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