Now that Microsoft’s reveal of the XBOX ONE is over and I’ve had a decent night’s sleep, I wanted to go back and look at the event without any kind of bias or judgmental stains left from first impressions. Yes, I believe everyone can agree the naming is probably not the best. And yes, they didn’t show nearly enough of the software to excite hard core gamers, but let’s try to keep a little perspective.
Many people have already forgotten that Microsoft planned for the event to be a hardware release. Which inherently implies that games weren’t going to be the focus because they’re leaving it for E3, when the whole gaming community will have their eyes glued to them. Do I believe it’s a poorly planned strategy? Absolutely. Especially considering the marketing team Microsoft has behind it. I expected more. I expected something at least on par with Sony’s PS4 announcement. It’s not the end of the world, I just wish we had gotten clearer answers to lingering questions instead of gift-wrapping reasons for fanboys to taunt them.
If you weren’t going to discuss games, then don’t do it all, period. Leave a two minute sizzle real at the end of the presentation so that we’re left with anticipation for E3. They promised 15 exclusives, 8 of which will be brand new IP’s. Give us a taste of those next gen titles to wet our beaks so that we aren’t left asking “that’s it?”. What you don’t do is saunter out EA to talk about sports for ten minutes, but never actually show gameplay. You don’t send out Activision to talk about Call of Duty and how it’s so much better…because of dogs. And you certainly don’t send two women to the stage with the dramatic Halo backdrop, only to show Spielberg plugging the live action television series.
Can we forgive these misguided efforts? Sure. But Microsoft didn’t do themselves any favors by ducking some serious questions. Since the event was supposed to be about the hardware, then discuss the hardware. Sure the features of the machine were definitely interesting and I fully understand Microsoft trying to appeal to a larger demographic by making the XBOX ONE an all-in-one machine, but for the nerds, at least talk in depth about the technology behind it. Most of all, dispel or confirm the rumors. Is it always on? Can we play used games? Is it stronger than the PS4? Instead, we get vague answers that contradicts themselves. Apparently the system doesn’t have to be always on, but it does need internet to update and load games and “always-on” is the preferred connection. Alright. Used games are allowed, but there’s a fee, but then there isn’t, but then there is? Just answer the question and be direct. The deflection does nothing more than insult an already intelligent fanbase and give them fodder for which to criticize.
All that considered, after E3 are any of us going to really care about this presentation? Are you still going to harp on the name of the console? Probably not.
At least we know the system will still play games…I think…Microsoft didn’t actually confirm that. But all kidding aside, let’s be patient and see what they have in store for E3, it could just as easily be a gigantic success as it could monumental failure. Let’s just hope for their sake that there isn’t more than one Kinect game out of that list of 15 exclusives or they’re going to have a very angry mob waiting for them.
So here’s to hoping we learn a whole lot more in the coming month, for now, I think this adequately sums up what we saw yesterday.