Xbox One: New Console, Old Games

Microsoft showcased dozens of upcoming games, but none of them showed what differentiates its latest console from its old one.

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Meet the new generation, same as the old generation. There is no inherent need for a new console. It's a concept that seems to clash with our technorabid culture, but rings with more truth than Microsoft would like to admit. As the veil was finally lifted on the Xbox One's growing library, scenes of shooting and fighting filling the screen, one thought rose above all the noise: We've seen this before. After suffering through weeks of people arguing about RAM capacity and cloud potential, of what an always-connected console could mean for the future of gaming, we were left with an hour of pretty games that didn't offer any noticeable change to the core experience we've already been playing. Everything that's old is new again.

Visuals are an important component of gaming--they are called video games after all--but they're not the only element that matters. The leap from one generation to the next brings changes that go much deeper than raw specifications. From the speed and rotating perspective of F-Zero on the Super Nintendo to the flood of undead freaks in the Xbox 360's Dead Rising, we've become accustomed to the earliest games for systems showing exactly why we should care. Why we'd be willing to spend hundreds of dollars to jump in. Why we would line up outside of electronics stores at midnight to secure an amazing, new, industry-defining console. We're supposed to see hints at how the next few years are going to play out, and Microsoft failed miserably in that regard.

Open world was a major theme at Microsoft's press conference, and when you consider the technical demands of boundless lands, you would expect to be blown away by the sheer wizardry being displayed. But such excitement was deadened when the games showcased failed to elicit that thrill. Sunset Overdrive looked like a '90s commercial for an orange-flavored drink. The protagonist showed off his incredible parkour ability and even rode a zip line to the street. But we've seen crazy agility in an open world already. What elevates this above Just Cause 2 or even Crackdown? Dead Rising 3 has zombies and more zombies, but its predecessors have already given us that. Why does this need to be on the Xbox One?

Fancy visuals are not enough of a draw to warrant a console upgrade. We've already been spoiled by eye-popping graphics on our current systems, and PCs have been churning out unbelievable sights for years. Raw power simply doesn't matter if it doesn't lead to new experiences. Once the luster of uncountable polygons and dynamic lighting fades away, we're left with a game that lives and dies based on its own mechanics. Though just about every game that Microsoft showed looked like it could be fun, none of them offered gameplay advancements that would necessitate a $500 purchase. Is war going to change because a plane slid down a naval carrier? Are we supposed to ignore the mechs that have already appeared in science-fiction shooters? We've seen these elements in the current generation. Show us something new.

This press conference was Microsoft's chance to show exactly why we need the Xbox One in November. It needed us to look at our dusty consoles and pine away for something new. Show us exactly why the cloud is so important, what the connection to 300,000 servers can give us that was previously lacking in our gaming lives. Explain how infinite power has allowed developers to tap into a well of creativity that they never knew existed. How was the current generation holding designers back, and what games can be realized now that the shackles have been removed? Microsoft needed to convince us that the Xbox One is the future of the industry, that they and their partners can fulfill their wildest fantasies on this new hardware.

The next generation of consoles is almost upon us. Our instincts are dragging us forward, urging us to preorder these shiny new consoles. We see these flashy visuals and hear the bold claims from company executives, and we're helpless to resist. The current generation has stretched on for too long; we want something new. We need something new. We're here and we're ready to be amazed.

But we're not going to fawn over a new console just because it's new. We're not going to drool just because you tell us to. It's Microsoft's job to convince us that the Xbox One is the system to own. It's Microsoft's job to show us why the Xbox One is the future of the gaming industry. It's unclear what sorts of games are still under wraps. Maybe there is something that is going to forever change how we see video games in the pipeline. But right now, Xbox One games look an awful lot like Xbox 360 games, and that's not exciting at all.

