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Developers speak out on their impressions on the Xbox One

Join industry greats like Team Meat's Edmund McMillen, Ubisoft Montreal's Alex Hutchinson and Peter Molyneux from 22Cans as they weigh the Xbox One's current lineup of features to see if it's right console for their gaming needs.

Are you curious as to what developers think about Microsoft's Xbox One console? A handful of recognized industry greats have recently spoken out on their concerns and thoughts about Microsoft's next-gen contender, and how they feel about its recent reveal.

From the celebrated indie devs at Team Meat to the developers of AAA titles at Ubisoft Montreal, the consensus seems to match how gamers feel about the situation altogether: they want to see more focus on gaming.

Peter Molyneux (22 Cans)

Best known for: Godus, Fable, Curiosity, Black & White

"I think they did a fantastic presentation. They do those unveils incredibly well. I'm a gamer at heart. I love gaming and I love playing with my console. If I judge it in gaming terms, I didn't see enough meat on the bones or get enough details. I didn't see enough demos or games that stretched the system.

There seemed to be a bit of fog of war going on, showing behind the scenes and meshwork and animation and motion capture. I've seen that a thousand times before. I just want to see what this console, the Xbox One, can do for me as a gamer.

I think for me there was a little too much emphasis on what else it can do. I just want the ultimate gaming console, and I'm not sure that's what I got from that presentation."

Brad Muir (Double Fine)

Best known for: Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, Brazen, Iron Brigade

"Microsoft's Xbox One press conference felt like it was targeted at a really wide audience, which makes sense considering the way they're positioning the hardware as the only-set-top-box-you'll-ever-need.  I'm more interested in their plans for gaming but I really want to give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they bring to E3.

I'm hoping to hear more about Microsoft's plan for indie developers!  It sounds like they're going to unify the store a bit so that smaller games will be alongside the larger AAA titles.  I think that will go a long way to making the store more interesting and diverse, though this does mean that it will be even more important for them to address discoverability issues on the dashboard.  
I hope they have solid plans for ways to shine a light on cool games that may be flying under the radar.  The new options for seeing trending games and suggestions based on what your friends are playing sounds really cool and are a step in the right direction for sure.
I love the idea of a small, innovative game getting a lot of attention through that feature and winning over tons of new gamers that wouldn't have otherwise been exposed to it!
Overall I'm really excited to see what they bring to E3.  It should prove to be a super interesting show with both Sony and Microsoft bringing new hardware at the same time.  I hope that the players really benefit from the competition that's bound to come out of it!"
Edmund McMillen (Team Meat)
Best known for: Super Meat Boy, Mew-Genics
As a gamer, most of what was shown in the press conference wasn't at all for me. I buy consoles to play games, and good games are the only reason to own a console in my opinion.
Seven years ago I hooked one of my PCs up to my TV and I never looked back, so the media PC that Microsoft seems to be pushing isn't something that excites me in the slightest. I purchased an Xbox 360 because of Braid, N+, Castle Crashers, Rock Band, and Fallout 3.
As a gamer, Xbox One won't be something I'll be looking into buying till I see some amazing exclusive blockbuster titles or amazing exclusive indie games.
As a developer it really saddens me that none of the previous XBLA titles will be making their way to the Xbox One cross platform. The lack of indie games in general makes me as a developer look at the Xbox One as a media PC first and a gaming console second. I've grown tired of gimmicky tech and I own a media PC that is hooked up to my television.
The biggest pull as a dev to develop for a system is if that system can sell video games. Currently, it looks like Xbox One wants to sell TV a lot more than it sells games, and video isn't my chosen medium. 
Tommy Refenes (Team Meat)
Best known for: Super Meat Boy, Mew-Genics
"Based on what has been revealed, the Xbox One doesn't offer anything that my living room doesn't already have or anything that I feel I need. I have a PC with a CableCard adapter hooked to the TV in my living room, I don't have any desire to use Kinect, and I'm not interested in COD or any of the EA Sports titles.
I know E3 will reveal more games, which could convince me that I need an Xbox One, but that remains to be seen.
I see what they are doing though; they are trying to breed a gaming console with a Blu-Ray player with a DVR to get some sort of super all in one machine that the general population accepts as the new essential part of the living room, like the DVD player was years ago and the DVR is now.
The first company that can pull that off will win big.
I think pricing will determine if Xbox One can be this or not. If they throw a high price tag on it, they are putting a niche price on a device that is for the mass market and it will remain niche. If it's reasonably priced and works as advertised…they could have something.
That said, give me five amazing flagship Xbox One titles I can't play on Steam and I'll buy one."
Alex Hutchinson (Ubisoft Montreal)
Best known for: Assassin's Creed III, The Spore, The Sims 2, Army of Two: The 40th Day
There's nothing more exciting to me than the smell of new plastic and the first viewing of a boot screen for a new console (advance apologies to my wife and son).
It's a moment filled with hope and promise, and a higher than usual concentration of new IPs alongside the unavoidable upscaled versions of current gen games.
People have been disappointed with the launch (and often first year) of every new console as far back as I can remember, primarily because they confuse an inanimate piece of hardware with the games that it will eventually deliver. This generation will be all about software.
While the hardware announce for both consoles was more than a little flat (and filled with stuff I don't personally care about, like TV access and sports news) I know a bunch of games that are in the pipe and I couldn't be more excited.
We've finally moved beyond 'new graphics' and 'more polys' being the primary selling point, and into the much harder problem of selling new experiences and fresh content. This is the tipping point for the role of games in society for the foreseeable future: we can't rely on cheap tricks anymore. Make games that people care about.
Although the developers span across different realms of gaming, they agree on one thing: Microsoft has yet to unveil the most important part of a new gaming console–the games themselves.
Until they do, much of the gaming world (including both developers and gamers) will be wary about Microsoft's next-gen contender, but this will surely be rectified at this year's E3 expo.
Since the gaming giant's unveiling ceremony was targeted a broader audience, the industry's core constituency felt alienated and left out in the cold, and Microsoft's somewhat confusing responses to important questions surrounding offline play and Kinect data collecting haven't made things any better.
It's clear that Microsoft has yet to win over the majority of gamers with the Xbox One, and many are concerned with the plethora of issues centered on various scenarios that the company has kept quite foggy.
Hopefully the "fog of war" (as Peter Molyneux calls it) lifts at E3, but we may not get all the answers we're looking for in the next coming weeks.
Until these key issues are addressed in a clear and concise manner, Microsoft's Xbox One console may find itself further alienated by the realm of hardcore gamers who will most likely opt in for a PlayStation 4 or stick with their PC gaming rigs.

Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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