: Xbox 720: The Ultimate Casual Gaming Machine?

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Xbox 720: The Ultimate Casual Gaming Machine?

I've owned the Xbox and Xbox 360 (the latter is still hooked up, of course). I have no idea if I'll own the new Xbox console.

My personal preferences aside, based on the rumors we've been seeing, could the Xbox 720 be labeled as the perfect system for the casual gamer? I know casual vs. hardcore is a never-ending debate that hinges on the operational definitions - often widely varying - of "casual" and "hardcore."

But as far as I'm concerned, as the majority of casual gamers seem to flock toward the Xbox anyway, and they tend to like what Microsoft offers, shouldn't the company continue in that direction? After all, Microsoft surely knows that the casual crowd is by far the largest audience; these days, the casuals vastly outnumber the hardcore, as gaming is officially a mass market product. So wouldn't the new Xbox want to cater to that huge group? Wouldn't it put a heavy emphasis on social media, multiplayer, and other aspects that the mainstream group loves?

I'm just not sure if they've got the exclusive titles on tap to entice the hardcore, although I suppose if the Xbox 720 and PS4 are similar in terms of power, there's no obvious advantage for the die-hard gamers. As has been the case every generation, my Xbox console has gotten less and less use as time has gone on, and that's simply because while PlayStation has continued to come with the games, Xbox has always sort of tailed off. I'm not even sure why I'd want to keep the 360 at this point, unless I wanted to get around to playing Gears of War: Judgment at some point (and I've played all the Gears titles).

When the new Xbox is unveiled next month, what will we see? A console that caters first and foremost to gamers, or a multimedia system where games are almost secondary? I almost think the PS4 is leaning in the mass market direction, too, but I doubt it could compete with the Xbox 720 in terms of casual/mainstream appeal.

4/26/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 26, 2013 @ 10:44:21 PM
Reply

I dunno but I look forward to seeing this thing and how it plans to compete now that MS has no games, especially if the always-on thing is true.

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Cho_Quin
Friday, April 26, 2013 @ 10:55:35 PM
Reply

MS is going to do the thing that makes them more money. And if that is a "multimedia system where games are almost secondary" they will do it. And I won't buy it.

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Caanimal
Sunday, April 28, 2013 @ 11:35:16 AM

What they THINK will make them more money. As of right now only the die-hard micro&soft fan friends have any plans on buying the 720. Most are going to PC gaming cause of all the advantages and the fact the majority of 360 "exclusives" were available on the PC as well, a small few who either can't afford decent computers or just perfer console gaming are planing on picking up the PS4.

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firesoul453
Friday, April 26, 2013 @ 11:13:13 PM
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From what I've heard from rumors. Its basically a glorified cable box with streaming capabilities with a little gaming on the side.

No doubt this stuff will play an important part next gen, but sony's kinda tried that with the ps3 (ultimate blu ray player thing) and it didn't help them much. And I buy a console for gaming.

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Simcoe
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 9:36:47 AM

How did the PS3 as "ultimate blu ray player thing" not help them much? For a while the PS3 was the least expensive, most capable bluray player available. Today, it is still the standard for which most reviewers use when reviewing new bluray players entering the market. I even know a few people that purchased a (slim) PS3 (in 2009 - 2010) because it could play bluray discs, stream music and video from a NAS and could access Netflix. The fact that it was a gaming device was a happy coincidence.

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Akuma07
Sunday, April 28, 2013 @ 5:16:30 AM

Did you buy a bluray player?

That aside, I have also heard that Xbox is going to have a lot of tv streaming features.

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firesoul453
Sunday, April 28, 2013 @ 1:16:11 PM

Yes I know how good of a blu ray (and DVD) player it is, but its clear that blurays haven't been a huge selling point. People seem find with DVDs and streaming and for a while blurays had HD DVDs to compete with.

When the ps2 came out, DVDs were the clear future and people wanted a DVD player and the ps2 was a reasonably priced one considering the features.

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AcHiLLiA
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 12:13:23 AM
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The only social media stuff I do is on the PC, it's the best multimedia system for that..And for the Playstation(brand)it's a gaming console at heart.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 4/27/2013 12:14:52 AM

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daus26
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 12:32:59 AM
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Reasons to own an Xbox? Xbox Live community/gamer scores, Gears of Wars, Halo, Forza, Kinect, and whatever casual features they've yet to unveil.

Reasons to own Playstation? Well, I'm not going to even bother.

End result? PS4.

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Lord carlos
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 12:34:17 AM
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Read in some blog that its gonna be called xbox infinity.
Wont be getting one.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 1:39:28 AM

I was hoping "Xbox Forever"

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Dukemz_UK
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 5:30:40 AM

@World: "Forever" is painful... but appropriate :-)

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Beamboom
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 1:02:37 AM
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I have this strong feeling that the next Xbox and the PS4 will - ironically enough - differentiate more from each other than the PS3 and X360 ever did.

I don't have many factual arguments to back it up, it's mainly just my gut feeling that tells me so.
But the early signs hints at it.

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Cho_Quin
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 7:12:52 PM

Im getting that feeling too... they will be so different that there will be no competition, just 2 different markets

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gorezilla
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 1:17:12 AM
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I had read somewhere I don't remember, that the original Xbox wasn't supposed to be a primary gaming console and as such I'm not especially bummed about the Durango being a casual console. An old friend of mine stole my 360 a couple years back and all I did was delete his number because all I used it for was to play Rockband. True story.

