The Xbox One. Many of you probably don’t want it. But I’m certain that many of you have gotten it. It’s a platform that was mired by many challenges during its revelation and, to some degree, it’s still facing all of this and a very strong offensive from Sony. But like most platforms, the Xbox One is still in its infancy and even now, there’s a lot of promise for the platform. For this week’s Top 5, we outline the reasons why we got a Xbox One… or, perhaps, are considering one in my case. Ari won’t be joining us for this one, but he is represented well in this Top 5.
And so, without any further ado, here’s our reasons why we got a Xbox One!
To be perfectly clear, I currently do not have a Xbox One. However, I feel that there’s already plenty of reasons that the Xbox One is something that I will certainly consider procuring. Keep in mind that this might be dated if you’re viewing this any later than when this article’s posted, but I’ll indicate it when I talk about said items. Be forewarned: A lot of the reasons that I’m listing out may be conceptual and theoretical, but that’s just how I look at the value of the platforms I buy. I look at their long term potential and the risk taking that they’re going through to evaluate which platform will be part of my library. That said, here they are!
5. Exclusive titles
I’ve been a two console gamer all my life, with rare occasions such as the previous generation where I’ve owned all three platforms in different points in time. That being said, I will eventually get the Xbox One just because of the exclusives alone. Now, we’re not talking about DLC exclusives and what have you… I can wait for those to come to my PS4. I’m taking about the games that utilize the unique capabilities of the Xbox One that were made and optimized for the platform. We’re too early to figure that part out now, but I do know that they’ll be coming soon.
And just to clarify: Unlike my #3 which is solely talking about Microsoft’s first party franchises, this pertains to any title, first party or otherwise, that is exclusive to Xbox One, may it be timed or otherwise. Titanfall is a perfect example of this. Speaking of Titanfall…
4. Xbox One + Titanfall for $450? Yes please!
If you do the math and assume that you’re paying for Titanfall at full price, you’d actually be getting the Xbox One at $10 less than the PlayStation 4 with this deal and that, in itself is an incredible deal. While I don’t care much for online multiplayer games, Titanfall is a game that has a high degree of pedigree behind it. The folks who were responsible for the classic Call of Duty games (I’d lump Call of Duty 4 with that) delivered a fast paced 60fps futuristic shooter that not only had gameplay that feels fantastic and organic, but also uniquely cemented Titanfall as a franchise that’s sure to improve with constant iteration. Unfortunately, as of this writing, this bundle seems to have pretty much slipped off the radar and many of the stores that used to offer this amazing deal are either sold out of it or are offering it at its original price of $499. Still, at $499, the deal is tough to beat. But if you somehow see it at $450 I’d say, “BUY! BUY! BUY!”
3. Microsoft first party franchises
Over the past several years, I’ve grown to love a lot of games coming out of Microsoft Game Studios. And while you can’t really count me in as being on board with the Halo and Gears of War series, the company created a wide breadth of games that I’ve enjoyed over the years: Forza Motorsport, Viva Piñata, and Fable to name but a few. With a new Forza Motorsport, Killer Instinct’s Seasons 1 and 2, and the Remedy developed Quantum Break, there’s a lot to look forward to on the Xbox One. And I bet that they’ve got a ton more games lined up to show off at this year’s E3.
2. Microsoft’s DRM policy reversal
Like Sean, I was really harsh on Microsoft when they announced that they were going to implement a lock on all purchased physical games on one console. Sure, there were rumblings of plans to extend this to multiple consoles, but these are the kinds of things that as a platform holder, you need to have all the answers to. Naturally, when Microsoft couldn’t really come out with any straight answers, there was a huge backlash from gamers, leading up to Sony’s memorable E3 Press Conference from last year. Finally, after much mucking around, Microsoft reversed their DRM policy and everyone rejoices. Makes you wonder though if the company would be in a different situation today had they not stubbornly pushed through a half-baked plan to impose DRM on its platform. Can you tell I’m bitter about that?
1. Phil Spencer is now the head of Xbox everything
Phil Spencer is a name that I didn’t even know about until last year when I walked into the Microsoft press conference. He was a cool headed dude who delivered some of the best and memorable presentations during last year’s E3 and was seen by many as one of the last advocates of gaming within Microsoft. So naturally, when Microsoft made the announcement that Phil Spencer was going to be the go-to guy for all things Xbox, I naturally became elated. Phil Spencer needed to be at the helm of this product, and now that he’s practically got a speed dial to both their hardware and software divisions, I’m pretty sure that the focus on the platform will shift more towards gaming: you know, the one thing that we all purchased this system for (or will)?
