I’ve been trying to have an open mind for quite some time and willing to give a handful of things a try for myself in the world of consumer products before judging it for its future in my life. I have done so for one of the next gen consoles (based on time of release). There was a Wii U experience tour Nintendo did last year and I enjoyed it. A nice selection of games to try (about 8+ games, if I recall), many people ensuring an abundance of Streetpasses for my 3DS. Very nice atmosphere, mini-contests and good food for decent prices.
The only problem was that the event was a bit too short (about 2 hours long) and plenty of people were using the demo kiosks for longer than expected, but overall not bad!
Why am I talking about the Wii U experience in a post about the Xbox One Tour? Because this was my only method of drawing relative parallels to the topic at hand. When I saw that there was a location nearby me for the Xbox One Tour, the “One Tour you can’t Miss!,” I was thinking Microsoft would be pulling out all the stops with this, possibly even making the Wii U experience look like a joke (not that I prayed that they would, but this is Microsoft we’re talking about, coming out with a BIG BEEFY next-gen console, plastering themselves over ESPN like flies on trash)!!
Can’t miss, right?!
For the record, I’d like to point out that this was underneath a mall that had a Game Time on the third floor ( http://www.gametimeplayers.com/ Think of it like a massive, overzealous Dave & Busters video arcade room/restaurant for all ages) So instead of having a large setup in that Game Time INDOOR area (don’t tell me they can’t, even with their many spots, they could have with all the money they got. Nintendo rented buildings all over the U.S. for their Wii U experience and all you had to do was make a free Facebook reservation) we just get a truck… outside… in the Miami heat… 92° F and not a cloud in the sky. Fun.
…Wait, they DID have something like big, indoor events?
…Area One parties…
Well there wasn’t one in Florida, and there seemed to have been a VERY small number of them country-wide. Not having a Area One party in MIAMI… honestly, BIG missed opportunity there, Microsoft. If they had one in Miami, I would have gone for that instead of… a truck in the sweltering heat.
So yeah, aesthetics… not what I had hoped for. But what about the content? What did they have to offer. Well, with about 6-8 interlinking, questionably-compact kiosks with only one Xbox One and Kinect on display:
Well they did have games…
…All 2 of them (not me on the far right but that’s how I kind of was upon seeing just 2 games).
And Forza 5
… Okay, Killer Instinct was an alright choice but FORZA 5?! Are you kidding me? I don’t know about the Xbox fans, but I don’t find a generic racing sim to be an ideal game to put out on tour as a next-gen game! It’s just eye candy.
Yeah, it’s beautiful, but I’m not dropping $535 ($499.99 + 7% Florida tax) just to get a nice picture box that flip flops more than a live fish out of water… okay, moving on to how the 2 games were:
K.I. was extremely swift on the pacing, though I had never played a previous game in the series and from my perspective… meh. I don’t feel accomplished when I played against someone in it… and won… by button mashing (granted I was playing against someone who too never played any KI games in the past, but still). It was like playing a fighting game on fast forward with a boatload of particle effects when you slap someone.Blinding, kind of.
Funny thing with Forza 5: When I selected a car I thought it was just a graphics demo because I couldn’t skip the showcase. A rep had to tell me that the showcase as un-skippable and I HAD to watch it and marvel at the graphics… again, nice, but I thought this was also a gaming device. Get to the gameplay already!
It did, and I won first place in that race… after dealing with an un-skippable track showcase that only showed the starting line with 2 pit mechanics doing nothing and 4 CPU racers… is there something I’m missing Forza fans, or is that it? Because I had my 3DS with me and I was SO tempted to whip out Mario Kart 7… but I didn’t (at least I got 3 Streetpasses that day out of the 7-9 passersby who played these games as well) I also felt the rumbling on the triggers, which was slightly noticeable.
A rep told me that the effect would be better felt when playing a first-person shooter…SO WHY NOT HAVE AN FPS TO SHOWCASE IT?! COD Ghosts or Battlefield 4 would have done it with flying colors! The Wii U experience had games like Arkham City Armored Edition, Nintendo Land, and Game & Wario to show off the benefits of the Gamepad (yeah, since Sony does not have a tour for their PS4 at the time of typing this, I only have the Wii U experience to go by, so bear with me, whether or not you enjoy Nintendo and/or their Wii U).
It would have also been nice to show off all the things the All-in-One console can pull off in a visual demonstration on a nice TV or something instead of…
..this. I’m concerned about that reputation system and its validity.
I only stuck around for 45 minutes (which given what they had to offer, I think I overstayed my welcome) and honestly, it was SEVERELY underwhelming. Did I have my expectations too high? Maybe, but you can’t blame me. This is MICROSOFT, one of the biggest tech giants of its time. You spend major cash on ESPN commercials and multiple tours around the country but couldn’t give us, the consumers, something of major sustenance to try out?
Where was Ryse: Son of Rome?
Where was Project Spark?
Kinect Sports 2?!
Lovely. Sorry, but given that Tour alone, which its lack of compelling games, its identity crisis, and of course the price of it all, I don’t see myself getting an Xbox One, especially not at $500+ and a $60 live subscription AND $60 games. At least with the Wii U, I saw a future that made ME happy to buy ( and still am despite its struggle; it’s current predicament won’t impede my Wonderful 101, Wind Waker HD, and plenty of other games I have for it).
I think about the long term implications when it comes to handhelds and consoles and Nintendo’s console benefit in the long run for me. The Xbox One, not so much. An the PS4… well, I’ll let you know when they have a tour as well and NOT just kiosks in their Sony stores; I am NOT driving 50 miles to play one kiosk that probably has 1 or 2 game demos with everything else being tech/streaming demos. I honestly hope Microsoft will host better tours than, because this kind of tour from THEM off all companies… it’s embarrassing. I’ll take my money elsewhere…
You better be coming to the States…
I told my friends in ZePyromancers about the tour (they agreed with me/fell asleep during the Forza bit) and that kind of sealed our idea to… well, I’ll talk more about THAT when the time comes…