Xbox E3 presentation was less about the Xbox and more about how Microsoft has made a clear motion to push multiplatform support through their Live account system, something that the recent purchase of Linkedln will without a doubt tie into. Minecraft is an example how they are pushing this cross-platform play, signifying that they intend to be everywhere they can push their Live on.
Most importantly for Windows 10.
The current Windows 10 userbase is smaller than Microsoft has wanted it to be, about half the intended size. Not many people want to install it due to various reasons, ranging from its awkward UI design to the included spyware that takes screenshots and sends it to Microsoft. Use GWX to prevent all related updates. Combined with Xbox One’s lacklustre success, it’s understandable for Microsoft to want push multiple approaches.
Steam’s nigh monopoly position on PC went completely unchecked and as Microsoft essentially left their main platform for the wolves, Windows 10 and DirectX 12 will have a hard time to regain some ground back. Whether or not they can is a whole other issue, especially seeing how reports on the usability of Win10’s game store are far for admirable.
Maybe Microsoft is extending itself too thin. They tried taking over the console market and failed, then bought Nokia (which fucked us up) and failed miserably there too. I would argue that their experience with Nokia was the step towards what we’re seeing how, with further emphasize on Windows’ software compatibility across platforms. Gaming in Windows was strong after Microsoft began larger support for it, but we have a point in time where they essentially just left it be.
Indeed, Xbox has always been about dumbed down PC gaming, and now it seems Microsoft is intending to bring that dumbed down PC gaming to Windows at full force. PC used to be a platform of total freedom, that was its main pull, but now we’ve lost that and have become complacent in exchange for comfort. Windows’ modern design is also indicative of this, where users are not required to learn anything about computers any more and all systems are made so closed that the end-users have almost no real control options over their own systems.
With the Project Scorpio, Microsoft further shows that they don’t really give a damn about the console market. The promotional video Microsoft showcased for it spells their mindset; hardware power. To quote, This was the console the developers asked us to build. A console is a box to play games. It doesn’t matter how powerful the box is if it doesn’t have games that are fun and entertaining to play. Historically, the least powerful console has won each generation, as they’ve generally gained the sheer overpowering numbers in games. Do remember that the MegaDrive got push with Mega CD and 32X over SNES in terms of power, so that generation is not an exception.
While releasing an updated console has not been anything new, this sort of fetish to keep consoles at the high-end of technology has all to do with the PC mindset. The PC market was about the high-end hardware, the cutting edge tech, whereas console market used to be about the matured technology that had become cheap to use and produce. The game industry fellates and masturbates over 4K image, but the general audience barely knows such thing exists. With 4K, game development just got a notch up expensive. Much like with films, the Triple A game industry has gone completely insane with the million dollar budgets and barely produce any mid-range budget games.
If they indeed try to go generationless with Xbox, they’ll surely fail as any hardware ages and needs to be replaced at some point. Wear and tear are a reality, but much like how Nintendo generally replaces their consoles with cheaper, more efficient alternatives, a console can survive for long damn time as long as it has support.
But releasing a more powerful console per generation in the same “family” is nothing new. Atari did that too, but nobody really liked the 5200. These high-end models don’t have a successful history with consoles or games and I don’t have much faith that they’ll do anything new or special now either.
All in all, the Xbox E3 presentation was, at its core, a showcase of Microsoft simply pushing the Xbox brand unto Windows 10. Their console has been failing, as indicated by their use over seven million Killer Instinct matches played instead of citing the number of players. That tells you a damn lot.
An Australian friend also noted that the places and scenery in Forza are fucked and don’t represent the real places at all. What’s the point of using real world locations if you’re not even going to try to be accurate with them?