Top 5 Reasons We Do Not Need a New Xbox Soon
With the Xbox 360 nearing its sixth birthday, the industry looks to Microsoft to announce their next "big thing." Rumors have been circulating about a new Microsoft console set to be announced at E3 2012. While many look forward to the reveal, I can't help but think how much the Xbox 360 has left in its tank. Yes, it's true that this generation's life cycle has lasted much longer than consoles in the past, but could it be that we have entered a whole new territory in gaming and entertainment? GameZone runs through the top 5 reasons why we do not need a new Xbox console anytime soon.
5) The Xbox 360 continues to establish itself as a full "entertainment console"
Almost two years ago, applications began a new transition for the Xbox 360. From its release in 2005, the console proved to be a solid gaming system, but Microsoft had ideas of a full entertainment outlet on which you could access many different forms of media. Fast forward to today, when applications such as Netflix are used by millions, and you'll see that Microsoft has successfully completed its mission. While some say these applications are tacked on, statistics have proved otherwise. E3 2011 brought us new application announcements, such as an Xbox TV service, YouTube, Skype, and more, proving that this transition is permanent. These new applications are all fresh additions, creating different ways for gamers to spend their play time.
4) Fresh ideas for games are still coming
Those opposed to the stance of this article may argue that games have become tedious. Series like Call of Duty and Battlefield have spent many of their years on this console generation, and people claim that this encourages recurrent gameplay. While I agree with that statement, games like Bulletstorm prove that fresh ideas are still out there and ready for development. New IPs are risky in today's market, especially amidst blockbuster titles, but successful new IPs are not unheard of. Indie and XBLA developers put out fantastic games that sell very well. Limbo, Trials HD, and Plants vs. Zombies have all been low-budget titles that gamers continue to spend hours on.
3) Graphics continue to improve
For a generation that has lasted for six years, graphics are only going up in quality. Looking back at games from 2009 to games like Red Dead Redemption, it is astonishing to see how graphics have evolved. Games like Crysis 2 have set new limits in the evolution of graphics. It's obvious that the Xbox 360 can erase the line between games and movies. To help with this, developers are also creating new technology, such as the Unreal Engine. As long as Microsoft and developers are willing to pursue innovation, games will become better in graphical presentation.
2) Gameplay continues to evolve Nowadays gamers are asking for something new; if not new, then something realistic. It's easy to see that types of games have changed. Role-playing games, FPS, and more have invented new gameplay tactics to keep gamers coming back. One of this year's best-selling titles, L.A. Noire, is a prime example of something never seen before. The importance of reading faces in the game is a unique addition that keeps interests high. Meanwhile, Battlefield 3 with its upcoming Destruction 2.0 is aiming for realism in its gameplay. These innovations are not scarce, either. We have already seen titles announced for 2012 that have selling points that rely solely on new gameplay variations. As with graphics, as long as someone is there to push for something new, games can continue to evolve, even on a six-year-old console.
1) The Xbox 360 has been moving massive numbers of units every month
For the past year, the Xbox 360 has been the number one selling console every month. Even in June, the 360 moved 507k units, an insane number for a system that has been available since '05. While this may be a direct result of Kinect, it may also be a result of some of the qualities mentioned in this article. Gameplay and graphical improvements, along with fresh ideas, have helped push sales, but none more than the addition of applications. My question for Microsoft is why would you abandon something that is still making you billions of dollars every month?
The Xbox 360 and all the consoles in this generation should be burned out, but it's clear that we have entered a new era in consoles. A new console always promises better graphics and more memory, but better graphics and 360s with more memory are still being produced in this life cycle. Microsoft has a better chance of getting consumers to open up their wallets to a console that has already established itself than to ask people to shell out hundreds for something that might not be much of an improvement over what we have now. I can only hope that Microsoft is thinking along the same lines and that E3 2012 will bring support for a console that has much more to give.