Oh look, we can do hovertext now.
Putting aside the problems with invasion of privacy and user unfriendliness, what I took away from the Xbox One presentation is that most games just play themselves now. Ryse: Son of Rome* features “press X to watch a movie” during the fight scenes that were shown, and there’s one game that is literally “press X to watch a movie”. I’m not kidding.
The most interesting title has gotta be the new Forza game - and no, I never thought I’d ever say those words either. We took the third panel dialogue more or less word-for-word from the official Microsoft page, and despite Drivatar being the stupidest word ever, the concept is frankly fascinating. What they’re proposing is basically crowdsourcing test subjects for an A.I. experiment, which the subjects wouldn’t be aware that they were involved in on an active level, without the neverending red tape that would normally ensue in any study that requires human test subjects to do anything. And what’s more, they’re asking those test subjects to pay for the experience. Not only is it the ultimate head fake, it’s a research psychologist’s wet dream.
If you strip away the inherent moral horizons that come from deceiving people for these things, there’s some really interesting potential in there. The technology for pulling this off certainly exists at the moment, and just needs someone to come along and – for better, or for worse – figure it out and implement it. Which is what Microsoft are trying to do, I suppose. People are having enough trouble trusting the US government over data collection at the moment, and given the criticisms the Xbox One has received so far, I’m not sure Microsoft is really in the best position to try right now.
Although if history has taught me anything, in a year’s time we’ll have all become apathetic and have Xbox Ones sitting around watching our living rooms. Except for all those people who don’t live in the right countries or have high speed internet, I guess.
*Since they didn’t spell it “Rise”; I prefer to pronounce it like the Welsh name. “Rhys: Son of Rome” sounds far more interesting a premise. I’m crossing my fingers for some sort of Cardiff Rift dealio.