March 11, 2013
Xbox 720 Not Looking Too Good
We’ve not received much news to satisfy the disparity that Microsoft fans have felt since the recent reveal (kind of) of the upcoming PS4 last month. Alongside that disparity, they’ve also felt a failing faint glimpse of hope, slowly diminishing, that Microsoft will actually make the Xbox less of an entertainment hub as they’ve so desperately tried to do. We can judge that disparity through the sloppy payment features of Xbox Live (Facebook, Bing, and YouTube for a monthly fee?) and only imagine that this so called “Next Generation Experience” won’t pop its disgusting head out to be hammered over and over again.
I joined the Xbox nation back in 2004 because of its selection of games, which, as of then, included Halo and Fable. I didn’t feel much of an obligation to participate in the console war. My interests were more about what games I knew would keep me occupied and, most importantly, entertained. That entertainment widened its gap as I got older and the Xbox 360 eventually found its new home in my room. The exclusives were still as generic and applicable as the previous generation, but the visuals blew my mind beyond what any 12-year-old can handle. Needless to say, although on a short fuse, the experience was worth the years of begging and pleading with my brother to buy.
I’ve grown since then to stop caring for the shock and awe effect of games and instead concentrate my energy on strategy and theory. Sadly, this current generation has not lived up to that goal at all. Out of respect for the console’s power, I’ve seen RTS’s and free roam games that have changed my perception on what a game can do; whether that ability is through a shock factor, a skill factor, or even a visual aspiration.
Instead, I’ve had such a chore of a time obligating myself to playing online games because of monthly subscription fees. I have social apps on four different devices, yet Xbox Live took such a personal goal with convincing me to spend $5 (USD). For the analytical individuals, before 2011, Microsoft charged around $5 for a monthly subscription to Xbox Live. With your membership, you had access to online multiplayer as well as early access to demos. On the surface, these features should have been free to begin with.
I’m not sure as to whether or not Microsoft realized how much of a rip-off that this deal was, but the next few years of innovation ensured a much more justified fee to Xbox Live. In fact, that justification moved them to charge even more for a subscription service.
Jonathan Blow, an independent developer of the popular platform game called Braid, has expressed a similar discomfort with the software giant. Obviously, we differ in the fact that he is a manufacturer, and I am a consumer. If both parties feel a negative correlation to a single company, I imagine that this company isn’t doing so hot. Such is the case with Blow, who described the next generation Xbox as a console that is “Not Strictly about Games”. He goes on to address why his new game, The Witness, will be arriving on PS4 first. It’s not a console exclusive thing; it’s more he fact that Microsoft has been a complicated company to do business with.
The outline of Blow’s argument centers around the new Xbox trying harder to be the ultimate living room experience, one where you can access a vast majority of third party apps such as Twitter, Facebook, and finally YouTube.
If you’ve gamed on Xbox for the past five years, then you’ll likely be looking into buying a PS4.
We’re sick of the social apps. And a console that doesn’t actually have games as its main priority shouldn’t be the main priority of gamers. You’re losing us Microsoft, you’re losing us.
Image Credit: Photos.com