So the future of gaming is practically here; Sony has unveiled the PS4, set for a holiday release, and Microsoft will soon show us the successor to the Xbox 360.
While many may be excited about the prospect of a new Xbox, which is rumored to be officially unveiled as soon as April 26th, I, for one, am not. Here’s how Microsoft can change my mind:
Make It Work
We all know someone who’s had an Xbox 360 fail on them, even if we – or they – don’t want to admit it. In a recent episode of the G-Spot Podcast, I admitted that I went through five of those things, each dying to the “red ring of death” despite me keeping my console well-ventilated, horizontal, in a freezer, etc. It took five failures before I finally gave up and jumped ship to the PS3. As a consumer, I shouldn’t have had more than one failure, period. And yes, I’m aware the problems have been fixed, but that’s no excuse for what happened in the first place. I’m fairly certain one of the reasons the Xbox 360 has sales numbers as high as they are is because of customers that keep coming back, again and again. While there’s no helping those people, I’m confident that a repeat of the dreadful failure rate the 360 had at launch won’t be winning me back anytime soon.
Bring Back Exclusives
Quick, which Xbox exclusives can you name that don’t involve the words “Halo” and “Gears“?
Exactly. Sony and Nintendo both have several respective first-party studios to their name. Uncharted and Infamous got me to buy a PS3 (well, that and the failures I mentioned above). Everyone knows the reason to buy a Wii U is to play the next Mario, Zelda, and Metroid titles. The next Xbox will, of course, have more Gears of War and Halo, but other than shooters, what else is there? A gamer needs variety to stay interested. At least, I do. While I wish the Halo franchise would at least come to PC so I could actually play Halo: Reach and Halo 4, you’re gonna have to do more than that to get me to bite. EA announcing exclusivity deals for the next machine is a good start, but staggered exclusives are only going to make gamers angry. All or nothing.
Make Xbox Live Free
I know it won’t happen, but this keeps me away almost as much as my first point does (I guess the saying is “Bit once, twice shy, bit five times, you’re an idiot”). Why, on God’s green earth, should I pay for the ability to use Netflix? Why, by Neptune’s beard, should I pay to play online when not only can I do so for free on both of your competitors’ consoles, but also on PC? And WHY, by Merlin’s shriveled left buttock, should I pay to maintain a service that then still pushes advertisements on me?
I know it’s a gold mine, and some fanboys (not me, because I’m nice) would call it a “stupidity tax,” but Microsoft, you’ve GOT to at least make all of the extra stuff “for-pay” and let me play online for free, or you’re not getting my cash.
What do you think? What would you like to see Microsoft do for the next Xbox? Sound off in the comments below.
The thoughts and opinions expressed in this editorial do not necessarily represent those of The Game Fanatics staff as a whole.