Looking at the list of games for 2012, I noticed something. Microsoft is sorely lacking original IPs exclusive to the Xbox 360. Many of the Xbox 360 exclusives are simple continuations of previous titles. We had Gears of War 3 last year. This year we see even less innovation from Microsoft as we will get Halo 4, Alan Wake's American Nightmare, maybe another Fable.
The point is, Microsoft isn't establishing new triple-A titles. In an interview in the latest GameInformer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studious, Phil Spencer addressed the concerning issue.
"Creating core IP, as many first-and third-parties have seen over the years, isn't an easy thing," he explained.
"I went through the process of creating Gears with Epic and I know the sweat, time, and effort hat went into it," Spencer added. "I also worked on things like Alan Wake, Too Human, Crackdown, and stuff that didn't hit the same level of success, but had an equal amount of sweat equity and heart go into getting created."
"So it will continue to be something that we focus on with new partners like Crytek and new people that aren't announced yet. We do think that it's fundamental that core gamers look at 360 as the place they want to play games."
I think that last statement is one of the key things. With all of the recently added apps and entertainment features being added to the Xbox 360, I can't help but feel like the console is losing it's core gaming audience. Microsoft is so focused on the all-around entertainment aspect that they are losing the core of what the Xbox 360 originally was, a gaming console.
Just a few days ago, Major Nelson revealed that the hours of video consumed globally on Xbox LIVE increased 140% from 2010 to 2011. That's great and all, but what about gaming? I know, from a business standpoint, Microsoft's Xbox 360 might be better off being more of an entertainment hub. Maybe entertainment apps on the Xbox 360 is the future, but there was one last statement that gave me hope for the future of gaming on the Xbox 360 – or future Xbox consoles.
"I do think that it's [about] quality and impact, not number of releases in a year," Spencer concluded.
I would much rather see two or three REALLY strong titles from Microsoft, then a bunch of shallow workout games for the Kinect. But Microsoft must not lose sight on what made the Xbox 360 what it is – gaming.