I recently watched an XBox One marketing video that I thought was interesting enough to comment on. If you know me I am no Microsoft fanboi or hater, I exist mainly in the "meh" space. That said, after watching this video I felt was worth talking about. I don't think I am alone on this one either so chime in with your thoughts.

The main premise of the video is the XBone is "future proof." They do this by claiming the XBone is built "for the future" and talk about the cloud, increased voice commands and the new Kinect camera. Whereas some of these features are cutting edge for sure, I don't think they strike at the heart what it means to build a console for the future.


In the video Microsoft claims that because of the cloud, future games can use "cloud compute" to offload CPU intensive tasks so your XBone won't need to be upgraded. But already some games handle logic primarily on servers like MMO's or PC games such as Diablo III. Some game clients simply render the graphics and to combat cheating, the majority of the game logic is handled server side. So some games offload some compute to "the cloud" but for the majority of single player games this offload makes little sense unless publishers want to inject some form of DRM(Simcity 5 anyone?). So really, this isn't the future or very novel, this is happening now.

better voice commands

Am I the only one that doesn't care about voice commands? I don't think I am dipping into luddite territory here, I have a smarphone that handles voice recognition and everything, I just don't care about doing that with my TV. Hell, this may be a case of "this shit would be awesome if I just tried it once" but nothing is currently broken when I use a remote with my TV and console. There are a few scenarios when I am using my phone where I use voice commands but that usually involves driving and its so I don't crash and die. When I am hangin' out on the couch with my console I can't imagine too many scenarios where I need voice commands.

Nothing wrong with adding awesome features to consoles, I just think what matters most to making your console work in the future is more than a feature someone may or may not want.

kinect can see 6 people in the room and is way better than it was

The video shows a scenario where the Kinect camera detects 6 people in the room and automagically adds them to a game that is being organized. Ill respond with as much as I was moved by the demo of it.

the thrilling conclusion

As far as I am concerned there are more important things a console maker should do to get it "ready for the future."

Have the stuff I bought work now and in the future. Don't make me throw away all my old stuff with each upgrade cycle.

Seriously, how hard is this to get guys? Yeah, it's really super that Kinect can now make me a ham sandwich but none of my games port over to the new system and they likely won't in the next upgrade cycle either. How bout all the hardware I bought, is that ready for the future? Nope, need to buy all new gear... but hey guys we have really neat voice commands now!

Hear me out here, adding new features to consoles isn't bad. But for the things that matter to me most it seems like the XBone is a step back from the 360 because the 360 could play XBox games. Also understand I don't mean to just point the spotlight at Microsoft here, Sony isn't much better with the PS4 in this regard. But for all the talk about "future readiness" Microsoft and Sony haven't proven to me that they respect the one thing that matters the most. The games.