I own one of the very first Xbox gaming consoles ever made (thanks to a few friends from Microsoft) and I remember fondly when it showed up on my door all those years ago. Like a good friend it gave me many years of entertainment and companionship, but soon it was outmoded in the marketplace by the Xbox 360. Ever faithful I continued to buy games for the original system because, well … they were cheap and I wasn’t such a connoisseur that all the “advancements” that came with he 360 were that impressive.
Fast forward several years and as my original Xbox sits in the closet gathering dust, I am closely following the slew of announcements about the new system from Microsoft (Kinect) that promises to be the Nintendo Wii killer. However, absent from the press and fanfare are the rave reviews for new blockbuster titles that will leverage the capabilities available with the new hardware. Can it be that Microsoft is coming out of the gate a tad bit prematurely as they did with the original Xbox? While the Bungie-originated “Halo” title became and remains a major franchise, there were dozens of titles that followed the trail into irrelevance blazed by “Project Gotham Racing.” In addition to the brilliant hardware revolution the Wii represented for the gaming industry, Nintendo also leveraged their exclusive rights to the most successful gaming franchise in history (Mario, et al.) to catapult the platform to stratospheric commercial success.
Will the new, slimmer Xbox 360 and the motion-based Kinect platform fend off the newly announced Sony Move and overtake Nintendo for the motion-controlled gaming crown? Time will tell, but they have their work cut out for them.