It wasn’t a good start for the Xbox One. Mocked and ridiculed for its emphasis on multimedia, its launch was rocky. The apparent indifference towards video games, high price, and automatic inclusion of Kinect were all things that scared off gamers.
Since then, though, Microsoft has been in a bit of a reactive mode. They’ve reversed policies, dropped the system’s price, and have attempted to save face with gamers. Is it enough though to make the Xbox One an attractive purchase six months later?
Like the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One has a severe lack of 100% true blue exclusives. Sure, games like Titanfall and Watch Dogs might perform best with the new hardware, but you can get those experiences on your Xbox 360 or PC. Want to experience the adorable mayhem of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare? You can on Xbox One. You can also experience it on Xbox 360 and PC.
Sure, there’s Forza Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3, but they’re not exactly reasons to run out and buy a system. And yes, the Kinect voice integration is absolutely amazing and something I miss when I’m playing on a different console, but again, not only is it also not a reason to purchase a console, it’s something gamers don’t necessarily want.
Microsoft’s attempts to fix their transgressions began, believe it or not, at E3 2013, when they talked about nothing but games, games, and more games. It appears that they’re poised to do the same in less than two weeks at this year’s press conference, but it’s still not enough to either convince the naysayers or warrant a shopping spree for the Xbox One. As is the case with any new console, there needs to be exclusives. Again, games like Titanfall, Watch Dogs, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and others are nice, but they’re available elsewhere.
As it is, the Xbox One is still a luxury item, more so than the PlayStation 4 due to the lack of indie support and the strength of the Instant Game Collection. Yes, Games for Gold is coming to the Xbox One in the near future, but it’s going to be completely trumped unless Microsoft throws a serious curveball. Regardless, my point still stands: the Xbox One is a fantastic system that I enjoy owning, but I honestly don’t see the need for everyone to own it just yet. Like the PS4, it needs the exclusives. Unlike the Sony, Microsoft needs to reposition themselves to help set the trends of the market instead of dusting off their chin from the blows of their competitors.