Pick 5: What I Don't want to see in the next Xbox
Microsoft finally announced last week that the next Xbox they have been working on will be revealed this May. I'm sure a lot of people are excited to see the new console and what unique features it will bring to the table on May 21. It's definitely going to be in par with the PS4 in terms of power, so what will it have to make it stand out? We'll find out soon enough but for now, I'm hoping to not see a few things on the next Xbox. Subscribtion fees
Screw Xbox Live Gold membership! I mean seriously, you are the only one asking gamers to pay a monthly fee for a service that is given for free on other platforms. I've tried it for more than a year and it comes out a waste at times and I sometimes feel the need to just play an online game to make use of my subscriptions.
But I know Microsoft won't do it. They lived with this model surrounded by other platforms providing the same service for free, so it doesn't make much sense for them to remove it when they have a good amount of consumers still willing to pay monthly. Xbox Live is a good service, in fact, it's the best one, but you can't help but dream that one day Microsoft just might take pity on us and lifts the fee. But yea, I'll get off the clouds already. My only hope is that they provide something bigger than playing online or being able to use Netflix/huhu/UFC services. Give us a bigger incentive once we continue our subscription for the next Xbox.
This is the nastiest rumor so far about the next Xbox and I'm praying it doesn't come true on May 21. An online connection always required to play and use certain services? That is not a nice feature at all. I hate always online. The constant need for an online connection would make the console unattractive in many ways for different consumers on other parts of the world. In the US, this would be fine, but online services are never up 100% of the time. There will be situations were the service could go down making millions unable to use their new investment.
Is this an anti-piracy feature? or is it a method to battle the used games market? Either way, thanks to Diablo 3 and SimCity's horrible game launches, we got a taste on how bad it would be with a service requiring an online connection at all times. It's one step backwards for the industry and will provide a lot of lmitations for players and bring out some challenges for developers.
Xbox and Kinect as one
Kinect was a gimick ever since it was revealed and was first called Project Natal. It's a great piece of hardware, but not practical in anyway for the normal gamer. Kinect was Microsoft's way of battling Nintendo's very successful Wii that captured most of the casual market, and believe me, that's a big chunk of consumers. But sadly, the only thing good about Kinect turned out to be the voice recognition and Dance Central. The worst thing they can ever do moving forward? merging them. Please don't.
You can tell Microsoft was struggling to keep both casual and hardcore happy with their purchase of the Kinect, but thats how gimicks work - They look appealing, but never gets used everyday. Nintendo struck gold with the Wii and this was Microsoft's strong but sad attempt to get a portion of the casual players. Never happened though, and Star Wars Kinect? Dragon Ball? It actually made things worse for the Kinect. Release after release, the titles were getting worse, and the famous titles were being recycled over and over. I consider Kinect a failure, and if I see some kind of merge within the new console and "you are the controller" peripheral. A huge facepalm from me will follow.
A different controller
Whatever gimick they have planned for the next Xbox, it better not be the reason why they would completely change the controller design. Among all the controllers in the current generation, Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller is the best one. It fits well in your hand when held and the buttons stay responsive even after months of use. This might happen since they did change the design for the 360.
Hopefully they stick with the same design with added small features and tweaks, just like what Sony did with the Dual Shock 4. But please, no drastic change like what Nintendo likes to do. And once and for all, make the new controller rechargeable? It's 2013 and I still can't believe I have a controller that needs either a peripheral or batteries to work.
Same old exclusive titles
This is the biggest problem in the Xbox 360 for two years now. No new exclusives, just sequels after sequels on already known titles like Gears of War or Halo. A safe play. Take some risks already, bring use different titles like Alan wake. Give us more reasons to get your system because Halo exclusives are not enough anymore, even if you put double XP as a pre-order bonus.
As much as I hate to say i, Call of Duty is one of the strongest titles in the system and its a mult-platform franchise. I want to see new titles from first party developers, because they will get hit hard this December because I'm positive Nintendo will dish out their Wii U first-party titles like a Mario game this year, same goes with Sony from what was shown during their event.
It seems that they know this and one of the rumors is Respawn Entertainment(Founded by ex-Infinity Ward founders) is rumored to have an exclusive next-gen title for the new Xbox. It will most likely be a shooter, but I'll take anything new at this point.
When May 21 ends, we will have a good picture on how the next generation will look like. From May 22 onward it's all going to be about the next generation. The comparisons will start and more discussions will break out on the future of the industry. And with E3 days away, we will get more reveals and announcements on the new consoles.
This is turning out to be a pretty exciting year. So far, the games released during the first quarter is the best lineup to start the year, and with two new consoles planned for release at the end of the month, I don't know if we can take in all of this. We still have those Triple A titles coming this November as well. I feel like a little child again. This year will definitely be a great one.