WATCH AND PLAY
The dust has settled, the talk has quieted down, and the Xbox One is real. It has been over 48 hours since the reveal of Microsoft’s new console and the new system has a ton of bells and whistles. Xbox One will allow you to watch TV, go to the internet using Internet Explorer, use Skype, enhanced your Fantasy Football League, and play games. It would make sense that Microsoft would want to use this time to show off the TV aspect of the system instead at E3. Their TV sections at their E3 conferences these past few years have always been boring. Except for the “Doctor Who” specials each month and “Whose Line is it Anyways” Cable is useless to me until August when Breaking Bad returns. Either way, this was something that Microsoft has been pushing forward to every year, or now they are pushing it all the way. It was not always been about the TV shows; EA came up and showed something they always do, EA Sports. They came up, talked about the future of EA Sports and left. They did show a video, but none of it was game play, and they did not say that it was running on in-game engine. After EA Sports left, Microsoft Game Studios announced Remedy’s new game, Quantum Break. Not much was shown, but what was shown it seems to be running on an enhanced Alan Wake engine. Very little was shown, and yet it was what I wanted to know more about. Microsoft then showed off Forza Motorsport 5. They showed a bit of the game using in-game engine this time, but much like Quantum Brake, nothing much was shown. They did announce that they would have 15 exclusives to the Xbox One with eight new IPs. This part of the entire thing made me happy. I am sure they will show what those new IPs is at E3.
I am interested in this one...
Then they started to repeat themselves. They went back to talking about TV and that Steven Spielberg will produce an exclusive TV series for Xbox One called, Halo: The Television Series. Then they went back to Sports and announced that they have an exclusive deal with the NFL. The Halo TV series and the NFL deal could have easily been shown during those first talks about TV and Sports. Now it seems they were just repeating themselves. Time wasted. Then they ended the conference with a look at Call of Duty: Ghosts. Even if they did not release that Mask trailer a few weeks back, we knew this was to be shown at a Microsoft event. Despite showing so much, they showed so little of the game play. A trailer was there, but no game play. I guess they are saving that one also for E3. Without warning or a Goodbye, the conference ended. The knee jerk reaction was the lack of games shown. To me this was NOT a good way to show off a new gaming console, but seeing that this is part one of two conference I would have easily let all this slide. I may not like it, but at least they let all that TV junk out of the way to show the real things at E3. It was after the conference that everything began to spin out of control. I did not help that Microsoft is not giving straight answers. Kinect will be required and you still need a cable box to use the cable box aspect of the Xbox One. That is NOTHING compared to what has been talked about.
First is the Used Game Fee. The very thought about this makes my skin crawl. I love reviewing games and I do it as much often as I can, but contrary to what Microsoft believes I rent games. I do not get a lot of money so if I am planning to review something, I rent it, and assuming Red box has it. With having a PS3, the Red box PS3 section is awful. Do not think I do not want to review Metro: Last Light because I am not interested in it. I am, and would love to review it, but Red box is terrible at that kind of thing. If there were a Used Game Fee now I would have never got to review Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite. Would I buy them instead? Yes, I would. However, it does not work like that. There is a store opening soon, do not know when exactly, so as soon as it opens, I am going to try to get a job there. Any money I end up getting will be used for this website. Making review and preview videos will cost a lot of money. This includes my own laptop, a game capture card, the new game consoles like the Wii-U and the PlayStation 4, and more. Nothing cheap. Therefore, unless it is a game I want, I am going to have to rent them. According to Critical Path, IF I get a game to review from a publisher, there is a very high chance that I would need to send the game back after I’m done review them, fair and understandable, but with this new fee, it might be better just to buy the game itself, and it would render that disk useless because it will be tied to MY account. It is a lose/lose for everyone. The Used Game Fee is a terrible thing for people who want to write and make video reviews for a living. Something as simple as bringing a game to a friend’s house should not be so difficult, this comes to the next major problem.
I like the controller...
There will be times I know for a fact where I will not have internet. What happens during those times? I play games, and a lot of them. The last time I was out of Internet for a while, I played Borderlands 2 nonstop. So much so that I completed most of the side missions under a few days. The new Xbox One checking for Internet is just solving the issue of internet dropouts. Once every 24 hours, Xbox One will have to check to see if you are still online, if not the system will block you out rendering the system useless. You cannot even watch a Blu-Ray movie. This is showing that Xbox One controls me, not the other way around, as it should. I should own the Xbox and base my life around it. I should be in control. Not Xbox One. If I cannot play online, then it becomes a paperweight. Contrary to beliefs, not everyone in America has proper internet, some may have internet, but just enough to get by. Some does not have internet at all. The first time I used the internet was in 1999, I did not become embraced by it until 2006. Not even Japan, the Land of the Future, has proper Internet. Having DRM on anything is a recipe for disaster, just look at EA and Blizzard on SimCity and Diablo 3. The worst thing about these issues is Microsoft’s lack of clarity. I sincerely hope that this is just a big misunderstanding, and they do not intend to do either of these things.
THE DIMMING LIGHT
Not everything is terrible. From what was shown, the games themselves look nice. There is not enough to base the games on looks alone, but from a glance, they look good enough. I really like the new controller. I would like to get my hands on it and feel the new D-Pad and the new vibrations on the triggers, those seems like it would make games feel more real. To me 18 new exclusives for a console is damn exciting, while it may be so, we do not know what those games will be. We need to see them first before we start celebrating. The Kinect to me is a wild card. On one hand, seeing it work could have the potential to do some good. Not great, but good enough that it will not be a burden to use. However, in the other hand, having that Big Brother feel is not good at all. I hope that MPAA patent is too stupid to be real. I hope it is like that Sony ad where it stops games long enough to show an ad. They have it, but do not intend to use it. The Xbox One has massive hurdles to go through to get me to want one. The DRM Lite and Used Game Fee should have never have happened, and if Microsoft is truly smart, they would drop it completely. If they do not, then I can see a sinking ship before the knot is loose.