If Microsoft’s recent presentation at Gamescom 2015 is any indication, the company is dumping plenty of resources into the Xbox One, and owners are set to reap the benefits in 2015 and beyond. Seemingly splitting their big announcements between E3 2015 and the European Expo going on now in Cologne, there is a growing list of reasons to own an Xbox One. Go ahead, watch their Gamescom Media Briefing and try to come to a different conclusion.
Microsoft looks like they are fully committed to establishing an even larger first-party footprint than we’ve seen from them with previous consoles. The franchises that you expect are still leading the charge — new entries in the Halo, Forza, Fable, and Gears franchises are on the way. New games like Quantum Break and Scalebound look promising. Forgotten franchises and games will see a return with Halo Wars 2 and Crackdown 3 — Microsoft is giving Xbox fans the games they want, the games they at one time loved, and a compelling reason to keep playing their big black box.
The company has been fighting an uphill battle since 2013 to win back gamer trust, and let’s go ahead and declare that horse beaten to death. It’s over. Don Mattrick is gone. All those anti-consumer policies have been warded off, the Xbox One is a gamer’s platform once again. 2013 might be a blessing in disguise. It might have gotten Microsoft off to a slower start than Sony, but because of that, you now have things like backwards compatibility, PC-like mods, the Xbox Preview program, Games with Gold, and a system that has improved remarkably on a monthly basis for the last 20 months or so. There is absolutely no reason to not own an Xbox One if you like video games.
It’s not just the games line-up that make me come to this conclusion. The price is right. The entry level price point for an Xbox One is $349 and with backwards compatibility coming to all Xbox One owners in November 2015, there’s a strong possibility that your console will come with a number of games that you currently own, playable via this feature that not all platforms have. To rival Sony’s “Instant Game Collection,” and possibly one-up them, all future Games With Gold titles will be backwards compatible. The console is a strong living room centerpiece. Yeah, it’s not just about games. In 2013 that didn’t sound good, and some of it definitely sounded anti-consumer. Though as the way we consume media shifts, the television applications, the recent announcement of DVR functionality, the many apps and ways to consume media on the platform all feel like bonuses.
Sure, you can still make the argument that Sony’s PlayStation 4 is more powerful when it comes to raw specs. It is. However, we’re starting to see a turn of the corner when it comes to resolution and framerate if recent announcements are any indication. While I don’t know this for a fact, and this assumption is only based on what we’re seeing and hearing about third party games for both systems, that technology gap is closing, and developers seeming to be squeezing more out of the system. Software development kits have been said to be the culprit here, and it’s kind of expected as these systems mature. While we won’t be able to really tell until games start arriving for this fall and beyond, some are showing exceptionally well on the Xbox One. Take Quantum Break for instance.
Remedy’s last gen outing in Alan Wake was one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360 once it finally released. It was one of the titles that showcased just what was possible on the system. Quantum Break looks like it’s shaping up to offer that same type of moment for the Xbox One, with recent gameplay that looked nothing short of incredible. Microsoft isn’t banking on one big game to reel in the masses though. They’ve got something for everyone. Whether that’s the big first and third party exclusives, the ID@Xbox games, or the stuff you can play anywhere, you can’t shake the feeling that there is an impressive amount of gaming content coming to the Xbox One in the next 18 months.
At one time it wasn’t clear if Microsoft had bungled the launch of the Xbox One irreconcilably. That time has passed. The robust standard feature-set, games in the pipeline, and price point for this console have me drawing only one conclusion: At this point, there is absolutely no reason not to own an Xbox One if you like video games.