With the Xbox One mere weeks away from being placed into the hands of eager gamers who want them, it has been a tentative ride since the console was officially unveiled in May. The ensuing madness has left scars, reams of misinformation, dashed prides, and a number of perplexed faces in its wake which has somewhat blighted what should have been the nurturing, pre-birth moments of its life. Having witnessed the Xbox 360 launch in all its glory, taking part in the Origen viral campaign, and subsequent massive launch event in Zero Hour, there’s a noticeable difference with the Xbox One launch in comparison. This is perhaps due to the shift in focus for Microsoft which has evolved since 2005 having gained much traction with the 360 in amassing a strong user base where it matters. So, with the dawn of the Xbox One launch, in comparison to the Xbox 360 unleashing unto the world, feels a lot more “corporate” than those awe inspiring, trendy days of the tattoo donning Peter Moore, customizable faceplates, and a genuine unabated excitement for what was coming around the corner. The Xbox One launch has perhaps fallen foul of undermining negative press, ambiguous policy changes, and ramblings of being underpowered compared to its rival, which as a result has led to Microsoft and the Xbox One being placed under a much more focused set of eyes than before.
Whilst it’s perhaps easy to look back on bygone times with a bit of rose tinted fondness, at the brink of the Xbox One launch, it appears it’s all systems go for Microsoft regardless of what has happened in the last six months. Admittedly, the playing field is very different today, what with two consoles releasing within the same time frame as each other which means for both camps, some of the gusto is being shared.
So, with cannons poised and armed, aside from the actual base hardware, the driving force behind the launch of the console is its software line-up and in this regard, Xbox One has gotten most bases well covered. This is despite offering a number of games that will already be well-played on current gen systems such as Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty Ghosts and Battlefield 4. It’s a shame, there’s no stand-out Kinect based game that really shows off what Kinect 2 can do and to highlight why its inclusion with the Xbox One is of such importance beyond its use as a navigational tool for the dashboard. A bit of next gen exclusivity might have also been more enticing with some of the multi-platform games, but then again, this is business and would make little sense to restrict sales on popular multi-platform franchises given the initial size of the user base when the console launches – at least the option to upgrade is being made available which is a positive transitional direction to offer.
With the non-gaming wonders the Xbox One console contains, which perhaps are a take it or leave it factor for some, it’s all about the exclusive games, and having sampled them, can say that most gamers should, and will feel impressed with what’s on offer from their new investment. However, there’s something lacking in terms of a definitive game that offers some identity to the brand. Xbox had Halo, Xbox 360, Perfect Dark and Kameo as stalwarts and potential mascots for the launch (showing off the new graphics capabilities with style), whereas Xbox One presents the Romanesque imagery of Ryse, hi tech Forza 5, charming looking Crimson Dragon and a zombie filled Dead Rising 3 as its main contenders which seem to lack the same charismatic styled image of their predecessors. In the absence of any Fable, Halo or Gears of War game, the launch line-up still is pretty strong though, with games that will no doubt be well received by the masses with their noticeable upgrade in visual fidelity from the Xbox 360.
However, there’s a long road ahead for early adopters of the Xbox One, in most cases it would be far more prudent to sit out and wait for more games to be available before jumping in, especially as a first year gaming drought is likely unless you buy every game. This is perhaps the best advice anyone can give, but if you’re an excited gamer like most of us are, simply overindulged and fattened on current gen shenanigans, then Xbox One will be an excellent choice to make and is likely to become your saviour, your steed, and your champion for the foreseeable future come November 22nd 2013.
Xbox One Launch Games.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Dead Rising 3
Forza Motorsport 5
Just Dance 2014
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Madden NFL 25
NBA Live 14
Need for Speed: Rivals
Ryse: Son of Rome
Skylanders: Swap Force
Zumba Fitness: World Party