Through all of that, I choose to “remain loyal” since there is no doubt I still enjoy my console and refuse to base my enjoyment when compared to others. However, there have been a few announcements recently (3 of them very recent) that are really causing me to lose faith in how the Xbox division is managed.
- 1) The whole “Play Anywhere”/ releasing almost everything on PC. I’ve read arguments from Microsoft directly as well as independent articles stating that this is a good thing for the fans as well as the business. I’ll never be convinced of this. While on the surface, it certainly seems like a good deal (Buy 1, get 1 free), it literally destroys the concept of exclusivity. It doesn’t have a direct impact on me since I get to play the games I want but the perception is out there that there is no need for an Xbox when you have a PC. It’s just damaging to the brand.
2) Re-release of Xbox 360 Kinect games on Xbox One. This one was just announced this week in the form of 2 Disney games (Disneyland Adventures and Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure). To be fair, I’ve read that Kinect was removed as a requirement but still may utilize it as an option. Since there are no details, I’m going to assume they are not Kinect enabled. Personally, the only reason I stopped using my Kinect on my Xbox 360 was that I moved it to a different room that doesn’t get used much. Otherwise, I still enjoy Kinect games and would welcome rereleases on a clearly improved Kinect camera. If these games don’t have Kinect support, then I would officially declare Kinect dead. I think I was one of the last holdouts since most people declared it dead a long long time ago. They have a chance to redeem themselves here. I can’t imagine it would be that difficult to implement Kinect on some of the older, better Kinect games.
3) Age of Empires released for PC only. This is huge for me. For a console that’s proven it can do RTS games successfully and considering the Xbox is basically Windows 10, not doing a console release is inexcusable. I know mapping controls can be difficult to implement but it’s a complete contradiction of my #1 up above. Basically, Xbox console exclusive go to Windows 10 since it is better for the company, industry, and fans but not the other way around? Again, they can redeem themselves but it’s not looking promising and this makes me furious. Especially considering the simultaneous announcement of Age of Empires IV as well as rereleases of Age of Empires 2 & 3 in the future.
4) Crackdown “delay”. Personally, I enjoyed Crackdown 2 quite a bit and was looking forward to the new one. I didn’t even mind the graphics shown at E3 since the gameplay seemed enjoyable. While many games get delayed to further develop, I just have a bad feeling about this one. One could also argue they moved the date to take it away from all the AAA 3rd party games coming this holiday and have a stronger Spring than usual. Anyone else think this one is getting cancelled? I do unfortunately. I hope I’m wrong.
5) Release of Backwards Compatibility of Original Xbox games this fall/winter. This was a highlight for me at E3. Crimson Skies was one of my favorite games of that generation and the ability to play it again on a working system is great. So, what is Microsoft doing wrong here? Not much but I can guarantee it will hurt sales. No achievements. I’ve never been a completionist when it comes to getting all achievements but one thing the achievement implementation did was make me finish games I started. I have a vast library of games I only just started or never started and this is a good reason to visit them again. To me, it’s a missed opportunity not to implement achievements. Since they would be new to these games, there can be few of them and simple. I’m no Engineer but I find it hard to believe it is that hard to implement “Finish game > 1000 gamerscore”. It’s minor but probably a good example of NOT giving their fans what they want. And before anyone says it’s not important, it was important enough for people to post directly to Microsoft about their implementation.
6) Halo Wars 2 DLC. This is more of a game specific rant than anything else. Most people who play this game are upset about the fact that they are not including the upcoming “Awakening the Nightmare” expansion as part of the Season Pass. Personally, I can see both sides of the argument but that isn’t what even upsets me (probably because I didn’t buy the season pass). What upsets me is that it’s very confusing when there are things like “Ultimate Edition”, Definitive Editions, Season Passes, individual DLC’s, and separate add-ons like this upcoming one. It’s just impossible to keep track. For a game like this that I really enjoy, I gladly would have purchased it, probably at full price if it was clear what would be available. I’m not against paid DLC but this is one reason why it is a bad idea to announce things like this before release. Season Passes should include all future content. If there is a lot of content coming, raise the price or at the very least be clear and state upfront “doesn’t include x or y”.
I hope Microsoft can see the benefit of resolving at least a few of these issues otherwise they are going to lose part of their loyal fanbase.