My Tepid Reception of "Next-Gen" and Why I Can See the Xbox One Being Successful

Okay so I want to start this by jumping past the gigantic elephant with "ANTI-GAMER" on the side of it that everyone seems to be lampooning about the Xbox One. Do they have their reasons? Obviously but that's not what this is about and I don't wish to make it about that.

Now with that said, I can't say the announcement so far have me frothing like I have been in the past for new consoles. I can remember back when the Playstation was being released and how excited I was, and then the Xbox/PS2, and then the 360/PS3. For me there was a constant progression of "What can they do now?", "Oh that looks amazing!", every generation that had me super excited to adopt the new consoles and the new visions that the developers were selling on them, until now. Maybe I'm jaded in my 18 or so years of playing video games, and having the opinions I do about them, but this next console generation has left me underwhelmed. "Oh Sony is more in tune with indies.", "This rumor is a fact because I said so", "Why doesn't anybody make games for the Wii U.", "EA is the devil". Actually it seems like its not so much the consoles themselves its the community. It kind of reeks of politics more than it does of games.

I visit sites, and see people crucifying Microsoft and rejoicing in the spectacle and idea of a complete and total failure of the Xbox One and seem to marginalize the people who might find the console intriguing, meanwhile they ignore facts in favor of rumors and just sit at a desk deviously typing their comments on articles with what you know is some smarmy little grin. It seems that way at least. It seems like all the magic of playing games and enjoying them is gone. There's no more talk of the magic and possibility in these machines and what they can bring to your living room should developers take advantage of them. Now it's "These guys suck, this is why, and this is why you suck because you disagree with me", though that is kind of a general attitude on the internet. I miss the magic.

Despite this attitude, the industry HAS grown. That might have something to do with the loss of all the magic I remember experiencing as a child playing through some of my favorite games, but besides that..."gamers" aren't the only market now. This industry is now in line with other huge media industries and is only growing, albeit roughly considering layoffs and the floundering blockbuster budget models the big companies use, but it is growing. More demographics are latching onto consoles for both gaming and their other entertainment possibilities. The "all in one box" is an extremely enticing prospect for a lot of people, me included.

As much time as I spend playing games with friends, I probably spend just as much if not more on Twitch watching other people play games, using it socially via party chat to keep up with people while I do other things, watching movies with friends on Netflix, and so on. My point being that this idea of having it all there for access (ignoring how this will all work) has extreme promise, especially for the average consumer, and I think if Microsoft can capitalize on the potential then the Xbox One could be extremely successful. Did they seemingly abandon "core gamers" at the press conference? Sure, but at the same time the core gamers they apparently abandoned would have most likely discovered news that the press conference was only for showing the console and what makes the console itself different and that E3 would be where they showed off the new things they had planned outside of that. That's another story though.

I see more "magic" in what Microsoft is attempting to bring to a living room than a lot of people seem to, or are willingly ignoring.

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