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Discussion

458 comments
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Tom Mc Shea is an actual moron. He knows it, and we know it.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

The article was one of the best I have read. So far, every game is also being made for the current consoles. Which are still very goodconsoles.

lilj2626
lilj2626

wel im is lookn at VERY good lookn games n Graphix on my Sony but DONT b FOOLed da games aint out yet altho da games look Butiful but stuff look gud on Paper n Demos til da Product cum out now im Not fina hate on MS just yet altho it IS sum ish dat just STUPID but trust its sum VERY goodlookn PS3 GAMES dat cud hang wit PS4 Graphically wit da SAME engine PS4 will hav more detail but da Games look VIRTUALLY  da same chk WATCH DOGS ON PS3 N 4

psylock377
psylock377

i feel ripped off by microsoft , the xbox one is crap i wont be buying it and i wont be paying for online service for an outdated
console (xbox360) when the xbox one is launched i wont be able to play my favorite online games anymore i regret not buying a ps3. afew weeks before the xbox one launches ill be selling my 360 with all my games and buying a ps4 and a ps3 fuck microsoft

Acardorin
Acardorin

Now where's the article: "PS4: New Console, Old Games" articles?

Or, the rewrite of this article: "7th Gen: New Consoles, Old Games"?

This is just bashing MS for no apparent reason. Regardless of your thoughts on the Xbox One and MS, it seemed to me that MS had by far the most 'innovative' conference. Forza's new learning AI system, Project Spark, SmartGlass integration, voice control features in big games (Witcher 3).

Yes, I was sad by the lack of focus on the Kinect or the hyped cloud-boost features too, but Sony showed absolutely nothing but graphical enhancement, hell they didn't even showcase any integration of the PS4 controller's touchpad or the new PS Eye. The only thing outside the run-of-the-mill games shown, was their smartglass model, but this was only shown shortly and its features not even discussed.

Gaming journalism has gone to hell when editors starts preaching to the hate quire.

When you bash the Xbox One for lack of innovation, at a time where the competitor does even less, your opinion comes of as deeply biased.

MaP_Hagmen
MaP_Hagmen

Your an idiot Tom I saw lot of new title on Xbox One in fact they were more new title during Microsoft presentation than Sony

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The biggest innovations in the industry are coming from indie titles. While AAA games are making minor enhancements to the experiences we all have become accustomed to, the indie titles are taking risks and going out of the way to come up with new gameplay ideas. As time goes on and these ideas become popular, the AAA titles will adapt and we will see a noticable shift.

Microsoft is touting the cloud as a huge feature and I was hoping that they would provide demonstrations of how it will actually improve gaming. "Driveatars" aren't exactly the ground-breaking ideas or features that justify the hype. From a technical standpoint, the cloud is very limited in what it can offer. It feels like Microsoft is putting a lot of focus on its potential to deter some of the negative comments about built-in hardware. The problem is that potential doesn't mean anything to gamers now. Don't tout a feature and not have any examples of what truly makes it amazing. They have a lot to prove here.

The games are very similar to current gen games, but there are some noticable upgrades to the environments as well as the visuals. It's enough to get me excited, but i did get a feeling of déjà vu watching the conferences. At least in this aspect, some of the games did demonstrate the potential of next-gen physics, visuals and AI.

The games aren't what influences my purchasing decision for the next-gen consoles. The games will get better. It's the policies and requirements of the consoles that are influencing my purchase decisions. The Xbox One does not meet my needs and it's policies are not what I want influencing the future of gaming. Therefore it is very unlikely that I will buy an Xbox One.

jennermam
jennermam

well if thts the case maybe the will release them for download on the crapy X1

jennermam
jennermam

Thank you Madara Soul think im goin to hide in the corner and cry 

jennermam
jennermam

My biggest question Will you be able to play your 360 games on the Xbox 1 as i do love the Gears of war games and don't want to lose them when i trade my old Xbox for the new 1 as it will have a blue ray player and the Xbox 360 are HD disks

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I have thought for years that the gaming writers are far more sensitive to innovation than the wider market of gamers.  If you live and breathe this stuff every day then it inevitably gets old.  Even delicious steak gets tiresome if you are only allowed to eat steak every day.  Then somebody lets you have a pizza and you're raving about it.  So seasoned reviewers will fall all over themselves for interesting, innovative, often niche titles that the buying public can't be bothered with.  And they'll mark down points for a well-executed but ultimately derivative game.  If that's the only shooter you played this year it might easily be a 10.0.   But for the guy who is reviewing his 20th shooter game since Christmas, he can't help but be uninspired.


