Sunday, May 26, 2013

Opinion Piece: Xbox One and done?

Disclaimer: This article is the writer's opinion alone hence the title.

This past Tuesday the Xbox One was revealed by Microsoft. As it was only a reveal press event we didn't get a lot of information on specifics about games. Well, to be honest they barely gave even a small amount of information on games. What we did get to know are the features it has. It can watch tv, it can switch between gaming and tv watching instantly. It does those things through voice commands. It also has a blu ray player and a redesigned controller.

As for what I feel about it, as of right now I feel I can't justify a purchase. I know that there's going to be more information on the games at E3 but the limitations, both confirmed and possible are just too much for me to ignore. The possibility of paying full price for a game that you bought used, the kinect being able to watch and study your body language and the console requiring an internet connection to be used. Granted the internet connection doesn't always have to be on but the fact that it needs one to be used isn't good. In the United States broadband internet hasn't reached every part of the country and in parts that there is broadband not every one is able to use it as much as different ISPs have different caps. 

About the television capabilities that seems to be such a strong focus, the Xbox One doesn't even have that capability right out of the box. It requires a separate device that needs to be purchased, and at launch that feature will only be available in the United States. Which, if the exclusive games for the Xbox One aren't that compelling and the tv features aren't even available why would people around the world consider buying the Xbox One? I'll wait until we see more information about the games at E3 to say the Xbox does or doesn't have many games worth purchasing the system over. But the ones we do know about probably will see plenty of purchases from the fans. Halo and Gears Of War will sell Xboxes I don't think the Xbox will be a failure even if it isn't a huge hit it won't be a complete failure. 

On the subject of E3 I've been hearing a lot of "wait for E3 this event was just to show the console, get the boring stuff put of the way" Well, Sony revealed the PS4 and were able to show things but still have plenty of for E3. It makes me think of two things, Microsoft probably doesn't have too much for E3 or by trying to "get the boring stuff out of the way" they are trying to focus on appeasing different markets but they're doing it in a way where most people watching were the serious gamer. 

Speaking of markets I honestly feel that this market of people who want to consume content on the internet and watch tv and are willing to buy a gaming console instead of a blu ray player or set top box or just stick with their computer or tablet doesn't exist. Or at least it's not a big market. 

Finally the two things that we don't know too much in detail about but are huge detractors if the worse is true. First, the pay wall for used games. I've been hearing the fee for buying a used game and trying to play it on your own system could be as high as the original price. Which could have some blowback from GameStop for hurting it's business in used game sales. GameStop will stock Xbox Ones but I have to wonder just how much they'll advertise it. Secondly, the kinect could be a turn off for consumers. Having a voice activated console that lets you play games is ok. But the potential of it is a bit creepy. There's been articles that show it can read body language to know what to advertise to you, and it can know how many people are in a room and there's possibilities of it stopping a movie if it detects too many people in a room and asking for a fee. Of course though the reason I brought these up last is right now there's too many rumors about the used games and the kinect "spying" on you. It can be scary but right now these things are just rumors and I won't flip out over that stuff until I know the facts from Microsoft. However the other things like it having three gigabytes of it's 8 gigabytes of RAM are dedicated to the multimedia features it has an older type of RAM than the PS4. it has a custom processor, 500 gigabytes of storage, won't be backwards compatible, and won't support most headsets are facts that we do know for sure that make me not want to purchase it. Things can change by E3 we can learn that it has good games and that things won't be as scary as it might seem. Though the things I mentioned that we do know for sure still don't have me raring to buy one.

Alright I rambled on enough. That's my thoughts about what we know about the Xbox One right now. Let me know what you think talk to me on twitter @ikariradio and be part of the larger discussion by listening to the Ikaricast on iTunes and emailing the show in the show

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