Xbox 360, the Kinect and the Future of Microsoft Gaming
With Microsoft’s Xbox One already well into its first year of development we decided to take a step back and look at the company’s impact on the industry and what their future may hold.
Originally breaking ground in 2005 with the launch of the Xbox 360, Microsoft did what no other console developer had dreamed of. They created an all-in-one entertainment device that allowed players to enjoy games with their friends, purchase and download movies and music, stream TV shows to their consoles and play casino games for real cash with their Xbox.
It was a major step-up for the market that previously had only briefly dabbled in things like online gaming and movie rentals.
A unique feature of adding gambling games to the Xbox 360 was that you could instantly access titles from a small list of popular games instead of trawling through specialist sites like casinojuggler.com for hours to find websites with a decent list of games (click here).
With this unique console came the highly controversial Xbox Live subscription service that took a leaf out of Blizzards WoW book by charging a monthly fee for server upkeep.
Although initially panned by players it was eventually accepted and became so profitable for them that now a lot of other consoles have started to adopt it, like the PlayStation Plus service for example.
But that’s not all that they churned out because we were also introduced to something that’s been the bane of a lot of players ever since its launch, we of course mean the Kinect. This oblong bit of plastic tried to introduce motion controls to a generation of players through a series of gimmicks like voice or movement recognition.
Sadly the software was never and still isn’t up to scratch and quite often Kinect based games are either unplayable or full of bugs as the sensor will often freak out or fail to read even the smallest of player movements.
Although it’s not all bad as the Kinect has seen a life outside of consoles as it’s now used for other things like 3D mapping for drones, controlling robots remotely with gestures, scanning objects or creating environments for virtual reality games.
So that’s what Microsoft have managed to do in the 9 years since the Xbox 360’s launch and with the release of the Xbox One what does the future hold for the company?
Well as it turns out it might not be anything good.
To elaborate, ever since the 2013 E3 failure Microsoft have been losing ground at a rapid rate to its main rival Sony who came to the show with a stronger list of IPs and exclusives for their PS4. They showed off new exclusives like Bloodborne and The Order, whilst Microsoft played it safe by churning out another Halo and Fable.
Although at the time Microsoft did have Dead Rising 3 and Ryse as console exclusives, these were later ported to PC. Plus throw in the reverse they did on all their original Kinect only, always online plans and you can see that they’re really struggling to come up with a development plan.
Plus it doesn’t help that their sales of the Xbox One in Japan completely flopped which in turn has led to Sony selling more consoles than Microsoft.
Since the launch of the Xbox One Microsoft have had quite a shaky start and unless they pull out any ground breaking games or advancements they’re going to struggle to recreate the success they had with the 360 in the next few years.