Microsoft's XBOX One Console and the future of Video Game Design

Microsoft’s XBOX One and the Future of Video Game Design

    Microsoft’s XBOX  One reveal sure was an exciting time. We’d all waited for years to see the new XBOX One, finally it was here. New console, that looks the same as the old one, and new controller, that looks the same as the old one.


The presentation would have been stronger had Microsoft opened by showing the new, innovative and exciting aspects of the console, of which there are plenty.

Perhaps the one element of the XBOX One that received more attention of any other was the XBOX One’s Voice capabilities. It’s simple. You want your TV on, say “TV On,” you want to play a game say “Gaming,” you want a bacon sandwich you say “Babe, make me a bacon sandwich.” It’s easy.

There’s just one flaw with the XBOX One’s voice command: absolutely no one in the world is ever going to use it.


It’s not just  because talking to a machine makes you feel like schizophrenic. It’s simple psychology. Pressing a button on a remote is quicker and easier than saying “XBOX, on.” Were psychologically programmed to do everything in the most energy conserving way. Speaking to a machine does not conserve energy. Humans do things the easy way. The easy way remains to press a button.

The first thing any school for video game design will tell you is that ease of use is everything. Speech isn’t easier than clicking a button. Hopefully, video game developers can create new types of experiences with voice command and use it to create video games that are new and this will make the voice capabilities worthwhile.

The exact same thing is true for the hand gesture commands, in which you open your hand to maximise a video screen and so on. These gestures are simply more complex than pressing a button. That’s why, about five minutes after the XBOX One’s release, people will forget all about these voice and hand commands.

The voice command and hand command gestures seemed exciting during the press conference. But they seemed exciting in the way Kinect seemed exciting. It’s a cool idea, using voice and hand gestures. It’s the sort of thing you expect to see in sci-fi movies. It makes the XBOX One look futuristic. This makes it a great element of the business marketing strategy. But these gestures won’t find their place in the future of video game design. [wpcol_2fifth id=”” class=”” style=””]
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Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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