I Want To Like The Xbox One. I Do.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

The new Xbox One is coming out this Christmas, and everyone is asking: Do you want it?  Do you want it?
I don’t, really.  And it’s not because the Playstation 4 is better; it may be, but I’ve got a lot of investment into the Xbox at this point, and swapping would have a cost.  I don’t wanna lose all of my Achievement Gs, nor do I want to have to set up all my new apps and rejigger my Logitech Universal Remote.
It’s that I’m not seeing any games I particularly want to play.
As a gamer, I could care less about the hardware underneath.  It’s why I moved to the XBox; I got tired of having to remember what my memory was, inscribing my video card on the inside of my arm whenever I went to the store, and having to eternally upgrade.  The XBox has simpler games (I don’t think you could do Planescape: Torment or System Shock 2 on a controller), but I’ve been playing my XBox for four years now and have had to replace it only once.
What I care about is games.  Juicy, juicy games.  And I’m picky.
I don’t like sports games, because I don’t care about sports.  I am aware how huge Madden is, but that’s really not me.
I don’t like head-to-head first-person shooters like Call of Duty, because I’m not that good at shooters and I prefer unlocking bits of story anyway.  Running around on a map and shooting people for no real reason doesn’t trigger my immersion factor, and I want to lose myself in a game.
So what that leaves is a comparatively narrow band of games: a couple of rhythm games, sandbox games like Saints Row and Prototype, first-person shooters with good stories backing them like Bioshock Infinite and Half-Life.
None of those are present at launch.  Andrew Ducker squeed about the trailer for Titanfall, but what I saw was guys running in circles shooting each other.  I need context.  A game like that would make me feel empty inside, because I’d keep asking, “Why am I doing this?  What goals am I forwarding?  Why should I root for this guy, and why am I supposed to shoot that other guy in the face?”  For me, learning What Happens Next is the reward that draws me onwards.  And too many games are skipping the single-person campaign, where all the meat of the story happens, to head straight to PVP or co-op.
So XBox One’s initial lineup, and Playstation’s, look a little weak to me.  I wouldn’t want to pay $600, or even $500, for that experience.  The games I like will come, but that’s going to have to hit a tipping point for me where I see ZOMG THE AWESOME GAME, the way that Mortal Kombat brought me to the PS, or the way that Grand Theft Auto 3 convinced me to the Playstation 2.  And when that happens, I’ll whine to Gini and we’ll put the funds in and get that sucker.
For now, though, XBox One is in that weird stage where it’s literally as uninteresting as it’ll ever get.  It has the fewest games in its career, it has the most bugs, it has the most expense.  And for me, there’s no benefit in being cutting edge for cutting edge.

7 Comments

  1. false0start
    Oct 23, 2013

    But… Killer Instinct.

  2. Josh Morrey
    Oct 23, 2013

    I completely understand your hesitation here. Like you, I moved to the Xbox many years ago because I got tired of my PCs failing me. Console gaming, while more limiting than PC gaming, is so much simpler and less stressful. You don’t have to worry about hardware upgrades and such.
    I currently have no plans to purchase the Xbone when it comes out, mostly because I can’t afford it, but also because I don’t feel COMPELLED to afford it. I’ve found this true of most consoles on release day. They have their flagship games, but rarely do those entice me. I prefer to wait at least a few years after a console’s release, let them accrue a longer list of tempting games, and let the price drop a bit.
    I do consider myself a gamer, but not of the variety that has to have the latest and greatest. I’ll get to it when I get to it. (Although, as a professed Halo junkie, the next installment of that particular franchise may become the driving factor to begin the begging of the missus…)

    • TheFerrett
      Oct 24, 2013

      Is Halo as important now that it’s been handed off from Bungie?

      • Josh Morrey
        Oct 24, 2013

        Yes and no. While Halo 4 doesn’t actually live up to its Bungie predecessors, I’m still invested in the characters and the universe. When I say I’m a Halo junkie, I mean I read the books, watch the miniseries, play the spin-of games like Halo Wars, and yes, even have an action figure or two 😉 So even if 343 has taken the franchise in a direction I’m not entirely fond of, so long as it’s still Halo related, I’m all-in.
        Plus, the Halo 4 multiplayer is still something I can get into. I’m a huge fan of FPS multiplayer, and in that respect, H4 does live up to the hype.

  3. Mark D
    Oct 24, 2013

    I’m a Playstation user myself, and I have similar feelings towards the PS4. Oh, I’ll get one eventually, but the starting line-ups to the new consoles just don’t seem worth it. One game that has me excited is the new Infamous, but that’s only due somewhere next year.
    In fact, you may want to try Infamous 1 and 2 sometime, as they offer a sandbox style game with superpowers a la Prototype, but with a much more likeable protagonist and better story. They’ll probably make some kind of remake for the PS4.

    • TheFerrett
      Oct 24, 2013

      I’ve heard good things about Infamous. We shall see.

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