I think the same thing plays out here.  The editors of GameSpot are passionate about games and less so about random "media features" of their consoles.  They have also played a lot of these games and similar for _years_.  So they are always on the lookout for something new.  Whereas gamers line up and pour their paychecks to Nintendo so they can play the new Zelda game.  They want the high-quality experience they know and love.

maximo
maximo

Tom Mcshea STFU

You know nothing about videogames and know nothing about MSFT. 

I want to quote this crap 6 months after the xbox one launched. He will be eating is own words and I expect a full apology for this negative crap he calls reporting.

rem234
rem234

When it comes down to it most games except for a few on both Sony and Microsoft dont look all that different from high end current gen, but it will take a while to get there and even then the difference is not going to be like it was. 

The consoles are at a point where they will never have that feeling of things being completely different, we have covered too much ground. That said i would like to see what he really expected them to do? or what they would actually have to do to be impressed?

manada
manada

'you can just call him the jerk who hates all the things you love and loves all the things you hate.' Makes sense

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

A typical slightly dramatised angle on the situation from McShea, but once again (and God help me) he's hit the mark in style. Cheers for this article.

Maytricx
Maytricx

I agree with sr_arthur3. I am an xbox fan. I am not happy that the new Xbox will cost $100 more and that we are not seeing the potential from the games so far. The avalanche of dislike has come on swiftly.

sr_arthur3
sr_arthur3

I am by no means a fan boy, please keep that in mind.  But is there a really huge bias against microsoft right now, or did they really eff'ed up themselves so badly that they are being shunned by everyone and their mothers now?  I still say microsoft should have listened while they had time.

bmart970
bmart970

On the bright side, people won't be saying Gamespot is payed off by Microsoft anymore.

HybridKing
HybridKing

To say GS was disappointed with MS' press conference is an understatement. You hear people say GS is full of idiots for ripping MS. But they wouldn't have if MS gave them a reason to be excited. Read the article properly people, he's speaking as a disappointed gamer, not someone jumping on the PS4 bandwagon.

bmart970
bmart970

I really do think Titanfall looks cool, but Microsoft is gonna have to kill the required Kinect, 24 hour check ins, and the used game policy to guarantee my business. I really don't see a reason outside of graphics to switch from my current Xbox to this one since the games are coming out for both for awhile.

Stesilaus
Stesilaus

"But right now, Xbox One games look an awful lot like Xbox 360 games, ..."

And PS4 games don't look an awful lot like PS3 games?!!!

Hirasugi
Hirasugi

This whining in the comment section is just annoying.  Its an opinion piece people.  It's as they think the author's opinions somehow eradicate their own.  Trying to find positive aspects in Xbox just to "balance" things out opinion wise is just hogwash.  If Xbox messed up, they messed up and as such the author has a right to that opinion.


Anyways I was a fairly impressed with Ryse despite being QTE heavy.  Personally that isn't such a big deal since some developers like to frontload QTE sequences at conferences (like Tomb Raider).  Titanfall had a samey base but seemed to change things up a bit where it counts.  With that said it wasn't enough for me to get an Xbox, especially after the spanking they got prior to E3 and during Sony's conference. 

DawgByte2
DawgByte2

GameSpot is fuckin' stupid.... both negative comments for X-Box & both positive comments on Sony... talk about biased... pure & utter bullshit. What the fuckin' hell. Seriously.

This writer has Sony fanboyism written all over it. The other "writer" just has hatred of X-Box written all over it... how about finding some positives instead of focusing on the negatives, and yes there were quite a few positives. Do I need to name them? No, but I can... I'm not the journalist here... and I don't think you, Tom McShea, are either.

Gamespot, you're an asshole & everything you stand for, for writing TWO negative X-Box commentaries. You should know better journalism than that.

LeMeAtOm
LeMeAtOm

@Acardorin and they deliberately missed out the playstation eye and any accessories to avoid risking exposure to their package planning, we all know their bundle at launch wont include the eye, which when it does will make it just the same price as the xbox one if you buy both. 

