Microsoft Xbox One 'a let down,' says Steven Butts of IGN

Published May 24, 2013

| FoxNews.com

One thing’s for sure: It’s one big gamble for Microsoft.

After eight years on the market, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is being replaced. The company unveiled the Xbox One entertainment console on Tuesday, May 21, and touted it as an all-in-one solution for playing games, watching TV and doing everything in between. Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be central to your living room and packed the new Xbox with entertainment features such as the ability to change TV channels through voice commands.

But does the device work for gamers, who were once and arguably still are its core market? Maybe, maybe not.

“As a gamer, I was a little let down,” Steve Butts, editor in chief of gaming website IGN, told FoxNews.com.

As someone familiar with the business side of Microsoft’s gaming division, the announcement of the Xbox One and its focus on TV, movies and music was unsurprising, Butts said. The new gaming console -- Microsoft said the One was four years in the making -- is expanding into those areas due to a shrinking hardcore gaming market, and in an effort to expand the device’s reach.

And that’s not necessarily what he’s looking for, Butts said.

“I’ve already got something in my house that I can watch TV on, so I don’t need a redundant piece of technology that allows me to do that. It’s not a very compelling message to gamers, and I’m not sure if it’s the consumption pattern that a lot of new-generation folks have for media,” Butts told FoxNews.com.

Visitors to IGN appeared to agree. More than 75 percent of site visitors said they were disappointed with the focus on entertainment over gaming, according to a poll posted on the site.

The Xbox One won't go on sale until later this year, at a price that hasn't been disclosed yet.

Answers to some complaints and questions from gamers, including the announcements of the newest games that will be played on the Xbox One, are likely being held for the E3 entertainment show, which takes place each summer in Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, Microsoft’s newest console makes for good business, Butts made clear.

“I absolutely think it was a smart move. … they’re trying to capitalize on this mainstream exposure. Gaming is becoming ubiquitous,” he said. Yet questions remain, and the console’s success is hardly a foregone conclusion.

“My concern is whether this new generation that’s coming up is consuming television and content the way that Microsoft assumes they are,” Butts said.

“A lot of people we know don’t even have cable television subscriptions.”

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