With all this talk of the inevitable new Xbox just around the corner, speculation of hardware, aesthetics and software is swirling around the gamersphere. However, I’m not as bothered about the rumours as I am about how the console will work and what we can expect from Microsoft’s new system. The simple fact is, you can put all the top-spec guff into a machine but none of it matters when using the thing is ugly and unintuitive.
I seem to be the only person I know with a dreadfully slow Xbox for one reason or another. Even on a perfectly new Xbox, the dashboard as well as the maneuvering of menus and game libraries could be improved significantly.
The Wii U hasn’t really helped in the theory that the new consoles will be quicker as it suffers slow browsing, game loading and menu navigation. Let’s hope Microsoft can learn from what mistakes Nintendo have made in that respect.
A quick, responsive and smooth working menu system is all that’s needed; no bells and whistles.
Better SmartGlass functionality
I’m sure this will be a given as it’s a fairly new concept but I’d like to see some more advanced features integrated into Xbox’s new SmartGlass software.
To be honest, I can see this happening quite drastically. There has been big talk about a “new” controller, maybe something similar to the handheld screen on the WiiU. What’s stopping Microsoft having a clip on top of the standard controller, allowing you to pop your smartphone in on the top, using it as an optional second screen?
Mind you, if they don’t do it, I might have to sell this idea to them (Copyright TheGingerKid 2013, just to be safe).
Higher Quality Voice Chat
With Skype being a world known VoIP platform and a partnership with Xbox imminent, I can’t see anything other than the software being used for in-game and party chat as well as video chat on the new console.
Current voice chat is one of the big downsides to Xbox’s online play with poor quality and a poor chat platform. Even top-spec microphones can sound dreadful due to the condensing that takes places over Xbox Live.
Cheaper Retail Downloads
Staying on software, if Microsoft want more people to spend more money on downloads as opposed to retail boxed games, then they are going to need to distribute their retail downloads at a competitive price. I mean really, £49.99 for a newly released retail game that you can, more often than not, pick up in store for sometimes £20 less? Get real.
Sure, people are lazy and don’t like leaving their house to buy games anymore but even the slobbiest of the slobs wouldn’t think twice about leaving the house for that kind of price difference.
With all the incredible titles on the Xbox 360, MicroBox should do that right thing in terms of backwards compatibility. It will be a shame if we have to all go through the laborious task of swapping consoles to play our cherished 360 games.
Sadly, with the talk of Sony opting to make it impossible to play ‘already used’ games and EA charging to use online play with pre-owned games, this sort of thing could be something we can only dream about, other than a reality.
Some argue that companies get no revenue from pre-owned games but I disagree. Of course, there is no direct profit but the more people playing a game, the more likely they are to stick to a brand and franchise, injecting money into future releases further down the line on both games and merchandise. Hell, I got Halo 3 pre-owned when I was late to the 360 scene and now I buy every Halo on launch!
EA are notorious for having very short life spans on many of their franchises especially with allocated online servers but I think completely denying second-hand play from both EA and any other company that are thinking the same, is selfish and potentially self-destructive as a future business plan.
No Fear of Overheating
Every time I turn on my third Xbox, bearing in mind it’s a newer Slim, I still have that niggling feeling the back of my mind, cautious of those three red lights.
I can’t recall how many exactly but a STUPID amount of original Xboxs, Xboxi(?) suffered from the Red Ring Of Death, denying the owner playing anything or doing anything on their beloved console, usually caused by an overheating issue.
I really hope that Microsoft can sort out the huge issue that ravaged so many of their units with their latest console venture, saving them and consumers money.
Keyboard and Mouse Compatibility
And finally, anyone that believes the controller favours the keyboard and mouse for first person shooters, has never used a keyboard and mouse.
Yes, some games are better with a controller but Microsoft have a massive opportunity to allow keyboard and mouse use on Xbox and that just gets me all giddy.
I don’t care if it means I have to spend another £40 on an official peripheral for the Xbox to allow us to use our favoured gaming tools, just the option would be bliss.
Yes, I know such hardware exists in the XIM3 and such like but it would be an incredible selling point on the new Xbox’s part to allow the use of Keyboard and Mouse especially in the eye of loyal PC gamers.
There we have it. I don’t care if it looks as ugly as a gremlin’s butt, if the new Xbox has everything I’ve mentioned above then I will throw more money at it to get it under my TV, quicker than you can say Steve Ballmer.
If you have anything you want to be be included in the new Xbox then let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.