Friday, January 5, 2024

Flashback Friday: All These Years Later, Were We Too Hard on the Xbox One?

You all may recall how the PlayStation 3 was struggling to compete with the Xbox 360. Then, in May of 2013, Microsoft announced the Xbox One and everyone had a field day with how stupid it seemed (myself included) and I and others said how E3 (may it rest in peace) had a clear winner that June with the PlayStation 4 absolutely spanking the Xbox One and resulting in Microsoft tweaking a bunch of features to make it more palatable to gamers. Xbox's chief Phil Spencer fully admits they lost that generation of the console wars. What did the Xbox One initially plan to do that made us so mad?

A big sticking point was how the Xbox One was going to require players to always be online to play their games and would register a game to that specific console so you couldn't loan the disc to a friend as it would be assigned to your console. Well, now we've got Game Pass and an Xbox console that doesn't even have discs, the Xbox Series S, so that really is a minor thing. Physical media was a big deal in 2013, but now it is basically on its way out (somewhat sadly). Having your console always need to be online isn't a big deal either, so many games are online or have an online element these days. Yes, the Kinect they wanted to force people to buy with the console was lame but that feature was eventually dropped. Plus, we use our consoles to watch online streaming apps a lot now too, something else Microsoft touted with the Xbox One to jeers at the idea of using a console to watch television...which is now common with lots of folks using a console for Netflix or such (especially if the television isn't a newer smart T.V. that has the apps built-in).

We all mocked the Xbox One but maybe it was just ahead of its time? Besides the Kinect were the other elements as terrible as I and others wrote they were? Maybe for 2013, but not 2024, I suppose? I guess we were a little too hard on the Xbox One in retrospect, but who knew that online gaming and a lack of physical discs would become such a big thing? I guess Microsoft and its Xbox did, we just didn't want to listen. The Kinect was awful though, I will always harp on about that.

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