“Mi­crosoft, please make me care about gam­ing on Xbox One again”

Adam Cook thinks Xbox One can be great, but Mi­crosoft needs to take a long hard look at it­self

Games Master - - UPFRONT -

Last gen­er­a­tion I played a ridicu­lous amount of games on Xbox 360. PS3 was my ‘ex­clu­sive’ con­sole, and ev­ery multi-for­mat game was played on Mi­crosoft’s phe­nom­e­nal ma­chine – and I’d bet many of you were the same. So what’s changed? When I think back about to Xbox 360, I of­ten link its suc­cess to achieve­ments and on­line play. Now, they’ve been de­val­ued to the point you can get them from watch­ing TV, and Sony has caught up on Xbox Live. All I want is a rea­son to love my Xbox One, so I’m beg­ging you, Mi­crosoft, make me care about Xbox One again.

We know that the con­sole needs games, and that Crackdown is on the way, but lit­tle of it has been shown, and games in de­vel­op­ment for as long as this one rarely turn out to be com­plete bangers (The Last Guardian, I’m look­ing at you). State Of De­cay 2 will be good, but it isn’t a sys­tem seller, and Forza 7 will be great, but is for a very spe­cific niche.

In­ter­face facts

A lot of my frus­tra­tions with Xbox One are down to the way the con­sole it­self op­er­ates. Ev­ery few months Mi­crosoft rolls out a user in­ter­face that at­tempts to speed it up, and make it bet­ter to nav­i­gate. But it’s not work­ing: the lat­est up­date sees a huge amount of space tak­ing up half the screen, with the next few things you see be­ing ad­verts and fea­tures no­body wants. ‘Sug­gested Friend’, any­body? Sure, be­cause the thing peo­ple want on the in­ter­net nowa­days is to find a ran­dom user that def­i­nitely won’t be a com­plete nut­ter, right?

No­body is sug­gest­ing Xbox goes back to the orig­i­nal 360 blade-style (although…) but the con­cern­ing thing is that Xbox One X seems to be be­ing po­si­tioned as a fix-all, and that’s not go­ing to be the case. Power is great, and will hope­fully speed up the dash­board greatly, but Sony’s PS4 has shown that the core sys­tem func­tion­al­ity must match the older hard­ware in or­der to not alien­ate the ex­ist­ing au­di­ence.

Achieve­ments could be the key here. Like many other play­ers, I spent hours earn­ing Crackdown and Dead Ris­ing achieve­ments. Who among us can hon­estly say they didn’t con­sider strap­ping a rub­ber band to their con­troller just to get the ‘Marathon Run­ner’ in that first Frank West ad­ven­ture? Achieve­ments need to mat­ter again, be­cause right now they just don’t.

It seems daft to say it but Mi­crosoft’s at­tempts to stay ahead of the pack has caused it to de­value al­most every­thing that made Xbox 360 great. Stop try­ing to fix things that aren’t bro­ken, fo­cus on mak­ing that UI ac­tu­ally en­joy­able to use (go back to the draw­ing board if need be), and stop thrust­ing ad­verts into pay­ing cus­tomers’ faces. Then I can love my Xbox again.

“Make that UI en­joy­able to use and stop thrust­ing ad­verts into pay­ing cus­tomers’ faces”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.