The XBOX ONE is not the system that was announced months ago. So many things have changed since that initial showcase. It is no longer “always-on,” it can now play used games, and even most recently, it no longer needs the Kinect 2.0 to function. For all intents and purposes, the system that was promised initially is no more. What we have now is a system that is nearly identical to Sony’s PS4. What does this mean? For gamers, for casual players, and for the future?
Regardless of your feelings towards Sony or Microsoft, this is a win for all of us. With all of the focus now off hardware considerations, it is now a conversation about the games. Though most games are not exclusive to any one console, those that are become of even greater importance to the fanboy audience. Do you want to play Titanfall? Does Infamous Second Son speak to your sensibilities? Once again, we can talk about the games, and not the drama surrounding the systems and their issues. It will make this holiday all the more interesting; especially as parents find out what their kids’ friends are playing. Speaking of…
Well, it means that the holiday marketing for each is going to be very important. Now that both systems are seemingly on an equal playing field (sans price), it will be up to the PR departments to make sure that Mom and Pop know which system is the “right” choice. Sony’s price point might not make that much of a difference when Joe Average knows that he and his buddies have always played Madden on the Xbox. Sony will have to show why PSN is the better choice now, and Microsoft will need to remind gamers why they are on top when it comes to online play. The X1 will also have a possible edge in the family market with the Kinect 2.0, but that speculative at best, especially now that the Kinect is no longer mandatory…
For the Future
Eventually, everything will be digital. For better or for worse, Microsoft’s vision of that future will not come this fall. The changes that have been made have completely wiped out any chance of some of the more interesting and genuinely cool features the X1 had initially promised. Who knows what gaming would have looked like in a couple of years had the system launched as intended? Nonetheless, this is world we live in, and we will get to see this fall how this all plays out. My money is still on Sony, but never count Microsoft out. They were backed into a corner and been coming back swinging since E3. This fall will be a slugfest; and I couldn’t be more excited.
We wait and see..