There has been a tone of internet talk about the Xbox One being on the way out. Everyone’s all like, “the Xbox One sucks!”, “Microsoft is going to close the Xbox department”, “the Xbox One isn’t a true games console” and “the games on the Xbox One are crap!”. Whereas, when the community is talking about the PS4, there isn’t a bad word to be said. Games run at 1080p, it’s apparently easier to develop for and, as far as games consoles go, it definitely is one. But I say no, the Xbox One doesn’t suck, the games aren’t crap and Microsoft aren’t about to abandon it, and its consumer base… at least any time soon. Though I do agree that the PS4 is a great machine. We live in a world where, instead of looking at the positives and ignoring the negatives, people like to pick things clean and point out every single flaw they can notice. Especially if they like something, and they’re picking holes in that things rival. Football fans take the piss out of rugby fans… as well as other football fans, or cricket fans, or tennis fans. Pro Evo fa… sorry, the twenty people still playing Pro Evo take the piss out of FIFA fans and, inevitably, PS4 fans mock Xbox One fans, and vice versa. It isn’t necessarily because they dislike those people, or the things that the others enjoy. I think it’s more a gang mentality, which is played upon by companies as a marketing ploy; “PS4 is for the players” or the move by Microsoft to offer £100 off of the One if you traded in a PS3. Companies play on these group mentalities because they know that we’ll all get each other riled up and, in the process, cement our allegiance to one side or the other; like moths to a flame, stealing candy from a baby or shooting fish in a barrel.
Anyway, that rant has a little to do with this article. What I’m basically saying is, don’t trust people on the internet, more often than not they’re just writing things to get you all riled up. And don’t worry, the irony is intentional. I’ll just start off by saying that I own an Xbox One, but unlike some One owners I do realise that this console is far from perfect. I’ve written an article (amongst many others on the console in general) detailing the not so great points about the console, here. But, despite its flaws, I have full confidence that the console is here to stay, for at least the near future. I’m not stupid enough to believe that it’s here forever. Things change and people move on. Still, the recent wavering in popularity of the console is nowhere near enough to bring it down, and here’s why.
1) New games and existing titles
Microsoft are still developing and promoting new games that all have the potential to become popular series for the console, as well as past exclusives that are making a comeback. Games like Sunset Overdrive, Scalebound and Quantum Break all have the potential to become the next Halo/Fable/Crackdown/Gears of War, depending on how good they are, of course. The fact that Microsoft are still developing, supporting and financing games like these shows that they still see a future in the console. Why would they bother wasting money otherwise? Not only this, but we’re also getting the next Halo game, another Crackdown, another Gears (potentially) as well as tonnes of other instalments to popular games series. If Microsoft were flogging a dead horse, why would they bother to go to such lengths to do it. They’re the sort of company that will ruthlessly shut anything that isn’t pulling its weight, as we’ve seen with their independent programming department that has been open for not even a year. If the Xbox One was really on its way out, it would probably be gone by now. Or, at least, they definitely wouldn’t be doing so much to develop new games and the console itself.
2) They’re listening to the fans
Microsoft have done a mighty fine job of listening to the fans of the Xbox One. Since its release, they’ve put out countless updates to change everything from the look of the dashboard to the way we play with friends online. It is an ever changing, ever developing console and Microsoft have realised that, if they want to offer the best console they can, they have to listen to the fans. The Xbox One that I currently own is almost completely different from the console I purchased back in November, and that’s definitely a good thing. It may not have been the best console on release, but it’s definitely building towards something great. Both Microsoft and the owners can see the potential in the console, and I’ve got to give it to them, they’re really working to realise that potential. It feels like it’s a joint effort to make this console the best it can be, and I’m happy to be a part of it.
3) The fans themselves
Now, I don’t want to sound too up myself, but Xbox One fans are totally awesome. I kid. Well, kind of. There are a few of us that blindly shout about how fantastic we think the console is, without properly backing it up. There are also those of us that, as I’ve mentioned before, will diss anything and anyone Sony, just because they don’t own an Xbox One. I happen to think that they’re both fantastic consoles, and in a perfect world I’d own both. Sadly, this isn’t a perfect world and for myself, like many other Xbox One owners, the Xbox One was the clear console of choice this generation. I’ve owned a Microsoft console for over 10 years now and I know that a good number of current Xbox One owners are in the same boat as me. Although the PS4 looks fantastic, I couldn’t help but feel that, after how much I loved the 360, the One would probably follow suit. Plus, we’re finally getting what we deserve, with Gold member based rewards in the form of extra currency for buying DLC and games, or even free games through Games with Gold. I like to think that us fans are a dedicated bunch, as are any fans of anything, really. So it’s nice to a part of a community that’s happy to stand up and voice concerns, and take part in testing of updates and games, to ensure that we all benefit from the changes that Microsoft want to make to the console. It’s a good feeling, one that I wouldn’t switch for much.
4) It is a console built for the future
I like to think that Microsoft were attempting something big with the Xbox One. They were trying to make a games console that was much more than just a console. They’ve got some great games on it, and I love how my home media is completely connected through the one device. I know that it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for a good number of people. I think that this console appeals to the casual gamer really well. It’s not just the individual, it’s almost a family unit, allowing you to play games, share media, watch films, listen to music, and much more, all in one place. It’s built for the home, not just the bedroom. I really think there’s a future in that sort of console and developers really need to start to branch out if they want to keep ahead of the game. It might have failed in some respects (mainly in Kinect), but I still think that Microsoft are re-developing and updating this console with its future in mind. Just like the Xbox 360, give it five or six years and this console will be unrecognisable. I already barely recognise it compared to what it was back in November. Whether it’s for the better is yet to be seen. But if we’re looking at the 360 as a precedence, Microsoft know what they’re doing.
5) They’re willing to adapt and change the console
For me, this is what it all boils down to. If they’d made a console that they regretted, felt was doomed to fail and were planning on panning in the next year, why would they bother to adapt and change it? Why would they bother to waste recourses on making something better when they already deem it a failure? That’s not Microsoft. They’re far more ruthless. But, adapt and change also sets a great precedence for the future. It’s a ‘if it’s broke we’ll fix it’ attitude, and I like to see that in a company that I’m giving a lot of money to. I have faith that if we keep complaining about the stuff that we don’t like (within reason, I’d imagine it’ll take a revolution for them to stop charging for Xbox Gold) then I feel like Microsoft will listen. Ps4 may be for the players, but the Xbox One is for the fans, in quite a few respects. This is as much our console as it is Microsoft’s, and I’m really glad to see that they are listening to us and changing the console for the better.
So yeah. Maybe the Xbox One won’t be around forever, but what console ever is? If you want a platform that’s guaranteed to last, you should take a look at the PC. It will, however, be around for the next few years; probably as long as the 360 before we were treated to its current-gen counterpart. So don’t go bidding farewell to a console that has no intention of leaving, and fans that have no intention of abandoning it.