Xbox

Xbox One system development started after PS4/Wii U, how it does and doesn’t show


Microsoft revealed recently that the Xbox One’s console development didn’t start until 2010. This is interesting to compare to Sony and Microsoft for many reasons. Does having less development time show at all with what we’ve seen with the Xbox One? That will vary with everyone, I’d say yes and no.

Back in 2006 Microsoft said that they were at least talking about the Xbox 360’s successor but it appears that things didn’t really get set in motion until 2010, as Microsoft confirmed in this video right here.

Mark Cerny of Sony stated in the past that PS4 development started as far back as 2007. Wii U development started shortly after the Wii was released as Nintendo has said multiple times in the past that new console development begins just their current console is hitting the market.

The wacky engineers at Nintendo were testing this out before Xbox One development started in 2010.

The wacky engineers at Nintendo were testing this out before Xbox One development started in 2010.

So this would put Microsoft’s next-gen console at two to three years behind the development time of the PS4 and Wii U. Take that for what you will. Does it show? Does this time difference even matter? Probably not in the grand scheme of things, but one thing is certain: Microsoft should have spent more time on making a good first impression. That’s where this 3 year difference between when Xbox One and PS4/Wii U’s development began really shows.

There was a lot wrong with the Xbox One’s reveal. It focused too much on non-gaming applications and made me feel like I should be ashamed of my gaming habits. I like that my gaming devices can do more than just play games, but the Xbox One was portrayed as a media device first and a gaming console second. Don’t get me wrong, all of those multimedia features, like snaping, seems really innovative and ultimately nice. The problem is this: That isn’t what I’m looking for in a console reveal.

The Xbox One reveal emphasized multimedia features more than games.

The Xbox One reveal emphasized multimedia features more than games.

Hardware-wise I’m fine with what the Xbox One is delivering. I know a lot of people wish they were going with the same type of RAM as Sony is, but I’m just floored by the upgrade over Xbox 360. The jump from 512MB RAM to 8GB RAM, even if it is just DDR3 is massive. Maybe that’s the Nintendo fan in me, just being happy for an upgrade over the previous generation console. I’m not looking for it to top the PS4’s horsepower, I’m happy with whatever they give me.

I wouldn’t say that Microsoft could have used more time developing the actual hardware. The console’s look is growing on me, but I would’ve appreciated something that didn’t look so much like a DVR. This difference in development time between Xbox One and other consoles doesn’t show in terms of hardware power. The controller doesn’t need any tweaking so it wouldn’t have needed anymore development time but Sony clearly spent more time with the Dual Shock 4 since it brings far more change to Playstation gaming than a 360 controller with force feedback in the triggers.

While the Xbox One’s hardware is satisfactory, the reveal and presentation of it so far hasn’t been good. Gaming clearly was on the back burner at the console reveal ten days ago. Microsoft should have spent more time figuring out how to make a better first impression with gamers. If Microsoft had started development of the Xbox One just a little bit earlier perhaps we would’ve got an event that wasn’t as bad, focusing more on games. Then again, I think that has a lot to do with E3 being around the corner too.

Another area where the Xbox One could have benefited from more time in development is the OS menu. The dashboard, from what we’ve seen so far, looks just like the Xbox 360’s with a black background. I expected the system to sport the metro interface but it looks far too similar to the current 360 dashboard. Sony is revamping their system menu UI for the PS4 and Nintendo at least mixed things up with Wara Wara Plaza on the Wii U. A few more months, maybe a year more in development and the Xbox One might have sported a fresher, more unique looking UI.

Had Xbox One development started back in 2007, around the time PS4 development started, maybe the console would’ve focused less on Kinect since the camera accessory hadn’t come into existence yet. We’ll never know how things may have changed. Hopefully Microsoft changes their focus and puts an emphasis on gaming for the Xbox One going forward making us forget about how other next-gen consoles (like PS4/Wii U) started development years before.

What do you think? Could the Xbox One have benefited from a few more years in the oven? Think everything is fine as is? Let us know in the comments section below.