Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]
When I mention that I’ve pre-ordered an Xbox One I get a wide range of reactions, mostly positive and sometimes I’ll get one of the angry internet vocalists that will go on and on about things I personally don’t care about. It did get me to thinking about coming up with a list of reasons as to why I went in that direction to kick off the next generation. Buying a new console is a hefty investment and I think making lists with the pro’s can be helpful to a lot of people, so hopefully this will help someone who is left undecided.
I know a lot of these types of articles are meant to create debate, and I suppose this one is no different really. I’m sure people will debate, I’ll be called a fanboy or Sony hater. That comes with the territory, but here on GamerXchange I cover Microsoft specifically. I jumped from console to console growing up, started with the NES, then the Genesis, then the Nintendo 64, finally going to the Dreamcast, PS2 and finally Xbox 360. The bottom line is that if a console is fun and has great games it doesn’t matter who the maker is. I actually think the PS4 looks like a great machine and Sony seems to have made great strides in doing a 180 in comparison to the PS3, which is good for gamer’s everywhere. In the end I pre-ordered an Xbox One for many reasons, and without further ado let’s list those reasons.
The launch lineup:
When it comes to a new console launch the exclusives really play a large role in why you might go with a particular console. Microsoft even going back to the original Xbox has had really strong launches, I remember when I got my Xbox 360 it had some of my all time favorite games right from the start, Perfect Dark Zero, Condemned, Prey, Call Of Duty 2, Kameo Elements Of Power, Project Gotham Racing 3 and the list goes on. Now the Xbox One looks to even top that, I have Forza 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse and Day One Gold pre-ordered, which will get me Killer Instinct for free. I also plan on buying Lococycle and Crimson Dragon. That’s six exclusives just to get things kicked off. The fact that I’m promised huge exclusives in the coming year, like the flagship Halo and the new Titanfall game are huge factors as well. While I have no doubt Sony has people working on Uncharted and God Of War games, they didn’t come out and say it, Microsoft did. I went with Xbox One because the games looked better and were more plentiful from the start.
One of the biggest (and only) megaton announcements from Gamescom was that Call Of Duty Ghosts would run on dedicated servers on Xbox One thanks to Microsoft’s Cloud and large amount of new servers they have available for developers. We are in the year 2013, within a couple of months of these consoles being out it’ll be 2014, there is absolutely no excuse for peer to peer gaming anymore. Hearing that Titanfall, Call Of Duty, Halo, Forza and a ton of other games are using Microsoft’s dedicated servers is a game changer. It changes the online component, and the number one complaint I hear from online gamer’s is host advantage, the Xbox One solves those problems, and that is another reason I pre-ordered an Xbox One.
Achievements carry over from Xbox 360:
I know this is something PS4 is doing with PS3, or at least I believe it is. The thing for me is that I had an Xbox 360 since it launched way back in 2005, and I’ve accumulated a lot of Gamerscore since that point in time. I had a PS3 since launch too, but Sony didn’t add Trophies until later, and they weren’t mandatory since 2009. Needless to say I bought all third party titles on Xbox 360 partially because of the Achievements. I want to carry over all my hard work and Microsoft is allowing me to do that. Carrying over Trophies is nice too, but I don’t really have that many Trophies, I really work for my Achievements though, so this was a factor in my Xbox One pre-order as well.
It’s easy to mention this as a determining factor and some of it has to do with the dedicated servers I mentioned earlier, but for me Xbox Live has been the number one reason I game on Xbox Live, and yes Sony is going to do their best to implement and copy as many of these services as possible, but it always seems to me that Sony is a generation behind Microsoft with their OS and online service. Skype chatting people while playing a game, the feedback system and the addition of 32 person Party Chat. Which might seem like overkill, but if you are playing with a team of 32 on Battlefield, you might be quite thankful for it.
Some of the Twitch streaming is something Sony is doing too, but for me playing online has always been a very social experience and Microsoft has always done a good job at making the online accessible, fun and very easy on the eyes. I actually love the look of the new Xbox One interface and think the entire look has improved immensely. I touched on the feedback system a bit earlier, but that is something that cannot be underestimated. I felt like Microsoft had a good hold on the community and there were plenty of times I reported someone and they ended up being banned for cheating or an offensive name. I think Xbox Live with the addition of Skype and dedicated servers will continue to be the place where hardcore gamer’s play competitively online. Xbox Live played a huge role in my pre-order of an Xbox One.
I’m ready for the bit of laughter that comes with this pick as a reason to pre-order an Xbox One. The bottom line is that the original Kinect was a nice prototype, but the Kinect on Xbox One looks to be the real deal. It doesn’t require a lot of room, it can be played sitting down, it can be played completely in the dark. I have said it before, but I think this new generation needs to be more than just better graphics. Nintendo and the 3DS and Wii U both have camera’s built in, the PlayStation Vita does as well. I also have a PS Eye on my PS3 and a Kinect on my Xbox 360. I love options, and with a Kinect bundled with every Xbox One, developers will definitely take advantage of that in the future.
