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Xbox One Reveal: Underwhelming, But Expected
There’s been a lot of reaction to the Xbox One reveal in the past few days. Most of these range from mild trepidation to scathing criticism, with vast majority leaning towards the scathing end of the spectrum. To those people I say, “Calm down.” While I do agree that the Xbox One announcement was completely underwhelming, it was also completely expected.
Most of the criticism stems from the fact that Microsoft presented only a few games and spent the vast majority of the press conference demonstrating the host of other features the Xbox One will have, like integration with live television. But people who are upset over that fact should’ve realized that E3 is only about 3 weeks away. It would have been foolish on Microsoft’s part to expose all of their big games at this one hour conference. This meeting was merely a way to display the hardware and to announce the name of the console. Besides, this reveal was targeted at a much wider audience.
Microsoft making this reveal focused more on the non-game playing audience was none more apparent than through the games they trotted out. Call of Duty and the EA Sports series (particularly FIFA) are two of the biggest selling game franchises in the entire world. Microsoft highlighted these specific games because this unveiling was targeted at a wider, more casual audience. Although these games might not be in the good graces of “hardcore gamers,” there’s no denying that CoD and sports games sell an insane amount of copies worldwide, and it’s a smart financial move on Microsoft’s part to show that Xbox One is still going to support these games that have mass appeal.
Personally, I don’t care about how the Xbox One works with television or any of that mumbo jumbo. I barely even watch television. But I do realize that there are other people that utilize their game consoles for different tasks. For those who think that game consoles are only for games need to wake up and smell the coffee. The world is constantly changing, and there are tons of other people who don’t live and breathe video games that make use of their consoles in a variety of ways. My brother, for example, mainly uses his PS3 as a Netflix machine. I’ll start to worry about the inclusion of these peripheral features when they start severely hampering the actual playing of games, but I don’t think any console manufacturer has crossed that line yet.
When comparing the reveals of the two next generation consoles, there’s simply no contest. The PS4 press conference was nearly twice as long, and it was just a showcase of game after game after game. For someone who loves video games, it did a fantastic job of appealing to me. But people getting upset over the Xbox One need to realize that E3 is only a short time away, and this introductory summit wasn’t going to have many games in it, as Microsoft even said so before the reveal. Folks who have been getting their panties tied in a bunch need to chill out for a second. But if Microsoft fails to show kick-ass games at E3, a convention which is completely and wholly focused on video games, then the collective wrath of Internet that will unleash onto Microsoft will most likely be well-deserved.