In my youth I started out as a Nintendo guy. I loved the Mario and Zelda games like crazy. To this day Ocarina of Time is my all time favourite game. My love for Nintendo died with the Wii as the company moved their gaze away from Gamers and moved into the casual market. I bare no grudge, doing what they were doing in the Game Cube days would have meant another console going down that line would have meant the end of Nintendo building hardware.
So, with that in mind, I moved on to the Xbox 360, the games were great. I could see all the consoles moving into a broader market with the internet and streaming films, music and TV but hey, I didn't care, they were still making a real push in games for gamers. Even when the Kinect came along I didn't bat an eyelid, a nice gimmick but not for me.
When Sony revealed their PS4 I must say I was impressed, not with the hardware or the slickness of the presentation, we all saw that coming, but with the focus squarely on games. Their attitude was almost, "yeah we stream videos and play Blu Ray and have great internet features but so what, everyone does." They focused on games showing off Watch Dogs, Destiny and others to just highlight this was a game device first and a media centre second. I was impressed but in the back of my head all I could think was, "I wonder what Microsoft are going to give us?"
After staying up in the wee hours in Perth Australia to see the Xbox One Reveal I must admit I when to sleep that night very empty. With all the fancy get up that the One has going for it, it seems to disappoint its core fans. It's easy to say that but lets break this down.
1. The TV applications- A strong link to Kinect 2.0 and its voice features the One allows you seemlessly change channels, scan TV guides and move from TV to Game to Dashboard to Internet Explorer with simple voice commands. These features sound cool I'm not gonna lie but come on lets face the facts here. I am sitting on the couch, writing this on my laptop while watching TV with my remote next to me with my smart phone in my pocket. You think I'm sighing that to change the channel or reading a text is such a drag and an inconvenience? NO! SO the arguement would be why?
2. NFL Partnership- : Live NFL on your Xbox coupled with PIP to review fantasy scores, progression, Skype interface to comment on results, bounce from Live NFL to Highlights with voice command and hand gestures. Again this all sounds pretty impressive but once again this does nothing for me and not just because I am an Australian who has as much interest in the NFL as I do watching Cauliflower steam. If this were say the Aussie Rules (which I love) or the Premier League (which I love even more) all of this means nothing to me. Again this links back into just how kitted out the average house is in the Western world all I need to do is plant my laptop on my lap and watch the big screen to do all of this. Smart glass has been touted as well with the connection between the Xbox and the TV but again this is nothing new or exciting in terms of being a GAMES Console.
3. The Games (or Lack there of): we were shown a few things at the reveal but I guess even saying it was a few is giving Microsoft a little too much credit. There was video of EA Sports FIFA and Madden, Remedy's Quantum Break, Forza 5 and COD Ghosts. The problem here was there was no gameplay, just videos. I remember the days of the PS2, GC and Xbox where we were shown hi res videos and had our minds blown, then we would go away and actually play these games and were left decieved about the lack of gloss from the previous videos. Microsoft seems to forget that this trick doesn't work any more, we need gameplay. You got a new controller (one of few major pluses to the new console by the way) so why not show it off, get it in someone's hands and use the bloody thing.
This presentation just missed the point entirely. This event was broadcast on TV and streamed live on the net through many major gaming sites. Simply put the presentation was not catered to this audience. You think that people tuned in to see if they could access Skype or Netflix with your voice? You think house wives were watching to see if they could scan their TV guide to see what soap opera is trending on Live? NO! This broadcast was for the fan base, GAMERS!!! So why the hell are we gonna want to know about multi media S**t? We want games! We want exclusives, we want old favourites but we also want new franchises to get us excited. We want exclusive content for Destiny, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell and so on. They are now hyping E3 as the gaming conference for Gamers. NOT GOOD ENOUGH MICROSOFT!
There was always the worry about an Always Online console and I must admit, after the event they really never said that it wasn't (or that it was for that matter) in all fairness it was revealed not to be the case after the reveal but bloody hell boys, what were you thinking not to bring that up? With all the talk of Connection and Cloud gaming it seriously looked like it was an always online console and you were just afraid of backlash to say it. But I digress, it's not an always online console.
Now all is said and done we gamers are now left waiting for E3 to bring us what we really want, great new games from a new console that is there for games to be played on. The tech and the media features need to take a back seat. Kinect's non game features need to be put to the side and focus on the hardcore AAA games for Gamers. I was once Nintendo mad and moved on when they abandoned the true gamer. At this rate I will leave Microsoft to join Sony if I don't see a serious focus on games for Gamers. I can't stress this enough, So far the Xbox One has GUTTED me!