Xbox One: Why I Won’t Be Getting One Soon

An Xbone.

Peek-a-boo! (Image sourced from: Xbox.com)

As far as consoles go, I’m an Xbox person. I had the first Xbox, then the Xbox 360 and at some point I’ll get the Xbox One (Xbone). My Gamerscore is about 44k at this point and I’d like to keep it.

(Side note: Before Microsoft disabled all the external services that read Xbox Gamerscores, being about 40k meant you were in the top million players, and above 50k meant you were in the top 500k. Out of about 48 million Xbox Live players, that’s not bad. I really wish I’d kept that data when I was looking at it, rather than thinking that I’d come back to it later.)

That said, I’m certainly not rushing to get an Xbone. Right now I can (unexpectedly) afford one, but there’s two pretty simple reasons why I’ll be sticking with my Xbox 360:

  • I haven’t got room for any more consoles, so a new console will have to replace an existing one; and
  • No backwards compatibility on the Xbone means that I will still be using my X360 to play through my current pile of unplayed X360 titles.
Deepak Chopra's Leela

This is one of my unplayed titles. I saw the reviews that said that it was a “frustrating meditation game” and was compelled to learn what that meant for myself. (Image sourced from: THQ)

I’m pretty sure I’ve mocked backwards compatibility before (note: I am not Dan Mattrick, but couldn’t find anything that I’d said on that issue) as a non-important issue, and over time I think that opinion stands up. The vast, vast majority of old games get forgotten and popular old games often get high-definition / next-gen makeovers. Old games date very badly – time strips graphics of their luster and once innovative gameplay mechanics are ground down by duplication. The games industry values the games that are just about launch a hell of a lot more than the games that came out 12 months or longer ago.

However, it takes time for that transition to happen. Right now I’ve got about 10 X360 titles I’ve picked up cheap and want to play. On top of that, with Xbox Live giving free games to Gold accounts, I’ve got even less reason to leap to a console isn’t yet giving me free games.

In the long-term, backwards compatibility is only important to a very small part of gaming market (particularly console owners, who have been taught by GameStop to buy a game, play it and then trade it in). However, at the launch of a new console, not having backwards compatibility is yet another barrier to stop purchase.

After I’ve finished these games (and probably another 10+ titles I’ve wanted to get my hands on for a while) maybe then I’ll consider the Xbone. Right now I’ve got too much to play to consider changing.

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4 thoughts on “Xbox One: Why I Won’t Be Getting One Soon

  1. >> However, it takes time for that transition to happen.

    yes, precisely; even more so when backwards compatibility is limited. In fact, the major point of backwards compatibility is to allow currently invested users to upgrade – it offers nothing to new users, and very little to existing users who migrate later. Personally speaking, it took me two years to get around to buying a 360, and then because there were specific, compelling, xbox-only games I wanted to play. I’m fully expecting a two year wiat before I get around to an xbone as well.

    That said, the early adopter demographic is usually pretty sought-after in the technology sector (although historically, not so much by Microsoft, outside of their xbox division); and no including backwards compatibility really screws over early adopters. Maybe MS thinks that the new customer segment will so vastly exceed the early adopter segment that backwards compatibility doesn’t matter – which, come to think of it, has historically been MS’s general business practice.

    So really, perhaps what the lack of backwards compatibility on the xbone shows us is that the xbox division has been thoroughly assimilated within the larger MS corporate tradition…

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