SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017

Xbox One and The Future of Gaming

Microsoft recently showed off their new Xbox One All-In-One Multimedia Gaming Device to the world on May 21st. This new console from Microsoft showed off how this device can be the all-in-one approach to media in your living room. They demoed how you will be able to interact with others through Skype or even be able to watch live TV. They also showed how the new Kinect 2.0 will be able to track users much better and recognize who is using the console and adhere to what they like by showing recommendations on screen. The different functionality of the system was shown off and the conference was really geared toward the hardware side of the console.

After the conference was over, we all took to the internet and argued how Microsoft is doomed and how they are not catering to the gaming crowd. The first part is more than likely not true, the second part is not true either but the way they catered to the gaming crowd was different and will be more influenced at E3.

I was a part of this group after just watching the conference end. I thought to myself, “Why are they showing off these features that I care nothing about?”, “Why are they not marketing towards the gaming group that gave them the support to strive to become what they are today?” and the more I thought about it, they did.

We as the gaming majority are becoming the gaming minority. What I mean by this is we as a gaming community have evolved as well as the market.  When we grew up, we may have started out playing on an Atari or Commodore 64 but let’s start with the evolution of gaming and society with the original Nintendo. When Nintendo came out with the NES, that was the first gaming-focused console that adapted to the large majority of society. At that time we had only one thing to focus on, and that was gaming. From there, we were introduced to the Gameboy, the Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis. The Gameboy gave us our first foray into portable gaming and with the evolution of the Nintendo into the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis, we as the gaming few had some options to choose from that again just focused on gaming. When the Nintendo 64 and Playstation were introduced again more options were available, but we were still a gaming minority with a gaming focus. Then came the Xbox, PS2, and the Gamecube and at this point things are getting better for gaming but also evolving. I remember when the Playstation 2 came out, I wanted one really bad but not just for gaming. DVDs were becoming popular at that time but a DVD player was way to expensive, why buy a DVD player when you can buy a PS2 that allows you to watch DVDs and play games, plus it was a lot cheaper than a DVD player at the time. Once the Xbox came out, it allowed for the same thing, but also allowed you to play online with friends which was even more exciting. These two new devices introduced us to new things we never expected from our consoles, the ability to watch DVD movies and play music and play with our friends online. Then came the Xbox 360, PS3, and the Wii and they really took things in a different direction. From the 360 we could play with our friends like never before, we could watch DVDs and play music still, but we later down the road we could watch Netflix, Hulu, and Skype with our friends interacting like we never thought possible. The PS3 allowed us to do all that and watch Blu Ray movies which again at the time the PS3 was the cheaper choice for a Blu Ray. The Wii offered us motion control, but catered more to the casual market that was becoming more of an influence at that time.

During the time when the 360, PS3, and Wii were coming around we were seeing a focus for the gaming minority more toward casual play. With smartphones and tablets becoming more popular, Nintendo took the advantage of giving the gaming minority motion controls which brought about an influx of casual gamers. At this time we the gaming minority became the gaming majority. With the Wii allowing us to show our children what we grew up on and with the Wii it was easier for them to pick up and play it was more user friendly for our kids. Then the gaming community evolved again, this time the casual market moved on to smartphones and tablets as their gaming choice, and left our Wii’s in the dust. We are still the gaming majority but we have now become divided into core gamers and casual gamers. Out of the two groups they are a minority but together they are a  majority and a majority brings more players and more profit.

Now we are stepping into a new age of gaming evolution. Sony announced their new Playstation, the Playstation 4. The PS4 is a gaming machine focused on the core gamer. Sony displayed their console as a machine for gamers which is good for that group but doesn’t really cater toward the casual market. The PS4 is impressive with the games they showcased and the internal specifications of the console. Then Microsoft showed off there console, Xbox One. The console again was impressive just like the PS4 but at first the Xbox One seemed to cater to a different crowd but when  looking and reading about it, you come to find that the Xbox One is still catering to the same group with a larger spectrum.

As I said before, we as the gaming community have changed and evolved year to year. Now we are older, and most of us have families of our own. We still want a gaming machine but we also want a machine that does other things like Netflix, TV, Hulu, and any other form of media we can get our hands on. The Xbox One was presented as a multimedia machine for the living room. This is something that our husbands or wives won’t mind us having in the living room. The Xbox One can cater to you and your partner and your kids or even grandparents. The Xbox One does so much more than just game, but it’s got game too. At first, I did not like what I was seeing, why would we need all this? Then I remembered that a few years back I bought and built my own computer. My computer I have hooked up to my main TV in the living room and I use my computer to game, watch Netflix, Hulu, Skype, buy things online and connect with my friends. At that moment I realized that Microsoft was showing me something that I already had. I have a PC hooked  up to my TV in my living room that I use for the same purpose that Microsoft was showing me the Xbox One can do. The difference is that unlike my PC, on the Xbox, everything I want, games, multimedia, and connectivity with others  is all right there as soon as I turn on the Xbox. With the Xbox One’s function of always being online and connected at all times, it makes for an opportunity to be connected and updated in the fast moving world at all times, like we are with our smartphone and tablets. Microsoft’s Xbox One will cater to that core group with games and online gaming but will also cater to the casual group and to those who don’t game at all and are not a part of that casual group. Like a PC, people buy them to be able to game or Skype or just surf the internet and if people can have a cheaper choice that brings all of these ideas into our living rooms, that is a pretty exciting thing.

At first I was not excited about the new Xbox One, but the more I think about it and look into the possibilities the more excited I become as a core gamer myself.