January 4, 2013

Repeating History: The Next Xbox?

It’s been a great and fruitful console generation for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, but let’s finally face the music people. The fat lady is singing and this looks to be the last year for the popular gaming console.

The game console is great, if I do say so myself. It has introduced tons of things like new games for audiences to drool over and even the advancement of Xbox Live, a service that lets gamers connect across the world.

Xbox Live made great huge strides with the 360, becoming an actual social network among gamers with a bunch of fun perks like gaming online, video services and even party chats. Taking your skills online with friends and complete strangers alike was a great revolution. In addition, watching movies and television shows from services that you already have subscriptions to like Netflix and Amazon definitely turned the console into an entertainment juggernaut, not to mention being able to rent and buy the latest releases on Xbox video made every Tuesday night movie night. Last but not least, chopping it up with up to seven other people really made gamers feel like they were encompassed in a fully-fledged community and not just playing games with randomly named avatars across the net.

This is all well and good, we know this. We know that Microsoft will be completely out of their minds to not include these features with the next console to ship from their house. But what can the company do to improve? I mean everyone likes to be better, right?


They only have one glitch in the mighty armor.

This glitch is the foundation of any video gaming entertainment console: the games! The little box has made a big name for itself being a first person shooter grab box. That needs to come to an end. Actually there are two reasons why. First from a business perspective, so many companies out there are just rehashing games like Halo and Call of Duty for quick profits. Of course these games come nowhere near to the quality of such games so what the consumer gets are generic looking versions of what they just played with way more glitches, less immersion and a chunk of the fun taken away.  There’s no originality. You know that thing that brands gain a fan base from?

Now let’s take it to the consumers.

Simply put, people are getting tired of the same games 5 times over. They’ve spent their hard earned cash to buy a console that costs a car note, not to mention buying sixty dollar games, only to play the same thing all year. It’s time to mix it up a bit. I understand that the third party studios are partly responsible, but Microsoft has deliberately been at the helm of this trend.

Just take a look at the roster for them: Halo, Gears of War… and not much else. What’s more, these products are just gun games that mindlessly take the minds of Americans. I certainly don’t see them making any strides to change this for the next generation.

Variety is the spice of life. Maybe Microsoft should take Bob Marley’s advice and stir it up a little bit. That’s all I’m saying.

But who knows, the system is making huge financial profits as it is now. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I guess. Perhaps they could be reinventing entertainment instead of sitting atop a popular trend until it goes out of style.  I just see more opportunity than what they have put on the table.

Maybe they’re afraid to take risks or maybe it’s the gamer’s fault for letting the big M do the run around time and time again. Possibly gamers need to wake up and get in the sun and live in reality, since the imagination lacks the imaginative.

Maybe the next Xbox can stop the continuous loop of the same content because we would all love to see it.

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