The death of videogame consoles has been predicted multiple times during the past decade, cue scornful hilarity, but it may genuinely come to pass with the next generation of videogame hardware. Xbox One, after all, is a machine that's capable of downloading all of its games from, uploading all player data to and even offloading a portion of its processing power to the cloud. Doesn't that do away with the need for a new console, 10 years from now?
Here to debate the point are OXM's editor Jon "Mad Dog" Hicks and deputy editor Edwin "Queensbury Rules" Evans-Thirlwell, via the 100th issue of OXM - an Xbox One special.
Your opinion is, of course, fervently desired - by all means drop us a comment on the subject. For more on the new Xbox, read our definitive guide, breakdown of Microsoft's licensing policies and confirmed Xbox One games list.
Jonty says: Yes!
All the updates can happen online
There are a lot of smart ideas behind the new Xbox, but one of the smartest is the lifespan. The Xbox 360 was built for the previous age, when consoles lasted for three to five years, apps were basically non-existent and games were sold on disc, and its lifespan was extended by increasingly elaborate software updates that pushed its ageing hardware far beyond its intended limits.
Microsoft has built the updates into the back end with Xbox One: the console itself is a front-end fed by the vast cloud computing system of Xbox Live. Software - be it games, apps, entertainment or all three - can be distributed centrally, and platform updates can magically appear without you seeing a single loading bar. Microsoft can rebuild the platform overnight, and it'll be ready for you in the morning.
Sure, the basic hardware will date, but cloud computing offers near-limitless potential - and as broadband connections are only going to get better, by the time the Xbox One starts to look like it's running low on horsepower or storage space, you'll be able to hand the job off to the Xbox Live servers rather than having to upgrade.
I might splash out on a nicer, slimmer, smaller model in the meantime - got to keep the techy credentials up-to-date, after all - but the platform itself could last forever. Or at least until we discover that you need a new port for the neural interface.
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