In a whirlwind of madness, last year I pre-ordered an Xbox One, something I wrote a lot about at the time. The whole furor over the always on idea of the Kinect last summer forced Microsoft to do a complete 180 on their entire product, whether they admit to it or not, the backlash they received meant the entire business model changed seemingly overnight.
When the team entered the stage to announce the machine its mission was to make the Xbox One the sole device under the TV, replacing your PVR, and all other multimedia devices and become the singular entertainment centre in your home. Within 48hrs always on technology was dropped and Microsoft realised they had failed their core audience – gamers.The announcement this week that Xbox One will be now shipping without Kinect (an idea which was considered impossible by Microsoft at launch) shows that yet again the desire to incorporate ‘smart’ controls to devices has failed dismally.
Nobody wanted a bigger better connect. Nobody wanted a new media streaming server either. They wanted a next generation games console and Microsoft missed the boat unlike Sony, who remember last year were still trying to regain reputation points after the disastrous hacks of the Playstation Network several years prior.
I’ve never been an Xbox fanboy, I actually have never bought one, I got given one and didn’t use it until 1 friend came along who played on Xbox and it got dusted off just for that, otherwise it was the PS3.
I do wish I hadn’t got the Xbox One, more so now because I feel like I was mis-sold by Microsoft but there’s no consumer protection for that, you can’t write a letter to Microsoft and say hi, you told me that this was going to be the only device I need in my home please can I have a refund?
There will however be an acceleration in game development as a result.
With the Kinect not being mandatory hardware the block of memory that has up to this date been reserved for Kinect and the rules stipulated for games developers having to add Kinect controls into their games gone the full processing power of the machine will now be accessible.
Does this mean games will now run at 1080p and 60fps on Xbox One? Not in the near future no, because now developers will be exploring the architecture again and working out what the limits are. But it does mean that there will be more interest in developing for Xbox 1st, PS4 2nd. It’s not about exclusive titles anymore for either manufacturer, it is about making hardware and frameworks that developers want to build on and right now Microsoft don’t have that.