Being an Xbox fan since the day the very first one came out has been an interesting time for me as a player. My first exclusive was Project Gotham Racing. I wasn’t too much into racing games, but since it was free along with the console, thank you Taco Bell, I enjoyed my time with it until of course I found the masterpiece that would later become a flagship title for the Xbox, Halo. I’m very thankful to have grown up through the who Xbox era and able to see all the evolving through its life cycle.
The year is 2020. It officially next gen season, or next gen SZN. Yeah we got that out of the way. Watching every release from the very first Xbox, to the Xbox 360, and then the Xbox One has been quite a ride as we are now on the brink of the brand new Xbox Series X. I thought I’d write my thoughts and discuss what I would like to see happen with the next generation of Xbox and how they can have a smooth launch instead of the hiccup back in 2013.
GAMES GAMES GAMES
Yes, lets go ahead and get this out of the way. All you ever heard around social media and the fake console wars were how Xbox has no games. With the launch of the Xbox Series X, we already know Halo Infinite is going to be launching with every console, along with being available on Game Pass. We also seen the crazy new trailer of Hellblade 2 at The Game Awards that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC. So before the ball dropped on 2020, we already know about two titles hitting the Xbox Series X. I can say with confidence, not sources of course, that we will be seeing a brand new Fable game, maybe not at launch, but sometime early in the next gen cycle.
Now exclusives are great don’t get me wrong, but Xbox needing games at launch isn’t just about exclusives. It’s about having all the services that we have now available day one. We’re talking about all the backwards compatible titles ready to go, all the enhancements from Xbox One titles updated and ready to go, and having Game Pass, xCloud, and Console Streaming available day one so players can start taking advantage of all the new ways Xbox grabs you as a player.
I think it would be great that sometime early in the next cycle, Xbox Series X would go back to the drawing board on Backwards Compatibility and re-open up shop to add even more titles from Xbox and Xbox 360 to the new gen. I believe there are still some great titles out there that a lot of players would love to revisit. I can name a couple, but you all know what they are if you know me and I will not use this to spread my agenda.
*cough* Sneak King *cough*
POWER POWER POWER
What I like to do is scroll through the Twitter feed and drink my coffee and watch all the bickering back and forth between different groups. I’m not a fanboy by any means, I love gaming period, but if power is going to be a key factor going into the new generation, then Xbox Series X will have a slight jump ahead of the PS5 according to all the speculation and leaks. But for how long? It’s rumored the Xbox Series X will have a whopping 12 Teraflops or close to it with the PS5 launching with just under or around 10 Teraflops. You can look up all the leaks and speculate yourself and come to the simple conclusion that if you want the most powerful console at launch, Xbox Series X would be the one to get, but again, what is power without those exclusives?
In my opinion, in a perfect world, every console would launch with the same specs, and consumers would be left with a choice on what they enjoy playing more or what does one offer that the other one doesn’t that would take full advantage of the power. Or instead of buying a brand new updated console three years down the road, make them customizable like a PC, afterall, consoles are basically small PCs. When Xbox One launched, it wasn’t that powerful. It was immediately met with a lot of criticism, but a lot of it was about the rocky launch at first. Then you had the Xbox One S and later the Xbox One X launch which left your wallet crying for help.
The Xbox Series X will more than likely be met with another launch console by its side, currently codenamed Lockhart, that will supposedly be the lower end model of the new generation much like the Xbox Series S to the Xbox One X. To me, I think this is a good strategy if only you were able to customize the Series X on your own terms instead of spending hundreds more on a new more powerful console three years later. The Lockhart could be for the casual gamer that just loves to play games for what they are, while Series X could be more for the players that love the power flex, but with added on options later on down the road to keep it up to speed and make the most of it.
ACCESSORIES ACCESSORIES ACCESSORIES
One of the best things about next generation that has me pumped is that every controller, especially my Elite 1 and 2 controller, will be fully compatible with the new systems. This is a major win for Xbox. Especially since the Elite Series 2 controller just came out in November, and I won’t have to toss it to the side after just one year of use.
The new controller spotted in the promo of the new console looks a bit different with the added on share button. The was long overdue in my opinion, even though I have no problems with the way I snap screenshots or clip 30 second gameplay clips now, the share button just makes it more easier to access. The share button on the dualshock controller is a great feature that I quickly fell in love with.
Speaking of the dualshock, I think it’s about time the new Xbox controller has USB-C. Batteries should have been dead this gen, but thankfully we have charging docks. I think it’s safe to say the new controllers will have this and while I’ll still be using my Elite 2 controller until the grips fall off of it, I’ll feel better knowing that my new controller sitting next to me will be fully charged, ready to go and won’t have to take batteries out of the remotes in the house just to keep gaming.
On the PS4, you are able to hook up a mic through usb unlike the Xbox One. Xbox needs to make this feature happen with the Xbox Series X. I have a Blue Yeti mic just sitting around looking sad knowing Microsoft hates it and wants nothing to do with it. It cries at night, and I can’t sleep because of it. With Mixer growing everyday with new streamers being signed to the platform, having the option to stream through console, which we do now, needs to be more friendly. Having a good mic setup straight through the Xbox would be a huge step for gamers like myself that don’t own a PC and stream straight through the console.
INTERFACE INTERFACE INTERFACE
The current interface for Xbox systems is good, but could be a lot better. I can go on and on about how they can easily make things more accessible when searching for apps, games, and organizing your captures, but what I think needs more work is the Capture section.
Some games I’ve played in the past, Sniper Elite 3 being the major abuser, will automatically upload a clip of you blowing a dudes face off without you clipping it yourself. It wasn’t until I had like 50+ clips saved where I finally learned how to turn off the feature. But the most dreadful part about it was deleting your clips. It seemed like it took about a minute to delete each clip, sometimes longer if the system had to catch up, without any option to mass delete. Don’t get me wrong, the capture page is great, but it can be more user friendly and it could definitely be made a lot easier to delete multiple captures all at once instead of scrolling and deleting one at a time.
The overall look of the current interface isn’t bad, in fact I actually like it. It’s less laggy than before, and for the most part easy to navigate. However I think a slight overhaul of the current interface is needed and I think the people in charge are well capable of making it look and feel fantastic on day one.
I think we are in for a fantastic new generation with the Xbox Series X and Team Xbox. I think they are well aware what the gamers want and see it everyday in the media and gamers all across social media. Microsoft has 15 studios and who knows what most of them are up to right now. We can be seeing some new crazy huge surprises from now to E3 2020 leading into next gen. Adding more Xbox games or even services to other platforms would be amazing for every gamer out there no matter where they prefer to play. No matter what you feel as a gamer on your preferred platform, gaming is for everyone.