With the reveal of the Xbox One only two days ago, there has been an overwhelmingly negative response to the console both in the press and with gaming enthusiasts on social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Officially dubbed the Xbone by those talking about it on Twitter, Microsoft has sent a confusing message to those who only care about gaming. Instead of offering TV functions as an added bonus to the console similar to the Wii U, Microsoft has made TV the full frontal focus of the console, claiming you need it.
The interesting thing here is that everything the Xbox One is touted as doing, the realm of Smart TVs does better. I can quickly access Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and any number of TV and music services directly from my SmartTV. Sure, I can’t do it by saying a voice command, but that’s apparently something you don’t want to do anyway, as reports of consumer’s Kinect devices turning off their consoles when they hear certain keywords are rampant. Not to mention, Xbox LIVE has traditionally pay-walled these services so that if you want to use them with the console, you’ll need to shell out $60 a year to Microsoft. Not good.
While Microsoft has shown utter contempt for gamers by making used games nearly impossible, offering no backwards compatibility, and cramming in features no one wants, the alternatives are looking better and better. Microsoft has effectively dealt a great hand to Nintendo, as currently the PlayStation 4 is the only other console available that exists to focus solely on the games. While Microsoft is busy trying to dominate your living room experience, Nintendo and Sony are offering you the thing you want most as a gamer.
Many can argue that Microsoft cut their reveal in half and plan on showing purely games at E3, but their downright anti-consumer tactics have led me to question whether I want this next generation device at all. I buy consoles to play games. My SmartTV can handle my movies and TV and if I want to talk to my friends, I’ll use my smartphone or computer. It seems Microsoft is cramming functions into the Xbox One that other devices already do better, and they’re devices you’ve already got in your home.
As we get closer and closer to E3, Nintendo has a lot to prove in the form of games it will be announcing at the massive trade show. These include mega hits like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and a brand-new 3D Mario game, but we expect to see even more from Nintendo. As such, Nintendo merely needs to market itself as a gaming device that has all the classic series you love, along with third party titles like Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV. Those people who usually purchase two consoles will see the benefit in having the Wii U over the “Xbone”, which monitors you even when it’s not on.
To me, it’s a no brainer, here. Microsoft shot itself in the foot by taking the focus away from gaming and now all Nintendo needs to do is put it out to pasture with great games.