I originally wanted to write about this new ad for Lowe’s on Spotify that sounds like a song and then ends with “refrigerators, washers, and dryers” is the worst fucking thing ever, but I couldn’t think of more than…well…what I’d just written above. Plus, when I considered all the buzz about the XBox One, (Microsoft’s video game console successor to the XBox 360) this week I figured that the internet really needs to hear my perspective, obviously, since everyone else is weighing in.
I don’t do my homework on things. I have the attention span of a goldfish. I go on tangents…like a
monsterfucker maniac. A meme with too many words gets overlooked by me. The old YTMND (is that even still around?) fascinated me with its simplicity. I like simple — hell, let’s just call me a sucker for binary: Option A and Option B. Ones and zeroes. Very easy.
Or call me an old man in a day and age where everything is intertwined and interconnected, where we’re always on the internet, where we have access to anything and everything on our phones, and social interaction can be done with a friend 900 miles away (whom you’ve never met) via a game of Halo or Team Fortress 2. You could even be reading this on a phone. You couldn’t do that 25 years ago. Oh wow do I feel old all of a sudden…
I’m an old school gamer. I grew up with the likes of Mario and the original Tetris, both of which are (primarily) single player games. Playing a video game is better as an individual experience. It becomes a shared one after the fact. For example, Paul and really really wanted to discuss the ending of Infinite, and had to wait until I’d caught up, but it was an experience that blew his mind while playing on his own, because when you play you’re not being watched by an audience. This isn’t Starcraft where audiences do watch it en masse (and I shit you not, that actually happens). You can’t play a narrative when people are online and interacting with you (yet). I suspect this will never happen, because in the online world there will always be trolls and rage-quitters, and people who want to ruin the experience for everyone (read: assholes). If this is what the supposed premise of Watch Dogs, then I genuinely look forward to seeing how it pans out.
Odd tangent aside, a video game console should be just that: A console on which I play video games. I don’t need more than that — it doesn’t need to be my primary media center. I don’t need my Facebook tied into it. I don’t need a marketplace where I can buy custom shoes for my avatar, and then invite everyone to hear about it. Let me know when the Internet reaches the level of goddamn awesomeness that is The Metaverse from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and then we’ll talk. Otherwise, who gives a shit?
Who gives a shit — also a reoccurring thought as I learned more about the XBox One. Every recap, every article, mentions how the new hardware is a media center. There will be access to TV, and sports, and TV! And there will be a Halo TV series (Paul, cheer away), but that has nothing to do with the XBox, so I don’t give a shit…. And there will be a dog in the new Call of Duty. Annnnnnd who gives a shit?
I understand that E3 is around the corner, and that is where you want to talk about the games, but if you want to impress us with your hardware then show us something amazing running on your goddamn hardware! Give us an amazing tech demo of how these individual droplets of rain on a characters’ face are being rendered in real time, or maybe something a little more appealing than a really hairy arm. Watching The Price is Right is A) Not impressive, and B) Not exactly the right show your target demographic would be watching.
Speech recognition commands are all good and fun, and slowly becoming a standard on everything, so I can’t fault Microsoft for implementing this feature. I find my iPhone’s Siri to be a very useful tool, but I hardly use it/her? out in public, so voice command is….great….but…. it also makes you look psychotic. If I have company over and want to watch Archer I would much rather grab the controller and navigate over to Netflix rather than yell at the TV to “ERPEN NETFWIX WAAH!”
I purchase a console for games. Everything else attached to the console is just a distraction. I don’t need all of the bells and whistles. There will always be competition between XBox and Playstation, but one having TV is not going to sway me. People multitask, consoles should not. I don’t need to watch the Venture Bros and fly through the skylines in Columbia while chatting with friends via Skype, and checking the latest LA King’s score.
I play a video game on my couch like a lazy piece of shit, I don’t need some gimmick like Kinect or some motion capture program. Again, until our consoles can rival The Metaverse in Snow Crash, or even something like this IllumiRoom I don’t want to move my body. At all.
The point of playing a video game is to get away from people and reality, not to tie it in. I don’t need the distraction whilst blowing away Nazi’s in The Saboteur as
Sean Devlin Paul Mooney:
I’m sure there’s good to draw with the new console, but it seems to be getting less and less about the games. Every component under my TV does one or two things, no Swiss army knife-console need. I really could go on for another 500 words addressing the whole “no backwards compatibility,” thing or “the console must be connected to the internet once a day” requirement or “the Kinect will always be watching you” or “you cannot borrow games from your friends” bullshit, because frankly that is a whole other can of worms, and I’m not disgusted or frustrated, because I’m not buying it. Not for anything that was shown on Monday.
This is just yet another console that can only interest me because it has exclusives that I will never get to play. Innovation my ass, Microsoft.