Now I will admit that when I heard Microsoft was coming out with a new generation console, I was pretty excited. I am a Microsoft girl myself. This news was music to the ears. With a new system comes the possibilities of even prettier graphics, sweeping stories and world altering combats. Games and downloadable content could take the next step to greatness within the industry. However, with the new Xbox One, Microsoft may be taking a few steps back into the dark.
When I saw the first photos of the new console I thought the setup was all right. The look is sleek but keeps the nuances of the prior generations. This is what a new system should look like, with the simple controller and the new skin of the Kinect. It appears, that looks is the only thing this console may have going for it. Yes, it does have eight internal cores that allows users to switch into different functions quickly. Yes, I said users not specifically gamers. There is a Blu-Ray reader included, so that those who use their system for movies can still watch them in the dimension they were made for. Your television can be turned on and off, channels easily flipped through, and movie streaming is a snap. All right, so this new system will just a shiner version of its predecessor right? Wrong.
Here is the first problem with the Xbox One. Privacy. Yeah, Microsoft may say that the Kinect component and required, yes required, internet connection is so that the console can be easily manipulated by its user. The Kinect is said to be always watching and restating the physically and gaming conditions of those who use it. Rumor has it that this type of information gathering can be used by Microsoft in order to sell future downloadable content and other patches. It sorts through all kinds of data and uses that to accommodate the player. But, the fact that the component is always on is raising some eyebrows. The potential for privacy breaches and leaks is very high and its making possible consumers uncomfortable.
This next one is probably the biggest. The Xbox One is not going to play used games. Now, unless Microsoft finds a way to correct this, its in big trouble. Most of the console players out there have filled their shelves with used titles, both obscure and well-known. The used game market is how most gamers can even afford to play. True that when the Xbox 360 hit shelves the backwards comparability was limited. However, the console still allowed for certain favorites to be played and would allow emulator porting for others. The Xbox One has no such format. The reasoning behind this is that games are going to be ‘licensed’ rather then purchased. The digital market is growing fast but seems to leave console gamers behind.
The last issue I can think to bring up is the lack of concrete release titles. The in-productions out there such as Bungee’s ‘Destiny’ and BioWare’s ‘Dragon Age 3: Inquisition’ are said to be coming to the Xbox One. However, these titles are cross-platformed. Where Sony would get one of these titles, they would be made for Microsoft. But, the initial list of upcoming games is short if close to non-existent.
Whereas I can agree that things are sliding right into the digital charged age and gaming must change along with the rest of the world, I am not certain that Microsoft’s dolphin plunge is quite the way to go. We will just have to see if they prove me wrong.