Xbox One: Time To Jump In

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More and Better AAA Exclusives

One thing that I loved about the 360 that virtually disappeared the last several years was big exclusive first-party games. This is something Sony really ramped up for the whole run of the PS3, and really made me appreciate that console more as the generation went on. I still play my PS3 a lot and it’s mostly exclusive titles. I haven’t really touched my 360 since Mass Effect 3 came out.

Now here we are at the start of a new generation, and it looks like Microsoft is really working hard at having great exclusives while Sony is kind of stumbling out the gate. I feel like the Xbox One had more and better exclusives at launch and those, of course, will be new experiences available to gamers just now picking up the console. As for Sony, their one big exclusive for this holiday season, Drive Club has been a complete mess, while Sunset Overdrive & Forza Horizon 2 are getting a mostly overwhelmingly great reception.

You also can’t discount the Master Chief Collection. More than a mere remaster, this is a massive collection of content of one of the biggest franchises of the last generation all in one game. Looking into the future; sure, Sony has The Order: 1886 & Uncharted 4 on the way. But what else do they have to offer? Xbox One’s future line-up looks far more numerous and diverse at the moment. You have mind-bending sci-fi epics like Quantum Break & Platinum Games’ Scalebound (you know, the same guys who have just put out the best-reviewed game of the year in Bayonetta 2). Returning favorites like Crackdown and even obscure games like Phantom Dust, which was a personal favorite of mine on the original Xbox.

Admittedly, Nintendo is a little harder to top in sheer number of exclusives, because nearly every game made for the console is an exclusive. It is also a valid argument that Nintendo only makes certain kinds of games to the point where they are practically a genre unto themselves, and if you don’t like those, you probably shouldn’t bother with a Nintendo system. Microsoft is giving you a pretty diverse line-up for the Xbox One with something that should have appeal for pretty much everyone.

They Actually Did Listen To The Fans

Let’s look at Xbox One as of E3 2013. Microsoft had a pretty grand vision for the Xbox One, with it being a digitally-focused console based much more around interacting with Kinect and interfacing with your cable box. And hey, it might as well also play games! The amount of vitriol directed at the console was on a level unheard of in gaming. It wasn’t simply people going “eh, I don’t like those ideas, I won’t buy it.” Microsoft was the devil and destroying gaming as we know it according to some. Now over a year later, pretty much every major complaint has been taken care of. Kinect is basically an afterthought now; totally optional.

While the UI could still use a little work, it’s perfectly serviceable as opposed to when you were forced to buy the Kinect and could barely navigate the menu without it. No of those grand DRM schemes. The focus on TV is lessened to the point where Microsoft completely killed off their programming division that was going to deliver a slate of original programming that was going to be exclusively on the Xbox One. The focus is much more on games as seen at this year’s E3 & Gamescom.

Plus, they have constant updates to quickly respond to consumer feedback throughout the year, whereas Sony & especially Nintendo seem slow to respond to valid consumer issues (note somehow the PS4 is the only current console to not have an option of an external hard drive for additional storage options). And here’s the thing; none of this was necessary in terms of pure business sense.

Sure, the Xbox One was, and has been, getting blown out of the water for practically a year straight by the PS4 in terms of consoles sold. But the Xbox One has also been rapidly outpacing the 360 in sales since its launch. Microsoft could’ve simply looked at their numbers, said “well we are doing significantly better numbers this generation then we did last generation. We can be pretty satisfied with that”. But no, Microsoft (and more specifically the new management at the Xbox division) decided they want to be in this thing to win. That’s going to be better for everyone, and also a really good reason for you to pick up the Xbox One because Microsoft, above all, isn’t complacent. Them coming from the position of scrappy underdog (which is kind of ironic given how much money Microsoft has) will have them fighting tooth and nail for every unit sold and you are already seeing how that is being a good thing for the consumer. Frankly, that is an attitude that is well worth your money when it comes to picking your next console.

More from Opinion

As I alluded to earlier, I grew pretty disillusioned with Xbox as a brand well before the unveiling on the Xbox One last year. I honestly thought this might be the first generation of consoles where I didn’t own all major home consoles because the whole idea of the Xbox One wasn’t appealing to me at all. At the time, the exclusive software didn’t seem worth the headaches that came with the system. What a difference a year makes. Microsoft as shown a massive change in attitude for the better and a willingness to win that Sony might not be able to match and Nintendo doesn’t seem to care in that regard.

I’m not saying it’s a terrible decision to pick up a PS4 or a Wii U this holiday season. Both are excellent consoles with a solid library of titles. I own all three and am currently enjoying all three quite a bit. But if you want the best overall bang for your hard-earned gaming dollars this holiday season, Microsoft has made an incredibly strong argument for the Xbox One, both in terms of what you get now in terms of pure value and what you have to look forward to in the near future.

The views expressed in this article explicitly belong to the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of, nor should be attributed to, GameSided as an organization. For more on our policy, click here.


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