The Xbox One did fairly well during the holiday 2015 season, but it’s no secret that Microsoft is still lagging behind Sony in the modern day console war. With that being said, Microsoft isn’t giving up just yet. The future holds plenty of promise for the Xbox One, and if the timeline of last-gen consoles taught us anything, we know that it still has another six years to deliver before next-gen consoles start to roll out. So, if the Xbox is to return to the throne of console king, what needs to happen? And more importantly- what is going to happen? What’s next for the Xbox One? Let’s discuss.
If the Xbox One doesn’t start releasing some excellent exclusive titles, PS4 owners and gamers still on the fence have absolutely no incentive to pick up a One. Luckily for Microsoft, there are at least three exclusives coming out in the near future that are definitely intriguing. The first is Quantum Break, an original IP that looks as unique as it does beautiful. It’s a third-person shooter featuring time-bending mechanics, and everything about it seems awesome. Then you have Gears of War 4, the latest iteration in the massively-popular Gears series that looks to be less like the lackluster ____ title and more like the original trilogy (which is a very good thing). Finally, Crackdown 3 is coming, and since open-world titles are all the rage these days, the superpowered cel-shaded shooter will undoubtedly sell very well.
The Return of Avatars
One of the Xbox 360’s biggest system updates introduced avatars, which were basically better looking versions of the Wii’s “Miis.” Avatars were absent at the Xbox One’s launch, but are slated to be released on the One this February. Avatars are fun little additions to a player’s gaming time, allowing them to customize their experience and show off their creations to friends. Also included in the avatar update are a slew of other social features, such as the ability to see who else is in a friend’s party before joining it and a revamped “suggested friends” list, which shows you why a certain player is suggested. There’s also a gamerscore leaderboard being introduced, allowing friends to have a sort of meta-competition amongst themselves as they attempt to rack up points.
The Dawn of Virtual Reality
While Sony is hard at work on Project Morpheus, the virtual reality headset that’s exclusive to the PS4, Microsoft has elected to work with an already-established name in the VR- Oculus. The Oculus Rift team has confirmed they’re working with Microsoft to make their headset compatible with the Xbox One, though they’ve also said that consumers are going to have to wait quite a while before they can get their hands on an Xbox-compatible headset. This could work out in Microsoft’s favor, as they’ll be able to learn from both the successes and failures of the Project Morpheus launch this year.