Ben's Week In Review: May 26
Everyone's only talking about one thing after this week, so I suppose it deserves a bit more of my attention.
Microsoft effed it up
In so many ways, I thought it was there for the taking. You already have the majority of US gamers in your back pocket. You know what Sony announced. You had months prepare. And you end up dropping an absolute dud in every sense of the term.
And why? Because essentially, that was an event that actually brought core gamers together, because just about every core gamer despised the Xbox One unveiling. This backlash isn't about Sony fans aimlessly, childishly bashing a product just because Microsoft produced it. If that was the case, there'd be just as many - if not more - Xbox defenders to combat such a reaction. Instead, it seems as if anyone who calls themselves a gamer hates the damn thing.
That GameSpot Twitter poll is perhaps the most telling. At 88% to 12%, it's an annihilation, not a battle. And that's because gamers frequent GameSpot. Core gamers. The group Microsoft supposedly says they care about, literally days after producing an event that essentially had very little to do with video games. It appears that Microsoft has thrown their lot in with the casual gamers, which does make a lot of sense. After all, that's the vast majority of the consuming market right now. The only problem is that core gamers, journalists, analysts and web sites generate word of mouth, which the mainstream does hear.
And when it's this one-sided, that's bad news. People say we haven't gotten all the details yet from either Sony or Microsoft. That much is true, and there's a very good chance that Sony may have similar plans for pre-owned software. However, if I'm Microsoft and I care so much about the core gamers, why haven't they tried to counter all the hate that's flying around? All they'll say is that they "haven't announced everything yet." This, while there are reports that the PS4 is significantly more capable (50% more graphics power). Evasive, vague dodging while people are even wondering if the Xbox One can be considered a video game system first. Well, clearly, it isn't. It's a multimedia system first.
Gamers don't care about that, Microsoft. You made a very big mistake in assuming that despite the size discrepancy between core and casual participants, the core crowd has no pull. You're finding that that isn't the case, now aren't you? Fake applause? The chance that PS4 could run some games at 60FPS while the Xbox One might only manage 30? Kinect a must? Mandatory this, required that? The restrictions seem to be piling up faster than the features. Which, of course, is vintage Microsoft but whatever.
The point is, there's a reason why the Xbox One is so widely mocked right now. It's because the core gamers are the ones on forums talking about it...and the core gamers really, really don't like a machine that evidently isn't designed for them at all.
Personal gaming update
So I finished Tomb Raider with 100% complete. Great game and tons of fun. And as my girlfriend and I are done with Portal 2 now, I'm looking for another game to play co-op. Sadly, there's nothing even close to Portal out there in terms of puzzle-type games, which is what she wants. We may try LittleBigPlanet, but that may be a little demanding (remember, she almost never touched a controller before I met her). I wish I had more time to spend with Soul Sacrifice, which is pretty fun and gives me an excuse to use my Vita (for once). But I'm working on a Fuse review, which will go up this week, and I also want to check out Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.
And I remain optimistic about Remember Me, despite my many reservations. Can't forget that The Last Of Us is on June 14! :)
5/25/2013 Ben Dutka