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Consoles Aren’t All About Games Anymore

Its been three days since the reveal of the Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One, and we’ve heard and read a lot of things about it.  The one thing that seems to be bothering so many people about it is the fact that during the reveal, a lot of things were shown/not shown/told/unconfirmed about the system.  Many people were upset that Microsoft decided to focus on the TV functionality of the system as opposed to the games. It also seemed to go the same with Sony even though people don’t seem to remember that.  none of that actually bothers me.  I’m rather ecstatic about the prospect of new systems (even though I was originally reluctant).  I must say that from what they showed during those events have made me look forward to these products more than any other product to date (other than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga).  Let me explain…

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with a couple of friends of mine.  It initially started off with them discussing the reveal event.  It was pointed out that the reveal and moreover the device wasn’t actually trying to target gamers, but the mainstream public.  To them, it came off as a “..smart tv/console hybrid.” Another stated that this might “…spread  themselves thin trying to cover those different avenues…” having “…a lot of bland features instead of one or two really good ones…” But this is where I disagree.

A lot of people saw that this was a terrible showing of the Xbox One.  They figured it was really much a waste of time as the right things weren’t shown. However, the only people saying this were the gamers.  I feel like it only appears that way because you were looking at it from the wrong side.  Its almost like trying to a movie from the outside of a movie theater.  Microsoft essentially knew what they were doing yesterday in the same vain that Sony knew what they were doing back February.  The events were the same even though they did talk about two very different things.

When Sony went on stage, for the first part of their presentation, they announced the PlayStation 4 was coming and showed us a controller and camera.  Then they started getting real technical with their presentation about the hardware specs and special system software features for the system without showing many games or the console itself.  Now, Microsoft goes on stage, at least shows a console and all essential gear, then dives into what they think will set their system apart from the rest.  However, when both companies did so, it seemed to draw the ire of the Internet masses (or at least from what I could see from gaming blogs, tweets, and Google+ posts).  What’s even funnier is when Microsoft failed, the Internet held up Sony as the winner even though 3 months ago they were ready to throw them in the fire. Others stayed true and just vowed off consoles and figured they just stick with or move to Steam.

I feel like what’s happening now between these companies and their apparent consumer base is a split.  For years, gamers have always had a dedicated device to play a video game on.  But I feel that they forget that video games, when they first came out, were considered toys.  Just about everyone who plays video games now and actually cares about these things were probably given Ataris and Nintendos for Christmas back in the 80s as it was to be a toy enjoyed on a TV.  The marketing for these devices wasn’t even geared towards the adults who were purchasing them, but the kids who were screaming for them.  It seems that 20-30 years later, these kids never really grew up.

Gaming has changed so much in that time and the people who were playing these consoles are now making them.  They realize that they aren’t 10 years old anymore and that they have other things to deal with.  They have work, family, and friends.  But they also know where they came from and what their “first love” is, so they try to bridge the gap between what they enjoy now as an adult and what they grew up with.  They realize that they can’t play Gears of War when the children come in. So, why not have something that could quickly switch it off from you decapitating some dude to Big Bird or Elmo. I’m pretty sure your wife doesn’t want to see you have Kratos nailing some nymph in a hot tub so why not turn on “Love, Actually” on Netflix when she walks into the room. I feel that people do not understand these things because they don’t live the same lives as most of the people who engineer these devices.

Another thing is that it appears that people forget how a business works.  It isn’t just a place you go to make money or spend money, but is there to make as much money as it can from the most people it can.  Microsoft realized this buy actually adding TV and Internet capabilities into its system.  They knew that they already had the gamers.  Now they want another piece of the pie. They want what Apple and Google have which is the mass consumer market.  “If they can provide networked home solutions to their users why can’t I?”Microsoft began molding the Xbox 360 into that dream and has apparently now realized it by giving the software proper hardware to handle it. Microsoft didn’t add all the streaming content to the 360 as a convenience for gamers.  They put that there so they could sell the device to non-gamers.  People who didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for HD cable when you could just get a broadband connection and plug it into the Xbox.

We have entered into a world of entitlement for many people.  Many expect that they should always get what they want when they want it and that they actually deserve it.  Well, I’m here to tell you today, that that’s not true.  Just think of the engineers…All the nymph sex they’re missing…

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