Microsoft showcased the upcoming Xbox One video game console at the MCA Loft in Chicago recently.
Gamers lined up outside the brickstone warehouse to try out the next generation of Xbox video game consoles. This was the third time some gamers had attended the event over the weekend, competing in tournaments and looking to beat each other’s high scores.
“I am kind of a game freak, I have to have every game or system whenever it comes out.” attendee Sean West said.
However, the Xbox One is not the only video game console to be released within the next month. Sony’s Playstation 4 will be released on November 15, and the Xbox One will be available a week later. We asked gamers at Microsoft’s promotional event what they expect of the two popular video game consoles.
West said he wants console graphics to look as realistic as computer graphics. Sony and Microsoft’s most recent video game consoles, the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, uses technology that is at least seven years old. These consoles cannot be upgraded like computers.
“Once they develop a full feeling that you feel like you are engulfed in the game, that’s when I think they will make a system that will impress people.” West said.
IGN writes that, for now, video game consoles remain popular because they are cheaper and more convenient than optimizing your computer to current graphical watermarks. New gaming consoles are released every five to six years to keep up, and it also presents an opportunity for Sony and Microsoft to introduce new features such as motion sensors.
Video game enthusiast Jake Islas is less concerned about graphics. He just wants to have fun.
“As far as graphics go, they are pleasing to the eye but they are purely aesthetic.” Islas said. “They don’t make the game better. Just because a game looks good doesn’t mean it plays good as we’ve seen with indie titles.”
Independent games, or indie titles, are games that are made by a single developer or a small team. These games are often released without the financial backing of a publisher.
Indie game developers have to set themselves apart in order to compete with larger and better funded video game development teams. This is done by introducing unique and sometimes experimental game rules or visual styles.
The popularity of indie games has prompted Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to attract more indie developers to make games for their consoles. Eurogamer reports that these video game companies want to make the process of publishing indie games on their online marketplace more efficient.
Attendee Odie Younan said he would like to see developers make better use of the Xbox One’s Kinect features. The Kinect is a camera that detects your body’s movement, allowing you to perform actions with a swing of the arm or a kick of the leg. It also recognizes voice commands, allowing players power up their consoles by speaking to it.
The Kinect was introduced as an add-on to the Xbox 360 video game console, but Younan said Kinect features in popular games tend to feel tacked on.
He cited Mass Effect 3, in which you play a squad commander and are able to command your companions using your voice. However, players can finish the game without using those features.
“It was cool that you can say the lines and your character will do it without having to use the controller but, at the same time, it was very gimmicky.” Younan said.
Younan said the Kinect needs to feel essential to the gaming experience.
Microsoft declined to comment on Xbox One’s graphics, independently-developed games and Kinect functionality.
West still remains excited about the next generation of consoles.
“The opportunities that are going to be out there now for all kinds of developers is endless.” West said.
Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him @jclee89.