I see his appointment at Xbox as not only necessary, but symbolic. While many of us have dismissed this generation “as Sony’s,” Microsoft is unwilling to let 8 years pass without taking a fight to Sony. The past few months, I’ve become more and more familiar about Phil’s role in the molding of the Xbox One and frankly, I couldn’t be any happier with his appointment of his role. Congratulations Phil! Now let’s get a permanent price drop on that Xbox One, shall we?
I find symbolic gestures in this industry significant, and I can find no better one than Phil Spencer’s appointment as head of Xbox as one of the best things the company has done since the revelation of the Xbox One last year. I look forward to the future of the Xbox with this guy in charge.
Ari is sitting out on this one. He will be missed. Because of this, his accompanying image for this article will be once again a picture of his cat sitting on his PS4.
5. Most of my friends that I game with and on Xbox Live
I was weaned on online gaming last generation with the Xbox 360. As such, it became my go-to platform for hanging out with friends and playing multiplayer/co-op games. PSN has made great strides in this space with the PS4, but for me, Xbox Live will always be my first choice for online gaming with friends.
As much as I’ve been enjoying Trophies recently, I still love Achievements more. Maybe it’s a vestige of my arcade days but the Gamerscore keeps me coming back and trying to add to it.
From the moment I saw this game in action live at E3, Titanfall has been my most anticipated game coming to current gen consoles. So much so that on March 11th I bought the Titanfall bundle. A big risk that paid off, as I mentioned in my review.
2. I love video games
I’ve been a two-console owner since the PlayStation 2/Xbox days because each console has experiences I want to have. Sure, I am more into Sony exclusives personally, but I love being able to play as many games as possible. The best way to do that is to own both platforms that make the games I want to play.
1. The policy reversal
Anyone who knows me or is familiar with this site, knows exactly how I felt about the Xbox One going into and coming out of E3. Short version, I thought the restrictive used game policy, the mandatory 24 hour check in, and the mandatory Kinect were all enough to turn me off of the console for good. If it hadn’t been for the reversal on June 19th of said policies, this would have been my first one console generation since the first PlayStation. Thankfully, Microsoft changed those policies and now I am back to owning the 2 current gen platforms, PS4 and Xbox One.
5. It’s going to have some exclusives
I mean, there are going to be exclusive games on this console. And I may want them. Yes, that’s a reason. I’m also kind of a jerk.
4. Kinect integration that’s better
I know Kinect’s a dirty word. But the audio recognition is massively improved, with constant use refining it to your voice. It’s easy to get around once you get the hang of it, and if you watch linear TV through a cable or satellite provider, it’s invaluable. Change channels, raise or lower volume, and control your DVR. I get mileage out of it, and my girlfriend does too. Beyond that, games that use the Kinect benefit from the fact that it has a ridiculously wide camera angle (it once recognized me and locked onto my face at about 120 degrees), and needs less distance from the TV to use effectively.
I may not be the biggest FPS fan like Sean, but I’m pretty into it. And there’s no denying that Titanfall looked different and awesome. Although a competent version came out for Xbox 360, the Xbox One version is superior. And you know what? It is different, dispensing with the campaign mode. It’s just multiplayer, but it’s multiplayer that is full of action, giving players both AI controlled cannon fodder and real humans to blow away. It might have a small set of weapons, but the maps vary wildly, and verticality is of the utmost importance. Love it.
2. Killer Instinct
From a lukewarm reception at Evo 2013 to becoming the new darling of the fighting game scene, Killer Instinct does an amazing job combining old, recognizable characters and soundtracks, with new, modern game mechanics that require knowledgable actions at every point in a match. Using a hybrid free-to-play model, there’s no excuse to try it, and this game is arguably, arguably, worth the cost of ownership of an Xbox One. With Season 2 now underway by Iron Galaxy Studios, this one is going to be one to watch for some time.
1. It was kind of there
One Sunday, on driving to Target, I mused to my girlfriend “If they have an Xbox One, I’m just gonna get one.” Having already bought by PS4 by preordering, it had already been shown that Xbox One’s were relatively easy to get. Especially if you knew in advance what day a bunch of stores were getting a shipment. Like a Sunday.
There I walked, over to the counter, and there they were. It took about 5 minutes of hemming and hawing, and then I bought one, took a selfie of me holding it, and sent it to the Gamer Horizon crew. Confusion ensued.
And that, dear readers, is how I came to own every current major gaming platform. Except iOS.
Ted’s disposable income shows that he can buy anything on a whim, provided that it’s video game related. And Killer Instinct is probably one of games he’s played the most out of the two new platforms. Obviously.
So there you have it folks! Most of the crew’s reasons why they’ve gotten (or are planning to) get the Xbox One! Surely, these are good enough reasons for you to grab one yourself right? Did we miss a beat on other things that we might’ve missed? Post it on the comments below and tell us your reasons why you got a Xbox One or are planning to do so!