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Another Casual Year for Microsoft

kinect-xl

Oh, Xbox. How could you do this two years in a row? Microsoft came on stage earlier today describing the future of Xbox and the future is looking casual. Very casual.

Most of this morning’s show was full of Kinect titles and fitness “games” proving anyone of all ages can find something on Xbox. Unfortunately, in trying so hard to prove their point, Microsoft has alienated the one group they’re so confident they still have: The hardcore gamers. The console struck a chord with the hardcore at launch and several years after. With big time releases like Halo 3 and Gears of War 2, Microsoft captured the attention of gamers lusting over precision kills and 40 hour experiences.

In 2010, the Kinect launched (a high resolution camera perfect for flailing your arms in front of the T.V.). Saying it sold well is an understatement and Microsoft has been focusing more on the casual crowd ever since. In the beginning of this console’s life cycle, a heavy majority of games on the 360 were hardcore with a few casual titles (Kameo, Viva Piñata, etc.). Now, prepare for the clearest definition you will ever see of the term “180 degrees.”

This morning’s conference devoted countless minutes detailing applications like ESPN, Nike+ (new fitness game), Internet Explorer on Xbox, and a ton of other non-games, all of them with Kinect support. Meanwhile, only a few trailers were shown for hardcore titles, some of them lasting under a minute.

Microsoft is aware of the amount of money the Wii made and very aware of the amount of money the Kinect made. They have set their sights on a new audience loaded with cash. What does that mean for us hardcore gamers? Sadly, it seems, fewer releases and less coverage of the titles we love. Please don’t betray us Microsoft. Create new partnerships and show us something new (like you did with the first Gears of War)! Now it’s all up to Sony. Please steal our hearts tonight Sony. Perhaps some info on Bungie’s new title? So many opportunities to show what Microsoft chose not to.

Little David Galanter grew up in Orange County, CA loving videogames and anything else that repelled girls. After getting his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts, David decided to start contributing his soft silky words to the world via online media. He currently owns a website with a weekly podcast (www.drgman.com) and is a reviewer for Default Prime!