Some areas of the internet are awash in incredulity and even explicit outrage at the reveal of Microsoft’s new console, the XBOX One.
That controller looks good next to my Betamax.
Notice I didn’t call it a ‘gaming console’, that’s because for all intents and purposes that would be limiting the scope of what Microsoft hopes to achieve with it’s new device. The clean and simplistic aesthetics of the Box itself are meant to fit right into the other devices surrounding modern day TVs. It’s a rather tangential allusion to what they plan on doing with the new XBOX; be the center of your TV entertainment world. Every piece of media going through your television will be controlled by the XBOX One. At least, that’s the plan.
In case you didn’t hear about it yet, here’s a list of the things talked about at the event yesterday:
Voice Control of XBOX One
Snapview (The sort of Customization of windows you see in Windows 8, honestly a killer feature.)
Remedies new project ‘Quantum Break‘
Spielberg involved in Halo TV
NFL Deal or something
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Now with more Dog)
If you notice, out of the hour taken to debut the new system, Microsoft only talked specifically about 3 games. Quantum Break was the only one we didn’t know about already, and it has some kind of TV integration (probably similar to Defiance). A lot of these features they spoke about don’t appeal to me. They probably don’t appeal to you either. That’s okay though, because that’s not who this conference was for.
We already know the thing will play Video Games.
The question for “gamers” becomes then, “Will those Video Games be good enough to justify the purchase of this weird device?” Unfortunately we won’t have that answer until E3. Albert Penello (Who’s title at Microsoft is ridiculously long) said recently in an interview with Jeff Gerstmann:
Hey, let’s have a briefing that sort of goes and talks about our aspirations and I hope [mumbles]. Everybody was super consciences of saying that like that is not what this one [conference] was. This is about talking the overall vision, announce the name, what we’re trying to do, give some context about hardware. That will free us up for E3 to just like, nail it on games.
The event wasn’t about selling us on games, that’s the easy part of the new generation. The hard part is selling people on innovations and the inherent limitations they will bring. Those limitations seem to include not being able to lend and share of Video Games with friends and a requirement to be online at least once every 24 hours for the damn thing to even work.
Mainstream news and their consumers don’t give a shit about these inherent limitations because they’ve been made used to them by the devices they know. Microsoft just has to convince it’s core audience that the games will outshine the potential negatives. But hey, at least they won’t be wasting time talking about Skype integration or their NFL deal at E3 this year. Thanks Don Mattrick.
It’s going to be a long 19 days before E3.