Friday, 14 June 2013

Thoughts on the Xbox One

Now I want to make it clear from the outset that I have never really considered myself a 'fangirl' of any of the consoles. I have owned most of them since I began gaming and can honestly say that the only thing that has ever made me favour one console over another is if that console SUITED my needs better. For example, when I asked for a GameCube for my birthday one year, it was mainly because my brother already had the PS2 and I knew I wouldn't be allowed online on the Xbox.

The GameCube was the first console bought solely for me and I adored it. A couple of years later I owned my own PS2 and Xbox, but really for me at the time GameCube had my heart, followed closely by the PS2. When the next gen was released I went straight to Xbox 360 and have never looked back. I purchased a Wii a little later, for something a bit different and finally a PS3 when I had more money than sense.

I can honestly say that, whilst I don't regret buying the PS3 I do feel it has been mistreated in my house, it has never been, and will never be our primary games console. It has been used for PS3 exclusives and Bluray and that is about it. Until I bought Ni No Kuni last month I don't think I had played a game on it since Heavy Rain. I hate the long drawn out updates (that it seems to need everytime I turn the damn thing on!) I dislike how cheap and flimsy the controller feels. In short, there isn't actually much I enjoy about the PS3 as a games console.

The Xbox 360 was (and still is) the gaming console for me. It suits me well. It has a vast array of games that can cater to any of my whims. I have a huge game collection for it, including over 300 XBLA and XBLIG titles. I love the controller. I love my special Gears console. I love the background updates.

But recently it has been clear where Microsoft are going. Slowly but surely more and more useless junk has been spreading onto my 360. Sky, which I don't care about. Facebook, which we all have on our phone. Mounds of apps that mostly do the same bloody thing. ADVERTS ON THE DASH - that was a real joy-killer. And the death of Inside Xbox and SentUAMessage, seemed like the final death knoll. But I stuck by my machine - after all I have no issues with it as a games console, which is all I wnat it to be.

So when they announced the Xbox One I didn't get that excited. I sat with baited breath and watched the reveal on my 360. And even though my expectations hadn't actually been that high, I finished watching it feeling deflated.

TV, TV, TV, TV, Television, TV, TV. It was heard a ridiculous amount of times during the unveiling of a GAMES console. What made it worse was that a lot of the 'features' seem to be for our cousins on the other side of the pond. I guess we'll see. But for a long while the USA have had more varied apps and features than us poor Brits and the Xbox One seems to be carrying on that trend.

Then they announced the very controversial DRM. Now I have to admit that whilst it irked me a little it didn't pee me off to the extent it has others. I rarely buy second hand games so at first I struggled to understand how it would affect me. But I really disliked the control they are trying to assert over us, their loyal fans. It seemed like a slap in the face.

At the minute we have two Xbox 360's, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. It seems natural that we would probably do the same with the next gen, but now we're not so sure. From what I understand, anyone on the same console the disc was installed to can play it, which is fine. But what about if we do own two? Would one us then not be able to play any games on the other Xbox One?

For me there are too many questions about the next gen. I will not be pre-ordering either of the next gen. I will wait and see what happens and wait for them to clarify some points. What I saw didn't excite me enough for me to throw my chips in with either Sony or Microsoft to be honest.

Sony have said they will not be using DRM, but for me this is just as worrying. They did say first party games will be DRM-free which is fine. But surely they should just be upfront and admit that, because of Xbox One's stance on it, the publishers now have them over a barrel. If Sony won't allow the publishers to use DRM than Sony will probably not be getting as many games as Xbox One.

I guess we'll see what happens. Bt I have to admit to be being worried about the future of gaming. It could be amazing, but for now I'm on the fence.

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