Dear Developers: Pitfalls Of The Xbox One

Dear Microsoft,
Your new Xbox One has been announced. There are plenty of innovative and applaudable features. That said, there is legitimate beef to be had and things I would have done differently in its presentation. A week later after its release, the dust has settled and the Xbox One’s feats and fumbles are clear. Let’s talk about them.
Microsoft, you did some things right. You presented technology that was new and useful. TV and internet seamlessly integrated into a game console? Cheers. And while I’ve seen the Kinect before, you presented your technology in a way that looks like you did it right. You have a consumer base and you’re opening your market. Bottom line: Xbox One WILL do well and your presentation made it look revolutionary.

I have no doubt that you will succeed with your plan and the “entertainment system” as we know it will change and flow in a new direction because of your product. However, your audience, and the majority of those you participated in Xbox One’s reveal are gamers. It took 35 minutes of an hour-long presentation for you to talk about games. You gave us gamers little to admire. The games? A racing game (which doesn’t look different to me), a poor cg trailer with no gameplay for EA sports, and a documentary for Call of Duty fans that I doubt impresses even the most hardcore Call of Duty gamer.

This wasn’t news. This fit the lowest expectation a gamer might anticipate for a next-gen console. I don’t mean to bash Xbox One- I’m an Xbox gamer myself. But when little information is given and the information that is given is undesirable, you’ve left us no choice but to think the worst. You’ve created a news vacuum and left only suggestions of abusive DRM and poorly acted TV shows. I don’t have to tell you the internet does NOT see glasses half full.

Microsoft, I would have shown more games and more of what was capable with the console. I would have shown more of the fifteen or more games you plan to release in Xbox One’s first year. And if I could have had say in Xbox One’s marketing, I would consent to more freedom for indie developers, like the PS4 did, but let’s say we leave the presentation alone. You gave us just enough information to assume that the Xbox One is always on and that digital rights management (DRM) will prevent us from lending video games and forever change how much we own our possessions. If this is the case, go ahead and say it. Don’t be vague. I’m hoping that we are earning something in place of what we would be losing. In that case, announce it.

Leaving games and further announcements to E3 has left a news vacuum. On the internet it has created frustration instead of anticipation. I would have quickly reconsidered our announcements. Gamers are beginning to lose faith in their gaming consoles. Will it matter how you present your console to gamers? It’ll matter plenty if all you have to offer is a CoD puppy and “The Price is Right.” When E3 rolls around, you’d do yourself a favor by letting it all out.

Microsoft, I would’ve give us all the ins and outs on how gaming will change and focused on your current base – the gamer, because we feel left out.





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