Bloomberg reported that Microsoft Corp’s video gaming chief Phil Spencer said he doesn’t “feel an imperative” to come out with a major upgrade of its Xbox game console. (The rest of Bloomberg’s article appears to be behind a paywall.)
Fortunately, IGN reported that Phil Spencer is adamant that consoles are “critical” to Xbox’s business going forward, saying that dedicated gaming hardware is “the future of Xbox.”
According to IGN, in Xbox’s “What’s Next for Gaming?” Panel, the Xbox head was asked about the place of console in Xbox’s strategy. It’s a question some may have been wondering about in particular due to Spencer’s past comments seeming to deprioritize hardware in the grand scheme of the company’s strategy. If that was the case back in 2019, it doesn’t seem to be any longer.
“We know that for players, especially Xbox players, where we come from is people sitting in front of their television with a console plugged into their television. It’s what developers are targeting. It’s what so many of us play. Console is critical to the success of what we’re doing today and the future of Xbox. It’s not the only thing we’re going to focus on. We’re going to focus on player choice. But we know that console is the core of how people think – box is in the name of our product. Xbox. Console is critical to what we are building,” said Phil Spencer.
Spencer also reported that the team has been hearing positive feedback on the Xbox Series S, noting that “for some people around the planet, $500 for a console is too much for their situation,” and that the price point for Series S has brought many new customers into the Xbox ecosystem. However, he acknowledged that the 512 GB storage was a limitation for some.
ArsTechnica posted information about Bethesda’s Starfield Direct game. There is an embedded YouTube video of a “Starfield Direct – Gameplay Deep Dive” on ArsTechnica.
According to ArsTechnica, for Starfield’s character creation engine, Bethesda says it scanned faces from a variety of age groups and ethnicities to make a system that the developers used to create every character and NPC you see in the game. After choosing from one of 40 preset characters to start, you can modify everything from piercings to teeth settings to skin blemishes in a series of sliders.
ArsTechnica also reported that beyond physical traits, you’ll also be able to pick a background for your characters with options ranging from cyberneticist to chef. These can come in handy at unexpected times during missions; maybe someone is asking for a specific dish during a particular quest. You can also pick from a number of optional “traits” that come with their own pros and cons – being “hero worshipped” means that fans may give you gifts, but it also will annoy you with non-stop praise and commentary.
I think it’s cool that the developers of Starfield Direct put time and effort into giving players plenty of choices about what their character will look like. This is a great way to offer a variety of different looking people of various ages and genders. It’s always more fun to play a game with a character that resembles you.