LeMeAtOm
LeMeAtOm

@Hvac0120  "From a technical standpoint, the cloud is very limited in what it can offer" that is a clearly uneducated point, the possibilities of cloud are absolutely huge, harnessing computational/storage/always on power like nothing before, it'll be self aware in less than a year and all our toasters will kill us!    Cloudnet

Mendax2013
Mendax2013

@maximo why are you such a blind fanboy? what does M$ give you that sony or steam can't give you?

what they are doing adds nothing of value to gaming or a gaming experience, they are aiming for total control over your gaming.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@rem234 Agreed. The new consoles main focus should be to improve what we already have today. There was a lot of talk of 60 fps when those demos were running, and even some mention of no load times. That's what I want: better performance. I dream of the day when even "low budget" games can run without load times or fram rate drops.

Mendax2013
Mendax2013

@sr_arthur3 microsoft has basically told fans and other giver feedback to go f themselves, and people without reliable internet to buy a 360...

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@sr_arthur3 Having spent the past couple of days talking E3 with everyone and one father, there definitely seems to be a consensus that Microsoft fluffed it up, and that's coming from hardcore Microsoft fans as well.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@bmart970 To be honest, I don't get the hype around Titanfall. I heard a lot of talk from developers and suits about how it's so much different than what is already out there...but what do they see that I don't? I see another futuristic FPS game, with the addition of some cool parkour-style movements and mechs. What exactly makes this different than the other FPS games shown alongside it at the press conference?

UneasyMeat
UneasyMeat

@Stesilaus 
In my opinion, from what I've seen over the years, PS has always been one to bring innovative ideas to the table. Nintendo was pretty tried and true with their Zeldas, Metroids, and Marios, but they were good at making them fresh for the new console. MS is too focused on shooters if you ask me. A shooter is a shooter. Not that they can't be great games, but FPSs are easy for me to lose interest in. I'm so sick of Halo.

jkingtha1st
jkingtha1st

@HirasugiJust read the description under the edit name.  We suppose to  let someone like him have a leading voice?

jkingtha1st
jkingtha1st

@Hirasugi  4 different editors over bashing x-box 1, with not one thing good to says. Sounds like bullying to me.

Just people with power thinking they can say what ever and people will follow. 

Mendax2013
Mendax2013

@DawgByte2

the xbone = negative, so writing negative articles about it actually IS good journalism!

denial denial denial denial denial denial denial denial

espviper301
espviper301

@DawgByte2 You call Gamespot sony fanboys and yet you troll an Xbox fanboy diatribe?...Really bro?


MaP_Hagmen
MaP_Hagmen

@MadaraSoul @jennermam You cannot on any next gen console

maximo
maximo

@Mendax2013 @maximo yeah its a conspiracy.

I happen to like the services that MSFT provide. Furthermore I dont mind paying for them. It's just my personal preference.

As for the article above its pure hogwash and blind propaganda. Just because MSFT didn't cater to this so called journalists every whim he basically rips them a new one.

His job is to report. Nothing else.

Mendax2013
Mendax2013

@jkingtha1st @Hirasugi dude, there is nothing positive to say, hence 4 articles with a negative view on it... get real, the xbone is bad, facts prove it.

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

@jkingtha1st @Hirasugi Hi. You're now feeling what all the Nintendo fans had to put up with since the Wii started dying. Enjoy your console cycle of utter crap and disregard for what the Xbone may do right by gamers.

Hirasugi
Hirasugi

@jkingtha1st@Hirasugi 

Could it possibly be that the majority of people just found it to be incredibly underwhelming?  And I still haven't gotten a reason why people think this is unscrupulous journalism

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The Xbox 360 does not use "Hd discs." It uses standard DvD9 and contains HD content. The problem isn't with the format of the disc, it's the way the code on the disc is compiled. It's all compiled to run on the 360 hardware architecture. The Xbox One has a completely different architecture than the 360.

Sony has announced that Ps3 games will be playable on Ps4 using their cloud services. I assume Microsoft will try to do something similar if they can, but there haven't been any announcements. It's likely you won't be able to use your existing PS3 discs to play the games in the cloud. It'll be interesting to see how that all works.

I would get Gears of War for PC, but for some reason it's an overpriced game on PC ($30)