I just don’t get it. I don’t. I thought gamers were taking part in the “video games” genre, yet all I watched for the last hour were tech demos, sports, a TV guide and a dog in Call of Duty. Does the name Xbox One refer to how many games I should expect at launch? Or has the next generation abandoned the idea of actually appealing to its audience in favor of taking control of my living room — coincidentally, where I spent very little of my time these days?
Look, my negative take on this isn’t going to surprise you if you read my article yesterday. My expectations were low for Microsoft’s reveal today, and somehow they were still underwhelmed. And that has a lot to do with this bizarre decision to ignore games (which I have to imagine/hope will be the focal point at E3) and instead talk about the One’s ability for me to yell at my TV and have it do things, because lord knows pushing buttons was just…too…strenuous.
“But Chris!” you say. “They showed games!” They sure did! And exactly one of those reveals might have been actual gameplay footage! EA was first up, and they talked about their exciting new titles like Madden (not surprising), UFC (not surprising), NBA Live 14 (surprising, considering that franchise’s god awful last two years), and FIFA (not surprising, except for it being an Xbox exclusive). Shocking developments! Bungie’s Destiny was mentioned, an absolute shocker on a Microsoft system. Forza had some high-resolution shots of tires. Watch Dogs was a mild surprise in that it wasn’t just on PS4. Assassin’s Creed 4 was expected, and oh look here comes a new Call of Duty on a new engine (years overdue) and it has a dog!
And congratulations! You just spent more time reading that last paragraph than Microsoft did talking about the same subject in their hourlong conference.
The rest of this crap means nothing to me. Advanced ways to watch TV? I don’t watch TV anymore — I have the internet for that. I can stream sports and other shows through my computer and watch series on demand through Hulu or Netflix or whatever the hell I want. The Xbox One has Blu-ray (aka that thing they guessed wrong on eight years ago)! But at least some good news came up after the conference when news leaked that the Xbox One was not backwards compatible and would preclude using preowned games on other Xbox Ones!
In short, I’m not impressed. And not just by Microsoft, but by any of the big three. Give me a call when you guys pull your heads out of your asses and I might have some money in my wallet to give you.