The link (above) is for Halo: Combat Evolved. This was one of the first things I saw at E3 2000. Me being a sports gamer my whole life with other genres sprinkled in, I never took a complete hold on FPS even with some Goldeneye 007 on my resume. Halo changed that and with this trailer my first “next gen” console was within reach! It had a story that was gripping and local multiplayer that still fuels my fire to this day. Microsoft’s console gave me the spark and love for consoles that I feel today. Being a Xbox exclusive player for over 10 years, some of you would wonder what made me switch to PlayStation.
YouTube gave us gamers the platform to see the gaming world in a different light. We went from waiting for conventions like E3 and PAX to announce upcoming titles and websites like IGN to cover such events, to having access through streaming on YouTube. It also gave the world a voice to share their opinions, and you started to notice a trend when they announced the Xbox One. Microsoft was trying to become more than a gaming machine, giving you the option to live through the Xbox. TV, Music, Video, all accessible at the palm of your hand with one major thing missing, games. Yes Microsoft has studios that are specific to Xbox as well as Microsoft Studios but they haven’t delivered anything other than their flagship franchises. (Halo, Gears of War) They have also had a number of cancelled games that were console exclusive, heavy blows that honestly Microsoft hasn’t recovered from.
When the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were announced we thought that would be it. Consoles that we would use for the next 5-7 years. However Sony and Microsoft had other plans and the media giants revealed console refreshes that would push the boundaries of what consoles are capable of. Introduced were the Xbox One X and PlayStation Pro, mid generation upgrades, a first of its kind. These would bring better graphics, load times, and performance upgrades, but something was still missing for Xbox. Games, where are the games? You can’t truly compete with your rival without games and for years Microsoft had been behind the 8 ball in that category. Sure they carry 3rd party titles, same as Sony but their first party offerings have been lacking. If you want to win the war you gonna being something to the table, it’s as simple as that.
The future is Perfect, Dark??
We now stand at a crossroads with Microsoft. Shiny new game systems and a platform to provide for gamers! No more connecting to the tv, this is promised to be a GAMING CONSOLE. So where are the games? Covid brought the world to its knees and gaming was no different. Once these consoles were announced you would of expected to see plenty of games to go along with them, but this is the ever growing problem with Xbox. The flagship which was slated to launch with the system had to be delayed after blacklash of their showcase in late July. So Xbox launched with virtually nothing in the form of console exclusive and PlayStation had Miles Morales and Demon’s Soul. Also had a preloaded game named Astro’s Playroom that ended up being pretty good.
I know this blog has been a verbal beat down of Microsoft and Xbox but the future is looking bright for the company. Their new console is an amazing piece of machine and although they aren’t consistently delivering of the promise of better performance compared to the competition currently, you have to assume the with time developers will figure out the logistics. Lack of games is still a challenge but with acquisition of Bethesda, they have a lot of big titles in limbo with some big decisions coming! In the words of Kanye “no one man should have all that power.” Do you make Bethesda console exclusive and build a powerful alliance with Xbox or do you allow them to provide for PlayStation and Nintendo consumers alike. Both have their positive and negative repercussions in the next 6-8 years. Either way I’m excited to see the future of Xbox!