First of all, let me say that I'm a big Xbox fan. It's been my main platform for over a decade now and I've been there since the OG Xbox.
I got the Xbox One back in 2014 and, despite the bad press (courtesy of bright minds like Don Mattrick), it was a pretty neat little VCR-shaped piece of hardware. It had the Snap function, which allowed me to watch walkthroughs seamlessly as I played my games (or to play some puzzlers as I watched something on Netflix); I could browse the interface just by using gestures and the occasional voice command, and the Kinect even synced up controllers just by turning them on and pressing the sync button on the controller. Typing codes was a thing of the past with the Kinect camera; all you had to do was say something like "Kinect, redeem code" and hold up the card with the QR code, and it was there in a flash.
However, over the years these cool features were slowly taken out of the Xbox as it turned into a sort of… Blob. Now I even have to slowly type my gift card/DLC/Online pass codes and check five times to see where I messed up, which was a problem that was already solved before. To sync a controller I have to walk up to the console and press a button like the primitives. It's absurd, since I still have the Kinect, but it's just lost that cool function. Snapping is gone, and I no longer can wave my hands around to open up Netflix.
Little did I know that this was just a sign of things to come. We reach the "next generation", and the Xbox Series X is pretty much current Xbox but with SSD and bEtTeR GrApHiX, and that's the most disappointing thing ever. The controller is the same, plus a share button I guess? Even the OS is pretty much the same. It feels like they lost the inspiration and went for a literal grey box (regardless of the cool engineering under the hood). That's not really my point here, however.
Let's look at the PS5 for a moment. The new controller has the same track pad from last gen, some cool LEDs and motion sensing. Those are cool features that have the potential to enhance your gaming experiences by a lot. But they most likely won't, and it Xbox's fault.
You see, when developers are making a game, they won't include features that aren't available everywhere, and that's why the track pad was already under utilised on the PS4, and motion sensing has been ignored since the PS3.
Motion sensing is actually the one that pisses me off the most. Ever since I played Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the friggin Vita I found out how awesome it is for aiming on a controller: you position your character with the left analog stick, aim with the right analog, then fine tune it tilting the controller and boom: easy headshots without needing a mouse. I own the Elite controller and even with optimal settings, tall analog sticks and all, it's still not as good as what I experienced on the Vita years ago.
I'm aware that the same happens with the track pad on PS4. I don't own the console yet, but from what I hear from friends, it's either ignored or underutilized. Dead by Daylight absurdly inverts the Y axis of the camera when you touch it, which feels like a bug rather than a feature, but I've heard horror stories even from first party games like Bloodborne using it as an alternative input for buttons that are already mapped to the controller.
Anyway, I feel like MS and Sony should work together on standardizing those features on their controllers. Or something. I don't know. What do you guys and gals think?
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