and closing the door, before hurling your product at their back and yelling something about keeping off the lawn.
In fact, to say Microsoft succeeded in any way at this event would be to be horrendously, overtly, Mother Teresaly generous. They waffled on about their fancy new TV features, and how you could watch telly and browse the internet and make a cup of tea and sew on a button at the same time, (presumably that feature is aimed exclusively at the rather niche Pod Racing Commentators market – and if you get that, well… good) and how you could put your fantasy football league players with… little pictures of their faces… next to the actual game… as it was happening, or something, as if anybody’s genuine yearning to do that were anything but an atrocity, and all the while ignored their target audience.
Countdown to E3
We know E3 is only a couple of weeks away, but honestly Microsoft, we’re really not that interested in Live TV. Especially because it won’t actually work in the UK on launch. Nor are we bothered about Call of Duty: Ghosts. And although the Steven Spielberg directed Halo mini-series sounds fantastic, we just want to know why us gamers, remember us, should be even partially interested.
Undoubtedly the most promising part of the show was the reveal of Quantum Break, straight from the fingertips of Remedy, the benign creators of Max Payne. But as far as fancy lights and doohickeys that are going to benefit the gaming experience go, we heard nothing.
So, with the rather devastating news that preowned games will no longer be a thing thanks to restrictive and overbearing controls come Xbox One launch, coupled with a poor overall showing that ignored the very people watching, can Microsoft still make a meal out of E3?
Yes. But it’s going to take some work. They mentioned they had 15 exclusives lined up for the console in the first year – we’re going to need to hear about them, and they’re going to have to make us dribble in anticipation. Similar to the PS4, we’re going to want to know what kind of platform the One will give to indies and smaller developers – will the Live Arcade live on, or will it be demolished for something new? Does the One have video sharing capabilities like the PS4 – we know it captures, but what else will it do? Does it do anything for the core market at all? Microsoft have got a steep, steep climb to the 10th of June, and despite all this… we’re still pretty excited. How about you guys?