Microsoft's Latest 180 – Kinect

In the time since we last spoke (around 2010 if memory serves me correct), I started to get more into listening to podcasts, some of which include “The Adam and Dr. Drew Show”, the “NGN n00bcast” (from my friends formerly of N00bAlert) and one of my new gotos, the “Married to the Games Podcast”. I’m really digging the latter podcast because the crew over go by the moniker, “Kids, wives and 9 to 5s” which really speaks to where I’m coming from as 30yr father of 3. But if you wanna learn more about then, head over to their site in link provided.

So I think they’ve all but admitted that they’re all PS3 guys and in their last podcast they brought up the most recent 180 by Microsoft on Xbox One features, in particular that now you can disconnect the Kinect from the console and it will still function (which they previously said was all but an impossibility). So their question, not being Xbox 360 guys was essentially:

“Doesn’t this most recent announcement make the Xbox faithful really ticked off? That you’re essentially gonna have to pay $100 more for something you don’t want anyway and now clearly don’t need.”

And as one of those 360 faithful I thought I’d respond.

A Little Background on Me
For those of you who are new readers or have forgotten, I am one of the Xbox 360 faithful. I wasn’t a day one adopter of the system but I got it early enough. I’m also an achievement whore which had me killing myself over Ninja Gaiden 2. I’m also one of the (apparent) few who is in a Family Plan and someone who uses their Kinect and someone who watches Cable TV on my xboxes by way of the cablecard and Ceton device.

I also have a background in Computer Science, I’m a web developer, Flash developer, Android developer… I worked as a QA tester at Bethesda Softworks and I did a lot of work as a video game journo with n00balert covering conventions like E3, PAX and New York Comic Con. Now I’m not saying that should or shouldn’t lend itself to my credibility but hopefully it at least shows I can see stuff in the game world from a couple different perspectives instead of just a straight up “fan”.

The Short Of It
If you’re looking for a TL:DR here it is – From everything Microsoft has collectively said or done in regards to the Xbox One up to this point, you probably already have an opinion on the system and I don’t think this latest 180 changes things that much. If you were already mad with Microsoft you’re probably a bit madder and if you weren’t mad you’ll probably let this latest gaffe slide too.

The Long of It
Whether it be the DRM, the Kinect, Indie Self Publishing or anything else Microsoft has done a 180 on – They’re really eroding the trust with their consumer. As a lover of their last system the new one has been eroded so much that imo it’s not offering much of a different experience than that of the PS4. I’m pretty sure that a Kinectless XBox SKU will come out as that (and the DRM) always seemed like software “switches” than anything hardware related anyway (i.e., they could easily or with 10 minutes worth of work) switch that stuff off as they choose. And let me add too that I like the Kinect, the new one looks even better and my wife and kids are looking forward to it. I think it was the right move to put it with every system so developers could “safely” develop for it but man oh man does Microsoft need to grow some balls.

All of these reversals just tell me that I don’t need with my money on a PS4 OR Xbox on day one. I’ll be content to lay back and see how they both pan out, and also whether or not I can get a PS4 + PSP bundle or Xbox + Titanfall bundle sometime after launch. But yeah, outside of nice enough games coming for both systems, I still have a huge backlog to get through on my current Xbox 360!

Gaming News from E3

Even though this year marked the first “tame” E3, it still was highly anticipated as eager fanboys and industry insiders clamored to find out what their favourite companies had in store for them in the next year.

Now with all the major press conferences over, the dust is starting to settle and we’re all left trying to figure out if Sony can really bridge the gap between the PS3 and 360.

Predictions?

For the Millionth Time…
I love video games and I’m a bit of a collector. I want to get a PS3. But outside of being a great Blu-Ray player, there are no games that are currently out (except MGS4) that make me want to buy the system. Plus, all reports have said that XBL is still way ahead of the PSN so that’s not an attractive feature either. So going into E3 time this year, I was really hoping that Sony would blow me out of the water and finally give me a reason to get one.





Thoughts After Sony’s Press Conference
Here are my thoughts : *sigh*. I was really hoping that Sony was going to unveil a really good exclusive that would make me buy a PS3. The 360 has many, Gears of War, Halo, XBL, etc. But Sony still looks to be lacking that one MUST HAVE game. And after looking at Sony’s press conference I find myself in the same place as before. I mean a new Ratchet & Clank game? That’s nice. Little Big World? Looks extremely inventive but a must have?

I guess what I’m needing is PHENOMENAL game with TREMENDOUS replay value which I’m still not seeing. Plus all the PSN stuff… Trophies, Home… They don’t do anything for me. From what I’ve heard about the trophy system, I’m much more attracted to achievements on the 360. And on the Home front… I don’t think I want to go to people’s virutal houses. If I did, I’d play Second Life. So to me, same old same old though every time the presenter made reference to PS3’s “[great exlusives]” I had to chuckle to myself. Your thoughts?





Live Updates + Console Updates + Games = 360 Fun
To me, the Microsoft press conference was everything that Sony’s should have been.

  • Big changes to Online Environment
  • Actual live gameplay for Exclusives and Non-Exclusives alike
  • Strides to bring in Wii’s audience, the casual gamer
  • Big announcement to close things up

I could go on and on about how excited I was during the 360 press conference, but admittedly that could have to do with me owning a 360 and not a PS3. Also, I’ll end up gushing so much it really should go into another post.





Nintendo Goes “Ho Hum”
I’ve also linked to the Nintendo press conference here but as my friend said, “Dude – I wish I could fast forward through the live feed.” ha ha. As I was watching it, I felt like I was in Kindergarten with that woman talking to me like I was a 6 year old or something. Plus, their (I guess) big announcement was the Motion Plus addon for the Wiimote. At this point, I really how much more this adds over the current Wiimote. But hey, what do I know?

So I know the press conferences are very very long but I think at the least they’re worth watching. Does anyone have any thoughts about any of this stuff? Excited about XBL? You PS3 owners feel good about the Sony conference or are you annoyed at their message of “Just wait…”