That isn't to say that I entirely support the idea. If we are truthful, we would all completely agree that Sony's sole competitor is Ms. I ruled out Nintendo because it's Library is extremely different from the other 2 console makers' libraries. If Ms steps down from hard core gaming, there will be little reason for Sony to provide incentives to develops in the hopes of innovation. Without Ms, Sony might not feel the need to better itself.

Do you all remember when the 360 and ps3 were close to launch? Everyone I know was certain that Sony had it in the bag, as was I. But then Ms lobbied for exclusivity (even if it was just temporary). We missed out on Studio Mistwalker's Blue Dragon (No great loss), and Last Odyssey (Greatest turn-based rpg this gen). There were almost no rpgs on the Ps3. Star Ocean, Infinite undiscovery, Last Remnant, Eternal Sonata, Mass Effect, and Tales of Vesperia were all 360 exclusives (even if just for a little while). There was even a Katamari game exclusive to the 360.

Then there were the indie game like Braid, Limbo, and Castle Crashers which we has to wait years for. And don't get me started on how much I want Bastion.

My point is that Sony felt they could relax and Ms brought it. Now there are more innovative games than ever on the ps3. If however Ms chooses to kowtow, and no one rises to to challenge Sony, we'll be left with a company waiting for inspiration to strike. I personally prefer the Sony that keeps trying to capture lightning in a bottle.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 1:40:36 AM
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What's this scuttlebutt about Nintendo doing something controversial at E3 this year?

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gorezilla
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 1:50:51 AM

Nothing too Controversial. They just aren't appearing at E3. My guess is that they don't have enough content for a press conference and most of the focus is on the reveal of the next two consoles. It's a shame because they could show some demos without a press conference. Maybe a couple of booths. But they want to stick to Nintendo directs (which makes sense seeing as it's the platform they used to announce the release date of the wii u).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 4:46:47 AM

That kinda sounds like a bad sign for them.

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Beamboom
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 5:00:29 AM

You can't be reading IGN then, World. Cause it's all covered there. :)

Nintendo is going to be there, they'll just not hold a big open conference. They'll go for smaller events for special target audience and give the info that particular target are interested in. Like, one event for analysts, one for gaming press, and so forth.
Basically, they don't have much to show this year.

Last edited by Beamboom on 4/27/2013 5:01:19 AM

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gorezilla
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 7:40:26 AM

I was unaware they were going to be there. I'm happy to read that.

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Akuma07
Sunday, April 28, 2013 @ 5:18:39 AM

Lol.

Nintendo is going the way of Sega. Pretty soon the only hardware they will make is handhelds. That being said, their handhelds are pretty huge.

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___________
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 4:10:16 AM
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dont be ridiculous!
ninty always has, and always will own that title!
just because all the rumors are more emphasized on media and features, does not mean that the core experience is not really seen as a priority.
M$ still has plenty of studios at their disposal to draw in other titles.
rare, hopefully, maybe just maybe, they will be let off the leash to bring us another genre defining franchise like they have became famous for!

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Dancemachine55
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 10:57:05 AM
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I'm very interested in the Xbox unveiling event, just to see the reaction of the media when they start comparing both consoles.

I have no doubt that the next Xbox will still be incredibly popular in the USA, as Americans love their American products like Microsoft, Call of Duty and Madden.

But MS is playing a dangerous game, as the casual crowd is very fickle and prone to change their preferences in a moments notice.

Look at the Wii. The casual crowd gobbled it up in the millions, but hardly any games were sold for it (except for the major Nintendo exclusives like Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, and amazingly, Wii Fit) but the casual crowd grew tired of the Wii after about 3 or 4 years and moved onto something else. That's when the iPad and Kinect became popular gaming items.

If anything, if the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is reasonably priced, I reckon that'll be the next casual crowd sensation for gaming. Casuals want new and exciting stuff that is cheap and easy to use, and while Kinect 2.0 might be exciting for the first 2 years, I just don't see it maintaining that momentum for any longer than that.

By targeting the hardcore gaming audience, Sony has a guarentee of an audience in the future, even if it is a smaller one.
MS is treading thin ice by targeting casuals, and it had better keep the PS3 in mind if it plans on simply riding the hype train for the beginning of the next gen. People will not always support your new stuff simply because your old stuff was popular, you need to keep up the innovation and service to fans, or else you will fall from the lead. (If MS ever had one)

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Knightzane
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 2:15:28 PM
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I love how one of they're launch games is a Kinect game. They got dem exclusives.

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sk8monkey88
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 7:19:49 PM
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I am curious as to what Microsoft will reveal. The current state of the 360 is just pathetic, Microsoft has really dropped the ball at the tail end of this generation. Hopefuly it does well to compete with the PS4, that way Sony will have to push the envelope again and bring us some titles you cant find on any other systems.

I also want to see if they have an answere to the PS4's "share" feature.

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sk8monkey88
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 7:21:46 PM
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*answer

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Caanimal
Sunday, April 28, 2013 @ 11:33:06 AM
Reply

Hmmm sounds like the micro&soft console is going to become a glorified phone/tablet... How... lame. Just another reason I have no desire to have anything to do w/ this new console from them.

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