The next generation is nearly upon us. We’ve seen the first wave of information from both Sony and Microsoft and both of them have made it clear that new consoles will arrive in 2020. So, naturally, it’s time for us to throw out our wishlists for console features. We’ve already published one list for the PlayStation 5 and another for whatever Nintendo has up their sleeves.
I was given the task of writing up a wishlist for the Xbox Series X. This turned out to be a very challenging task. You see, the Xbox One had an incredibly rocky start thanks to some incredibly poor decisions before its release. Phil Spencer has taken over as the head of Xbox and made a lot of great moves, but he was never able to overcome Sony’s commanding lead.
However, he has been making all the right moves leading up to the new console’s launch. They have been buying studios, improving the value of being a part of their ecosystem, and more. Xbox has already announced a lot of the things I wished for.
The show must go on though! So, here is my list of five things I want from the Xbox Series X
1. Good First Party Games (Other than HALO)
The Xbox Series X needs its own slate of first party games to compete with the likes of God of War, Spider-Man, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. They will, of course, always have HALO and I am sure 343 Studios is going to do a wonderful job. But, Xbox needs to come out guns blazing as quickly as possible. But, they can’t settle for quantity. They need some of these new studios to release games that start or resurrect first party franchises.
This isn’t an impossible task either. They own a wide range of developers who are all working on games as you read this. I can’t imagine a world where at least SOME of those games end up being hits.
2. Continued Momentum With Xbox Game Pass
It is no secret that I believe Xbox Game Pass is the best value in video games right now. $9.99 fro over one hundred games (including day 1 access to all Xbox exclusives) is just bonkers. I don’t think they can rest on their laurels though, because their competitors are absolutely looking at the success of the Game Pass model and considering their own options.
No one has been a “fast follow.” Game pass has been around for more than a year and still stands at the top of the heap. You could argue that PlayStation Now is a competitor, but the services are pretty different right now. With that said, Sony could up and change PS Now and make it a real competitor at any time.
Xbox needs to stay ahead of their competition and continue to innovate. The biggest opportunity they have for innovation is original, exclusive games. They have a bunch of studios at their disposal and directing some of them to create content that is exclusive to the Game Pass platform would go a long way towards making the service desirable.
3. Keep Being Transparent
Phil Spencer and team Xbox have been VERY open about their plans, their goals, and the way that the prevailing conditions have impacted them. We know a lot about what the Series X is going to be able to do. We know that they have a LOT of teams making games. They have gone so far as to straight up tell us that all of their games will play on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X for the first year and beyond.
This level of communication is refreshing and they need to keep it up. It has made me confident in my buying decision and happy to support them. These are uncertain times and I want as much certainty as I can get, especially when it comes to an expensive hobby like console gaming.
4. Hardware Improvements Beyond Just Graphics
The big focus for the marketing communications we have been shown so far has been about graphics. Microsoft has talked endlessly about Teraflops, Ray Tracing, and SSDs. We have a more practical request for our next Xbox console.
We would like a more resilient piece of hardware. All of our Xbox consoles have had some kind of mechanical defect that hampered our enjoyment. Our Xbox One has a very flaky disc drive that doesn’t like to read discs unless you tilt the console to 45 degrees. We could have ignored it if the problem wasn’t so common that there are several YouTube videos with instructions on how to deal with it. We even skipped the Xbox 360 generation entirely because of the “red ring of death” fiasco. I don’t expect the new Xbox to be indestructible, but it will likely never move more than a few feet after we install it in our entertainment center. We’d like it if it wouldn’t break under use.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!
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