The first video game console I ever owned was the original Xbox. When I decided I wanted a new, current console, I opted for an Xbox 360. I’ve never owned a PlayStation home console, yet I don’t proclaim myself an Xbox, or Microsoft, fanboy. It just happened to be that the 360 was better suited for me at that current time (a couple of my friends had a 360, and I didn’t really know anyone with a PS3). After saying all that, I’m really worried for Microsoft’s next generation console.
When I first joined Xbox Live a few years ago, Microsoft did not have Xbox Music or Xbox Video, or all the additional apps they have now. They had a great section for finding arcade games and demos, and the ability to buy music and some movies took a backseat. Then, Microsoft decided to change their dashboard and changed the Zune Marketplace to Xbox Music and Xbox Video. I was fine with that, until I saw the new changes to the dashboard. I did not have a problem with the box layout (you get used to finding your way around eventually), I had a problem with the order in which the different categories were laid out. With the previous dashboard, Games was always the first category you came upon. In the new dashboard, games had (at least until late last year) been placed towards the end. Movies and Music had now taken over and it seemed Games weren’t the most important thing on the Xbox. The latest update has seen Games move in front of Movies and Music, but I still have not forgotten.
I use my VIDEO GAME console for playing VIDEO GAMES, not watching movies, or listening to music, or searching the web.
Speaking of the Dashboard, I no longer see advertisements for recently released games on the homepage. Instead, I see ads for movies, Pay TV programs, and new music. Not to mention ads for the numerous apps Xbox now has. A lot of people probably think it’s great to surf the Internet and watch YouTube from the comfort of their lounge, but I don’t. It’s just a personal preference, but if I wanted to search the web, I’d use a computer or laptop. If I wanted to watch videos on YouTube, I’d use a computer or laptop. I use my VIDEO GAME console for playing VIDEO GAMES, not watching movies, or listening to music, or searching the web. If Microsoft tries to push games to the background next-gen, I can’t see myself purchasing one.
Speaking of games, the next Xbox needs more exclusive titles (that are not Kinect titles). Sure, there’s Halo, Gears, and Forza, but what else does Microsoft have? Some of you are going to try and bring up other franchises, but I don’t care about franchises that have not appeared in the last 5 years. It’s the same on the downloadable side. Downloadable games may come out only on Xbox, but, besides most Summer/ Winter of Arcade titles, most of the exclusive downloadable titles end up coming out on other platforms anyway. If I can get all of Microsoft’s games plus more on a different console, why would I want the next Xbox?
While I’m on the subject, stop trying to sell Kinect to people. Kinect appeals to children because they can’t see the flaws it has. Kinect does not appeal to older, hardcore if you will, gamers because we can see the flaws it has and are not willing to overlook them. There have been very few games that have come out with good Kinect functionality, and I don’t want to have to pay extra money just because Microsoft are going to package Kinect in with all their new consoles.
I’m also worried for Microsoft’s next console in the online department. Firstly, get rid of Microsoft points (that way we Aussies can see how much we are really getting ripped of by on a digital download that does not have to be shipped or packaged). Secondly, if Sony can include party chat, an easy way to connect with others, and keep the entry fee (currently nothing) very cheap, I might have a hard time convincing myself to pay $70AUD a year. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Microsoft’s online service, it’s will just be very hard to find any advantages if Sony can improve their online service. There should not be a problem with RAM allocation in Sony’s upcoming console, so I am hoping Microsoft is working out how to improve Live for the impending console announcements.
Digital distribution is expected to be a major change for next-gen consoles. Microsoft still has plenty of work to do if they expect to go down that path. Currently, if you go into Game on Demand on the 360, you will find some outrageous prices. Modern Warfare 2 for $100AUD? FIFA Street fir $120? Left4Dead 2 for $50AUD? These prices won’t make Microsoft any money next gen, and I feel sorry for anyone who has fallen victim to the Games on Demand service thus far.
So there you have it, the reasons why I am worried for Microsoft’s next console. Hopefully we will be hearing some official news soon and hopefully none of my current problems exist.
Keep it locked to AnalogAddiction for all your next-gen news and rumours.