Is the Xbox One Doomed In 2019?
How many knocks can the Xbox One take? It’s one thing to have a bit of a first party games shortage, but it’s another to have the opposition punching you in the face over and over and over with mega exclusive hits.
I still love my Xbox One, and I want to love it more but the time has come and gone where I’d recommend one. Whenever anyone asks about getting into the current console generation, the answer is pretty straightforward these days… if it’s between Sony and Microsoft’s big boys, you tell them to get a PS4… or if they’re up for it, a Switch. Microsoft doesn’t just need solid exclusives only now, they’ve needed them for a while. Forza Horizon 3 is amazing, I’ll say nothing bad about it ever, but Gears 4 wasn’t all that, Halo 5 wasn’t all that, Forza Motorsport 6 was better than Forza 7, State of Decay 2 felt like early access at launch and Sea of Thieves just wasn’t enough. It’s an okay line-up… okay.
Do you know what’s not just okay? How’s about Bloodborne, that wasn’t just okay. Uncharted 4? Horizon Zero Dawn? Persona 5, Nioh, Nier: Automata, Until Dawn, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, GT Sport , Shadow of the Colossus Remake and now Detroit: Become Human, God of War and Spider-Man I mean… I mean, really. Ouch, even. Not just that, Nintendo is pumping out massive winners like Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey and a whole new way to experience console/handheld gaming. Between the PS4 and the Switch you’ve got everything you’re ever gonna need from console gaming. The Xbox One just isn’t relevant right now, and it really needs to find its groove again. I think Phil Spencer is doing an amazing job, the fact that he was basically given the sinking Titanic and has managed to get it floating again is not just a miracle, but shows how committed he is.
“I won’t put it past Microsoft to murder the ‘One’ in its sleep”
I love what the Xbox team are doing with Xbox Game Pass and the fact that you are getting exclusives on day one is truly astonishing, and the backwards compatibility is great, but aside for say… the upcoming Forza Horizon 4, I can’t really think of any scenario where that feature is a worthy competitor to the current or future PS4 lineup. Game Pass is amazing in that you can buy a console and a subscription and get a huge library of games right away, but deep down in my gamer soul, I know that I would actually swap that whole library out for just 2 or 3 of the top PS4 exclusives. Quality over quantity, yeah? The whole thing where you can play everything on PC too… that’s amazing but let’s be honest, it’s not really helping you out when you’re trying to convince people to buy or even keep an Xbox One either.
So that brings us to 2019. Microsoft did well at E3 this year, but what have we really got to look forward to? Gears 5? Hell, as someone whose life was monumentally altered by Gears 1 I could barely care less about Gears 5 after how by-the-numbers Gears 4 felt. I’m a huge petrolhead and a massive Forza fan, but what’s next year… just another Forza Motorsport? A new Ori is always good, but deep down I wish I could have it on my Switch instead. Crackdown 3… who knows what’s going on there. So with the current and future state of the Xbox library, the power of the Xbox One X just doesn’t mean all that much to most gamers and that makes me also wonder if it isn’t time that Microsoft put the Xbox One to rest. They’ve already made it clear that they want Xbox to be more of a platform than a piece of hardware, so you have to wonder if they aren’t getting ready to shed their skin and unveil something new, with less negativity attached.
They were happy to already start messing with the naming structure when they called their new Xbox the “Xbox One”, so I won’t put it past Microsoft to murder the One in its sleep, shed off the bad vibes attached and essentially regroup and rebrand as just “Xbox” once more. A little bit of smart rebrands and redesigns together with all the current features and a surprise reveal of some interesting exclusives could bring the Titanic back up to its former glory. Whether or not it gets handled as a continuation of this new platform, or fully punted into the next-generation is a different story altogether.
So will 2019 be the final nail in the coffin for the Xbox One as a true platform? They’re already just saying Xbox in their language, so I wouldn’t be surprised… but hey, I’m just throwing some ideas around her for fun so I wouldn’t take it too seriously. For now though, Xbox has a lot of catching up to do.