Thursday, June 13, 2013

Next Generation

Whew, there's a lot of dust in here. *cough, cough* Not that anyone is paying attention to this blog anymore, but I'm on vacation and I've got some thoughts on the future of video games.

I watched the Microsoft reveal of the Xbox One live, on my lunch break. I liked a lot of what I saw, but I had reservations. I have been on-board since the first Xbox, and after my Sony HDTV crapped out after just a few years, that company has proabably gotten the last cent it will ever get from me.

I rarely buy games when they first come out, and I only buy consoles after they drop in price. I hardly have time to play anymore, and Halo 4 has shaken my faith that Microsoft can carry the torch Bungie handed them. Most of what's been floating around the gaming press is interesting to me, but for the most part not relevant, as I plan to wait at least a year to get a new console. That being said I wanted to crow about correctly prediciting the cost of the new console.

I didn't put it in writing, but I did tell a coworker that I thought the Xbox One would have an MSRP of $500. This week that was confirmed, but it seems to be a surprise to many gaming writers. To me it only made sense, and the reason they are charging $500 is because they can't get away with $1,000.

I don't know of any other device on the market that will do what the Xbox One will, assuming it does everything they say it will. Voice and gesture command of the entire enterainment center through one device. Who wouldn't want that? I'd prefer if it would act as a cable box and DVR, too, but Blu-Ray and instant switching between movies, games and TV, without fumbling for a remote, seems almost worth it to me, and that's where I think the analysts missed the boat.

If it only played games and apps, then pricing it like the PS4 is sensible, but it's basically a kind of A/V receiver, (albeit one that you might connect to an actual receiver) and those are easily in this range. They've still got a lot of PR problems to fix but by the time I decided to upgrade, that will be ancient history in internet terms.