Alright, E3 is done and we have our new consoles coming out this fall. The Xbox One and the PS4. I have no idea what this point which one I plan on buying. Even before Microsoft's reversal on its DRM policies I didn't totally write the Xbox off. I currently live in the Live ecosystem and I love it for the most part. After checking out what Microsoft showed at E3 though, I can't help but feel that I am not the target audience for the Xbox anymore.
For me the console is going to primarily be a gaming console. Not a media center, not a streaming device. A lot of what Microsoft showed appeared to be focused along those line. I don't even pay for cable and the only streaming service I use is Netflix. And let's face it Microsoft, I am not going to use Xbox Music. Stop trying to make it happen. It seems like a lot of the services for the Xbox I will just never use. The whole cloud computing component does seem interesting though and I am not as down on the Kinect as some people are. Both can offer some really interesting gaming features in the future. The problem at this point though is that I just haven't seen good examples yet of how they would be used.
Now Sony had an impressive showing as well. The core gaming components seem more along the lines of what I want and after seeing the initial interface preview, I like the concept of a social network around gaming that they are building. Being able to share gameplay videos, chat with my friends and see what people are playing is compelling. I like how it isn't just trying to tie into Facebook, and to be honest I am more attracted to target social networks for the various hobbies I participate in. Being in a community that focuses on gamers will lead to more meaningful conversations about gaming rather than trying to wade through the volume of people of Facebook that don't care. I probably spend more time these days on Goodreads talking with people about books and reading than i do on Facebook itself.
What really has me excited more than anything else though is just the fact that I am seeing the heated debates once again showing up on the internet. The console wars are back and it is sort of satisfying to see the vigor at which people want to fight over the console. I think this next year is really going to be fun in the gaming world.