Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal was the kind of event that can’t possibly be exciting because, well, gamers don’t really get excited about things that don’t happen in games. They did a fine job of showing off their new console, though they didn’t focus as much on gaming as much as they did the complete integration of all televisual media. The gaming part of the machine itself seems to be a decent leap forward from the 360, certainly, and with any luck, won’t find itself too technologically behind (if at all) the Playstation 4. That would be a nice change. Anyway, to celebrate, here’s mxdwn Games’ Cup of Kauffy Top 5 Cool Things About the Xbox One:
1. Games are linked to your account!
What a tremendous relief! Now, instead of having to lug that easily-damaged media around, the games are linked to my account! Presumably, this means that I could go anywhere in the world, to any Xbox and, after appropriate download time, could pick up and play any of my games, using my saves, since everything is stored in the cloud! That’s totally plausible and they didn’t say that’s not what’s happening. And, besides, everyone’s upset about the used games market– frankly, I just get enraged when I go into Gamestop and they want me to pay $59 for a used copy of a $64 game that they just gave some poor shlub $4 for. Eff you guys! While I’ve never been a fan of the digital download dead-end, depriving no-longer-loved games an opportunity to be enjoyed by game-less children, being able to pass the game along for something less than full purchase price (which hasn’t been confirmed or denied) is still not much worse than Gamestop’s racket– plus, I don’t have to worry if my used media disc has boogers on it.
2. No Backwards Compatibility!
Thank goodness! Microsoft, for too long, has put way too much effort into making sure everything works forever– sometimes, you just have to move on! Personally, I want a new platform to be a new platform. I still have my 360– and until it RROD’s for the last time, I can still play all those 360 games. Once the One comes out, a new 360 (which will still be around for a while) is going to be, like, what? $7? Just go pick up a 360 for those games. Sheesh. Don’t make 360 backwards compatibility take up important room in my shiny new Xbox One!
3. Always Online!
While Microsoft definitively stated that the Xbox One won’t require an always-on connection, the point of such a cloud-powered box is that it makes good use of being online. You, the cloud? You know what the cloud is, right? It’s that.. thing that’s outside your house somewhere where all of the awesome.. datas and.. such live. And, you know, the cloud! They’ve also said there will be things you can do with the Xbox One without an internet connection. Besides, it’s not like the 360 was so capable without an internet connection: mine hasn’t been connected to the internet for months and my system clock is so unbelievably wrong!
Being upset about the box wanting an internet connection is a little like being mad that your TiVo has to be connected to your cable. It’s just how it works! (Note to TiVo owners: You can disconnect it from your cable and the remote will still make those delightful “badup-badup” sounds).
4. Mandatory Kinect!
Yes! Now you no-longer have to worry about finding titles that can use Kinect, because everything does. It’s a feature that developers can just assume is in there. Period. Full stop. No longer will developers have to make a game that works primarily on controllers and then add some lame feature (like “SneezeLoader™”) just to claim Kinect compatibility! Or, be forced to pigeonhole their game as Kinect-only and then watch in dismay as they are eliminated from ownership by anyone who hasn’t properly embraced Kinect. Well, guess what? Like highly overpriced protection from terrorists, you’re getting it!
The new version of Kinect will be an improvement over the original which, for the most part, wasn’t terrible. It was a huge jump over using the Wii-mote, for example. The Wii-mote was easy to deceive, rendering exercise games into requiring the same kind of honor system that actual exercise did. Lame. Kinect stepped it up, by actually watching you and seeing if you were doing the exercise. So what if it sometimes missed what you were doing, and you needed to optimally be 12 feet away from the TV? It was still pretty cool– and you got your sweat on.
The voice and hand gestures on the original were alright– the voice worked fairly well, and the gestures were clearly more a novelty than something useful. Hopefully, the new Kinect, since everyone will have to use it, will have its game raised. This definitely opens the possibility, providing it works well, for Kinect-integration into games that traditionally wouldn’t touch it. Imagine a shooter that is in no way compromised because you also happen to be getting exercise while playing?
5. Always Watching You!
Your Xbox will always be watching you through the Kinect, like a friend who just wants to keep you safe, or a child who looks up to you and is eager to learn about you and the world! Mind your swears!