"I'm Sorry Kids, You Can't Play Here Anymore"
Maybe a shotgun blast to the Xbox 360 console is a little extreme, but the image conveys the feeling all the same. "Thanks a lot Microsoft for rendering my entire library of games obsolete with the release of your new Xbox One!"
I'm sure it's got great graphics. I'm also sure that in time it will have a great selection of games. But why on Earth wouldn't you (Microsoft) come up with a way to allow your existing customer base to continue to enjoy their existing library of games on the new console?
There's the excuse of 'new processor architecture', and that's not compatible with previous games. According to Evan Kypreos over at TrustedReviews.com, 'The Xbox One is fundamentally different to the Xbox 360. It uses a x86-64 processor architecture processor, just like most current PCs' . Okay, that's great and all, but if a MacBook can run Windows XP using Boot camp, then why can't Microsoft have designed the Xbox One to allow folks a way to play their existing games?
Evan goes on to say in his article that the processor in the Xbox One provides more power at a lower cost, which means the console is cheaper to produce. Have you seen the price tag for the Xbox One? The average price is $600! Somebody is benefiting from lower console production cost, and it's not the consumer. Maybe if the console price was lower, then abandoning the current library of Xbox 360 games would be a little more digestible, as the savings would allow buyers to go out and get a few more Xbox One games.
So Now What?
I think that being forced to not be able to use any of the existing hardware with the new system is inevitable, but it still stinks. The price of new Xbox 360 games sure hasn't dropped and the hardware isn't a whole lot cheaper for the existing console either. But once the Xbox One is released, Xbox 360's are going to be all over eBay and Craigslist for rock bottom prices. Just wait and see.
I also think that there is a point when graphic quality in consoles reaches a point where it is difficult to determine quality improvements. Which is why I don't see the Xbox One as a giant leap forward in its ability to provide great eye candy. I think it's really an advancement by Microsoft in how they can offer you more streamed services that you likely need to pay extra for.
This seems to leave the gamer with one question: "Now what?" Since the gamer is being forced to abandon their existing library that brings into question the possibility of switching to 'the other side'. Yeah, I'm talking about the Sony Playstation 4 (PS4). After all, if the gamer has to replace everything anyways, so why not switch to a system where backwards compatibility is at least a possibility in the future?
It's not a sure thing, but at least there's a chance. And if you consider all the games released for the PS3, and their probable lower cost in the coming year, the PS4 option starts to look fairly attractive. On top of that Sony's network is about $50 annually, while Xbox Live Gold accounts cost about $60 per year on average. I've heard and read that the Xbox Live network is superior, but let's face it: if all you want to play multiplayer games online, it's better when it's cheaper.
I walked away from the Playstation platform after my 4th PS2. I had enough. I went through 3 Playstation 1's due to issues with the unit over-heating and not being able to read discs, then I went through 4 Playstation 2's, due to similar issues, and also issues with the ports. I switched to the Xbox, and the one issue I had was the famed 'Red Ring of Death' issue. Sent it back to Microsoft for repair and was fine with it until the CDROM died. Then I replaced it with the 360 Slim, which was a big improvement: quieter, built in wireless, bigger hard drive. Still, that's a bunch of messing around replacing stuff I wish I didn't have to do.
In closing, what do you think? Where do you stand? Are you loyal to Microsoft, or ready to switch to the other side, and embrace the PS4?