With the announcement of the Xbox One, the internet predictably exploded with talk of its specs, games and ambitions. With the huge success of the Xbox 360, Microsoft is now in a very strong position to take the next console generation by storm and eliminate the competition in the same way that the PSOne trounced the Saturn and N64 a while ago; but in order to do that they still need to get a few key points right.
The Xbox One
While the reception for the Xbox One has largely been successful, the unveiling wasn’t a 100% unmitigated success. In some polls for instance, it was found that fans were left wanting more from Microsoft and felt that the presentation failed in some ways to give them the information they wanted. In terms of console exclusives for instance, the initial news was fairly underwhelming. Likewise, Microsoft were somewhat coy when it came to the specifics regarding specs and some news – such as the fact that Xbox One would require a next-gen Kinect – had a lukewarm reception.
Despite the huge amount of coverage and media hype surrounding the launch, these facts lead to a rise in share prices for Sony of 9% – which could be seen as worrying for Microsoft. So what do they need to do in order to make sure that the Xbox One is a hit?
Understand How People Use Their Living Rooms
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First of all, Microsoft needs to demonstrate that they understand their audience and the way that we use our living rooms. They have stated that they want to make the console into a media and entertainment ‘centre’, which means they have a lot of demands to live up to. These days people want to be able to surf the web on their TVs, to stream online television and to check their e-mail from the comfort of their sofa. There’s no reason that Xbox One shouldn’t be able to do this and if they make it genuinely useful for non-gaming tasks then they might be able to lure in a wider audience in a similar way that the Wii U is trying to (and the original Wii succeeded in). This could tie in with the Kinect’s voice recognition software to create something truly stunning – imagine being able to bring up e-mail while watching TV by just asking your Xbox to do it from the comfort of your couch…
One edge that the new Xbox has over the new Playstation is that it features more interesting and innovative features. The new Kinect for instance is reportedly going to be so sensitive as to be able to pick up slight hand movements and even read a player’s heartrate. Combine this with the promise of the Illumi room, which makes your whole room into an X-Men-style ‘war room’, and you have some amazing gameplay opportunities. If Microsoft uses these well, then they can give the Xbox One a real ‘wow factor’ that will make it stand out from the crowd and attract interest and coverage if nothing else. Microsoft, if you’re reading this, do a deal with the Occulus Rift developers and integrate it with the Kinect console. Now that would be amazing…
Xbox One Games
Most important for any games console is of course the games. If Microsoft want to draw in the casual audience and the hardcore gamers, then they need to have a slew of high quality exclusive titles with amazing graphics. I can’t have been the only one to have been disappointed at the lack of a new Halo title, but a new IP could potentially make up for this. Microsoft could also do with building support from Japanese developers who currently give more love to Sony and Nintendo. A deal like Nintendo’s recent partnership with SEGA could help them to succeed overseas too.
Microsoft is already off to a good start thanks to the Xbox One running on the Windows Kernel. This means that developers should already be highly familiar with the coding environment of the new Xbox and that PC games should be ported over relatively quickly and easily. This is one of the key points that made the first two Xboxes so successful, so hopefully for the big M lightning can strike thrice…
Author Paul Potter, is a tech enthusiast and a tech blogger. In his opinion, the ever increasing popularity of internet tv in Canada will completely replace the traditional TV sets. He enjoys keeping his readers updated and hence, writes on the latest technological innovations.