When I saw the video diary about the facial scanning I was intrigued beyond belief, I think the fact that Kinect 2 can track down to 1:1, and even keep track of your heart rate it offers some fun and interesting ideas for gameplay in the future. Imagine a survival horror game where you need to control your heart rate? I just think it adds to the level of immersion and I like that idea a lot. I’m not saying I want it thrown into every game, but when and if it makes sense the option is right there. I think it’s nice that right out of the box you can video Skype people, perfect for family, friends or even gaming clans to use for meetings. I would love to see the facial scan in just about every game, imagine RPG’s or sports games where you can be the character? I just think it has limitless possibilities and I’m really excited by the prospects.
My clan mates and friends are transitioning from Xbox 360 to Xbox One as well:
This might seem like an obvious reason, but I run a gaming clan and even my friends in life are upgrading, granted around 100 people might not seem like a huge gauge, you have to keep in mind my PS3 friends list is pretty small because I don’t use PSN very much if at all. The fact that the people I game with on a daily basis and sometimes weekly basis are all switching to Xbox One made my decision a easier as well. I like stability and being able to still game with the people I’ve been gaming with for the past 6, 7, 8 years is a huge thing for me. The last few holdouts put in their pre-orders when dedicated servers were announced for COD Ghosts, so my team will remain in tact for another generation.
This one deserved a spot of its own, I know it could have gone under Xbox Live but I feel like this is something a lot of aspiring game reviewers and E-Sports fans will use. This is where Kinect comes into play as well because you can do commentary and whatnot directly on the screen. This is something that will inspire a lot of creativity and I know I’ll definitely take advantage of it, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to. Right now for me to capture a 4-5 minute clip, edit it and add commentary it can take over a day of work, Upload Studio takes all the work out of it. Gaming consoles are more than just places to play games, some gamer’s eat, sleep and live games and this is a feature that those people will clamor to and use to its full potential.
The future possibilities:
Now while I’m buying an Xbox One at launch because of the games it launches with and the features I listed, the future possibilities are something that really intrigue me. One of those things is the IllumiRoom, which looks to add to the level of immersion. I also understand that this is somewhat of a gimmick in some people’s opinion, but I personally think things like this can definitely add to certain game experiences. Is it something I want to use all the time? Of course not, but it is something that I’d like to use for certain games to get a bigger, bolder experience.
The other thing that sounds good to me is the Virtual Reality glasses that Microsoft patented way back in 2010, even though Oculus Rift gets a lot of attention right now, Microsoft has been quietly been working on their own style of virtual reality. This again is something that I probably wouldn’t like all the time, but I can fully imagine a game that uses virtual reality, Illumiroom and Kinect for the ultimate immersion into a video game. I understand not everyone will want those things, but I think if they do it on games that really can utilize these features and not just tack them on, it’d be a great thing. Much in the way that 3-D can add to certain movies (Avatar being one), the effect doesn’t belong on every movie. So as long as developers don’t go crazy, we might get some fresh new ideas that could help put a surge into the industry that hasn’t happened since the Nintendo Wii launched.
This one will be the most controversial without a doubt, I’m a grown man who runs a small business and I have competitors. I’d love to get more business, but when I do a consultation I’m going to do my best to sell my services to people, I’m not going to fear monger and bad mouth the competition. That is very unprofessional and petty in my opinion and while I think Sony saw themselves as a public white knight, I think some people looked at the truth of the matter, which is that policies that Microsoft had decided on, where probably still being decided by Sony as well. Sony has changed their policies from PS3 to PS4 and changed their dynamic to better compete with Microsoft and Nintendo, all of these companies do that. Yet I’ve never heard Nintendo or Microsoft bash the other, I still remember when Xbox 360 launched with Achievements and Sony fans complained, Sony ended up copying the system and calling them “Trophies”, but again you never heard a jab from Microsoft about it. I think people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, sell me on your product, don’t tell me why I shouldn’t buy the competition.
All in all it was mainly the games at launch, along with Xbox Live as a service and the inclusion of dedicated servers as a standard that helped make my decision for me. I think the PlayStation 4 was in deed a step in the right direction, but Sony has been known to take their time with software in support of their new hardware, it’s something of a bad trend in my opinion, and I’ll definitely want to pick up a PlayStation 4 down the road when they have Uncharted, God Of War and titles like that to offer, but as of right now they didn’t even hint at any major blockbuster franchises that I’d be interested in. Microsoft let it be known early that their top franchises would be back, and be back soon on the new hardware and that means a lot to me as a gamer who is looking for help choosing a new console in November.
Hopefully people read the entire article and see some of my thought process going into this, it’s not really a knock on Sony or anything like that, more of a situation where it looks like Microsoft will offer the most right out of the box, and the better launch lineup. I wont be skipping the PS4 by any means, but when you play online games 90% of the time, those dedicated servers sound like pure heaven. Sound off in a friendly way in the comment section below with your thoughts, just remember to keep it clean and friendly.