The Xbox One might seem like presenting too many infringements on gamer freedoms and costing more than its competitor, but if you look beyond these pressing niggles for Microsoft, the console itself is offering some potentially cool stuff to those who aren’t concerned with the always connected to Internet and used sales/sharing restrictions.
Gamers will be able to plug in the Xbox 360 via HDMI In at the rear of the Xbox One which will then be displayed via the Xbox One rather than on a separate channel. There’s no word on how external sources will be handled by the Xbox One dashboard, but hopefully something that’s integrated well and fitting with the rest of the theme. Having a HDMI IN also means that any other devices such as PCs and Blue Ray players can be connected. This is good news considering the space being taken and how the Xbox 360 won’t become redundant. Having a seamless way of marrying the two consoles together is pretty neat.
Xbox One allows gamers to store games in the cloud that are tied to a profile which can be then be a shared account with family and a set number of friends. It’s probably not often that gamers decide to take their collections around to friends houses, but if they do, then this action is a good way to showcase and advertise games. It also means up to 10 family members can keep the entire access to the Xbox One Live service and game library under one subscription across multiple devices. The portability of games might seem a little alien right now for most people, but in the longer term there’s some great potential of carrying on the game in some way via mobile devices. Having mobility with user profiles certainly allows for gaming on the go outside of the Xbox One console and if used by developers could add some unique elements to games.
Standard Kinect 2.0
Having a standard Kinect integrated with the package will certainly mean a lot more experimentation with the feature at development stage, as the platform is there to entice people to use it rather than only appealing to those who bought the original Kinect. Developers can think up new ways of offering feedback to players as well as complex calculations based on the user state. What’s more, Kinect 2 is much better at capturing movement from players, which suggests sitting down playing with full features without having to jump around a room like a loon being very probable.
Competitive Adaptive Marketplace.
The Xbox One Marketplace is likely to be a hive of access to user content but also has to be competitive – so it’s not just enough that games will be released at the same time as retail discs. There needs to be some incentive to go digital download over retail, and perhaps this will be reflective in the price over weeks on sale. If the marketplace is truly reflective of demand for games and adopts a more flexible pricing structure to accommodate age of games, then this could be a real challenger to the retail markets.
Xbox One is boasting a comprehensive line up of games with exclusives on the way and the best multi-format releases making assured appearances. Snagging the first dibs on the Call of Duty Ghosts DLC is as always, a defining move to entice the masses and the continued strategically placed relationship Microsoft has with Actvision. Whilst Microsoft will be championing the cause of its new baby, the Xbox 360 will still be going strong with its multi format releases including the aforementioned Ghosts.
There’s nothing worse having a new console and then having little software for it and given the $499 price tag for the machine, day one gaming could be quite expensive. Hopefully Microsoft can work some magic with alternative gaming content from the Marketplace to sweeten the deal and provide demos for all available to purchase content or better yet, perhaps waiver the first year of Xbox Live Gold fee. This is one of many choices Microsoft has to remain competitive – although there’s some killer games on the horizon to help sell the console, it does need to affirm itself amongst its peers as a viable option come November.