To say that the recent Xbox One reveal was “contentious” would be an understatement. No gaming reveal in recent memory can compare in terms of the sheer amount of people collectively losing their shit. I think the best way for me to address the issue of next gen gaming is to respond to some of the most common complaints that have been leveled at the Xbox One since its reveal.

More like "Xbox Done", amirite?

More like “Xbox Done”, amirite?

By no means am I claiming that the concerns are completely invalid, or that the Xbox One is the zenith of modern entertainment. I’m just explaining why I’ve chosen not to join the lynch mob just yet.

They didn’t show us any games!

They never promised us that they would.

I would have loved to see what new games they have to offer as much as the next gamer. It was probably a huge mistake to not lead with games, but I’m certainly not mad about it. I guess we’ll just have to wait until E3.

It’s not backwards-compatible!

First off, this isn’t some nefarious scheme by Microsoft to screw you out of a feature that already exists. The system architecture has changed drastically enough that playing Xbox 360 games won’t be as simple as popping in the disc. Even the PS4 has this issue. Making that possible isn’t something that Microsoft finds cost-effective or worth the effort – either through hardware or software. Realistically, I can’t blame them.

Remember how the PS3 originally had the ability to play PS2 games? It did so by including the PS2 chipset in the PS3 (and in some cases, aided by software emulation). Newer models dropped that feature in order to help drop manufacturing costs. Especially since consumers weren’t biting due to the PS3 being too expensive (it cost $599). That, and Sony was actually losing money on every unit sold.

What about new gamers who want access to last-gen titles? In a recent article, Yahtzee brings up just such a scenario. They’re SOL, right? My first reaction is to wonder whether this is going to be common enough to warrant action on Microsoft’s part. Xbox 360 consoles and games aren’t exactly going to drop off the face of the planet when the Xbox One arrives.

Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have no interest in providing a digital solution for this problem. Remember “Xbox Originals”? Whatever ever happened to that service? Answer: they pulled the plug and rolled the few “Originals” into “Games On Demand” because, ironically, there was no demand for them.

I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t disappoint me at least a little bit. Don Mattrick’s comment that “if you’re backwards compatible, you’re really backwards” is a harsh way of putting it. But it sounds crazy when I say to myself, “I won’t buy an Xbox One if I can’t use it to play my Xbox 360 games!” It really does sound “backwards”. Is it really that big of an inconvenience that I’d intentionally miss out on an entire generation of new games? I’m going to say “No”. With that said, I’m still hoping that Microsoft eventually comes around and decides to provide a digital solution in line with what Sony wants to do with the PS4.