Pipe Dreams – The Next Xbox

We all saw this coming. The seemingly endless articles on rumours, anonymous sources, and other petty annoyances on the console we know nothing about, has forced my brain to convince my fingers to write a Pipe Dreams on what good features for the Next Xbox could be, and possible aspects which should not be included. Starting off with the name of the console:

DON’T NAME IT THE XBOX 720. This should hopefully be a given from Microsoft’s perspective, but it is truly an awful sounding name. The logic of it may appear sound, but in reality we don’t even truly know the origins of the Xbox 360 title.

Some say it was so it wasn’t labelled ‘Xbox 2’ causing it to sound outdated alongside the PlayStation 3, some say because it was a completely rounded package of games, movies, TV, and social networking, but regardless the Xbox 720 would be a horrid name. Microsoft does have a marketing department somewhere, and they must have at the very least one person who knows what they’re doing, so there’s really no excuse to be had for this atrocity of a name. The freaking ‘Nintendo Wii’ sounded like a more respectable name for a console when it launched than Xbox 720. The idea of simply reverting back to ‘Xbox’ is also pretty bloody stupid, and opens up a totally different can of worms, but at least has more value than having a seemingly random number tacked on the end like so many unimaginative Gamertags.

KEEP THE CONTROLLER SIMPLE. I don’t hate Kinect, despite the limited use it provides, and I don’t even oppose releasing a Kinect 2.0 with significant improvements – assuming that this does not affect the basic controller.

Yes, we know Nintendo is always first, and that every console must attempt to cash-in on that juicy motion control money (looking at you, PlayStation Move), but please don’t overcomplicate the controller for the sake of ‘innovation’. I confess to preferring the Xbox controller over the PS3 one, but Sony do have the correct mindset with each generation keeping a slightly improved but similar design. Microsoft should walk the same path and keep the controller slick, simple, and streamlined.

BRING BACK XBOX LIVE GAME SHOWS. 1 vs. 100 was a mixed bag, but the overall thought behind it was absolute genius – on a gaming level at least. It was originally pitched as a ‘beta’ of sorts, hoping to do further seasons and bigger and better Xbox Live game shows following it.

Personally, for me, 1 vs. 100 was a real laugh with buddies. Partying up with a group of friends, laughing together over Xbox Live party chat as we all fumbled for the correct answer and hammered the completely wrong answer in our haste to be first. It was fun, and has more and more potential as the console infrastructure pushes closer to being a social networking platform, so bring it back.

INTRODUCE XBOX LIVE PLUS. Possibly under a different branding so Sony don’t sue. I love Xbox Live. I’ve defended it against many nay-sayers who claimed it was expensive and ridiculous, but now that Sony has launched Plus across both the PS3 and PS Vita… it’s getting harder to defend Xbox Live.

Paying for a quality subscription service is fine with me. LoveFilm, Netflix, Spotify – these are all great examples of this model working and working well. That’s why Xbox Live was always worth the money in my eyes – the service offered was brilliant. Thing is, now they need to step their game up. When Sony can offer free online services almost across the board, and still offer a reasonable subscription service that gives you free monthly games across all genres, there’s no excuse why Microsoft has to charge you £39.99 a year to send a message on Xbox Smartglass or to watch Netflix.

This generation should not follow the pay-wall structure of subscriptions. It should follow the mantra of excellent service, for a wide consumer base, for a reasonable price. Before PlayStation Plus I admit this would have been a very long stretch of a Pipe Dream. Now, however, Microsoft has no excuse to not show their loyal Xbox Live subscribers that they deserve more than a free avatar hat and 40 free Microsoft Points after nearly a decade of loyal subscribing.

That’s it for this episode of Pipe Dreams. My name’s Duncan Aird, and I approve these dreams.


Do you have a suggestion for future Pipe Dream posts? I want to hear it! I think it would be awesome, and make my job a lot easier, so please do leave it as a comment down below. However, if you would prefer to constructively use that social networking addiction we all have then you can also Tweet your thoughts to @ReadyUp with the hashtag #RUPipeDreams, or just put a post over on our Facebook Page. The options are endless! Except those three are pretty much all of the options… I look forward to each and every one of your opinions! Especially if you think an always-online Xbox will secure your PS4 purchase.






One response to “Pipe Dreams – The Next Xbox”

  1. Mark Paterson avatar

    Man, imagine if they brought back Knightmare or the Crystal Maze as Xbox Live game shows? That’d be ace.

    Also, I was under the impression the Xbox 360 was named as such because it was “seamless like a circle”. Even so, naming the successor the Xbox 720 would still be daft because it would imply that it’s *more seamless*!

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