Now I respect my fellow reviewer the Dork Utopian’s review, but is the Xbox really deserving of all the hate it has been getting?
I have always done my best to own every system that has come out even at the cost of eating nothing but ramen for months on end and this generation I had planned to do the same.
TV, TV, Sports, TV, Call of Duty. Anyone who watched the reveal is far to familiar with those words being repeated almost like a mantra and, then at E3 my gut reaction like many was to groan and shun the newest iteration of my beloved Xbox.
I kept telling myself there is no way Microsoft would just blow a hole in their ship and let it sink, it really looks at first glance like they have, but lets take a closer look
This is said over and over by people slamming the Xbox into the ground, but it is slightly misunderstood. It is a once every 24 hour check in. How many of you have a smart phone? Well bam connect your Xbox up to the hot spot you create with the phone let it talk to the mother ship! Is this ideal not really however, it is not enough of an inconvenience that I will be driven from the system. Are there advantages to this? I think so. Think about developers KNOWING you will be online at least once a day. It enables them to patch and change the game daily and make a persistent world. It can be a pain but it can also be a blessing depending on how the tech is used.
Anti Used Games:
This is another big soap box everyone stands on. Sure everyone hates on Gamestop making a lot of money off you when you buy a used game for 2-3 times as much as they bought it for but, Microsoft takes away their ability to do that and everyone hates on them. I personally try to buy any game I want to play new because the developer is the one that deserves my money. Are they getting all of my 60 bucks? No probably 10, but what are they making when I buy it used? Nothing.
If Microsoft continues down the path they are going, a more steam like path, the developer may end up getting more of that 60$ then ever before! “Oh but I can’t trade in the game when I am done with it!” well as far as that goes when you trade it in they give you what? 20-30 dollars for a brand new game then they turn around and sell it for 55$ next to the new one for 60$. God forbid the game has been out for more then 2 months then the best they can do is 15$. I am not saying this is an ideal move by Microsoft especially after they announced the 60$ price tag on the games will still be standard, but it really is not the end of the world.
This last part of my thought process is PURE speculation but maybe with developers KNOWING they will get all of your money for their games with the used game market being cut out there might be a drop in price for DLC or even free DLC. I have heard tell the guys at Insomniac want to keep Sunset Overdrive updated with new content as much as they can and always being online and getting money from every player that buys their game cannot hurt with that goal. Also while I do look at this as a cop out:
Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.
They do give the publishers the ability to let you trade in your used games. So a Publisher can be a “Hero” and allow it while maybe building up more hype for their game OR they may not allow it promising more content or DLC for less/free. Microsoft kind of took a “Well they don’t HAVE to do it but, they can!” stance on it.
So these two things are biggest problems people see in it and even as optimistic and full of love for the Xbox as I am they still honestly annoy me and make me nervous.
That being said lets look at what some of the redeeming features
Family and Friends:
Now this system has not been FULLY explained. I have a wary optimism about this but it sounds awesome.
Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
From Xbox’s Site. Now the wording on this is tricky. The optimist in me wants to say everyone can play my games whenever they want as long as only one person is playing each game, but I doubt that will be how it is. What it looks like to me is I can always play MY games and any ONE person can play a game from my shared list. So what that means to me is: If I share Halo, Sunset Overdrive and Dead Rising 3, then I can play them all anytime I want they are my games but if Billy wants to play Dead Rising 3 and Jimmy wants to play Halo from my shared list one of them is out of luck. However until Microsoft gives us some clarification on this I don’t know exactly how this will play out. It sounds cool unique and could be amazing depending on how they implement it.
I know putting this in the “redemption” list with it always having to be connected and driving up the price of the Xbox more won’t sit well with some, but I think the Kinect is pretty cool when implemented correctly. The new one with what it can see and understand sounds awesome. Being able to read impact points or letting you lean around corners by… leaning? Being able to tell how stressed and nervous you are?! That sounds amazing and almost to good to be true. The voice recognition is very good even on the Xbox 360′s Kinect but anyone can order it around, making hanging out with your friends really… fun.
However the new one touts it can understand individual voices and only respond to the person signed in. Items like the Kinect can make games more fun if implemented correctly. I loved it in Mass Effect 3. “Garrus Sniper Rifle” “Tali Overload” man that was fun. Not having to break from the action to do special moves. I always feel like it is implemented best when it is not required to be used but can be used to enhance features already there. I am excited to see what developers will come up with when the Kinect is even more powerful.
This is just cool to me. I love the fact that I can daisy chain an HDMI item into my Xbox. I can plug my Xbox 360 into my Xbox One! Then I would have a Xbox 361! Fully backwards compatible! Haha. I know most TV’s have several HDMI ports but, between all my peripherals one less couldn’t hurt.
Watching TV while you play Xbox seems to be the main reason this exists and lets be honest that is not a bad thing. I like the idea of seeing my friend invites pop up while I am watching a show or a movie and saying “You know what I will totally join your game of Titanfall that sounds fun” It is not game changing or ground breaking but man I have to say I like it.
There you have it. I know there is a lot more to this but, those are some of the major groans as well as things I like about the system.
Just remember this “Console War” is just beginning and Sony has a good head start but it is far from over.