All the talk on them tinternets may be of the next Xbox being always online, noobhunter69 might even be a tad negative ahead of its reveal on the 21st of May, but do you know what; that really doesn’t matter. Why? Well, because to your average Joe Schmoe, the only thing he/she/it will know about the console come May 21st is that it will have Call of Duty.
Yes, Call of Duty: Ghosts will be coming to every platform on the planet, but you really can’t overestimate just how big a coup this is for Microsoft. By getting the latest in the juggernaut FPS series to reveal alongside the next Xbox, they have essentially increased the potential impact of their reveal ten fold and will have instantaneously drawn the all important attention of the ‘casual’ crowd.
The Call of Duty series has already become somewhat synonymous with the Xbox brand and this reveal will cement that link straight out of the gates going into the next (new?) generation. Those gamers out there who just pick a up a few games a year and generally couldn’t give a toss about the gaming press or industry at large will have the link between the platform and the franchise solidified in their minds from the word go.
The standard press; The Sun, The Guardian, The Metro, The South Wales Echo; the day after the event, they are all going to be running articles on the new Xbox right next to some pimped out next-gen image of Call of Duty: Ghosts. It may not be an exclusive, but my word, to Microsoft, that’s exactly what it will feel like. I’m not saying that your average punter is too dopey to realise that Ghosts isn’t an exclusive, but there is certainly something to be said for building up that initial association. The games’ strengths and new features will be intrinsically linked to those revealed for the next Xbox, that initial impression of the game will be seen, heard and felt via an Xbox console and experienced with an Xbox controller.
As the Wii U’s lack of sales have proved; games sell consoles, and despite it being on every platform out there, if Microsoft can convince the average guy and gal on the street that Call of Duty: Ghosts needs to be played on Bill Gates’ latest, well, they will have just taken a very confident step towards winning the next-gen battle. Sony may have delivered a strong PS4 reveal, but to an extent, it felt like it was preaching to the converted – Microsoft, they’ll be preaching to just about everyone on the planet if they have the next-gen Call of Duty running up on the big screen.
If the next Xbox does prove to be an always online console, I’m sure it’ll be an online shit storm, but as long as they have Call of Duty, as long as they can convince Mr Average that it needs to be played on a Microsoft console, well, I’m guessing that they’ll be just fine…….Halo 5 wouldn’t harm either.