Up to this point, the range of emotional reactions to Xbox One information has generally fell anywhere from “mind-numbing boredom” at the press conference, to “justified outrage” at Microsoft’s unconfirmed used game plans. With the end of the console’s debut week now upon us, it would be nice to cleanse the old palette with some good news about the next-gen console. Sadly, we don’t have any to report, but you may get a good laugh out of the fact that Microsoft is looking into providing achievements for watching TV.
GamesIndustry has discovered a Microsoft patent application from last November that details how the company might evolve the achievements system to cover the traditionally passive activity of TV watching. The application for the patent describes the intent of the achievements system as follows:
“Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer, without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content. To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content.”
“Additionally, by tying the awards and achievements to particular items of video or advertising content, viewers may be encouraged to increase their viewership of the content, thus increasing advertising opportunities,”
The patent application goes on to give examples of achievements that are handed out for doing things like watching the Super Bowl, or the difficult task of watching an entire series of a single TV show. There is also some bits in there about having Kinect ask you to hold up specific products (which it will scan for achievements), and having the camera watch you to make sure you don’t leave the room during the show.
Say what you will about the Xbox 360’s achievements (or Sony’s trophies) but at least they are tied to gaming tasks that require some small amount of effort. With the Xbox One, it looks like the new minimum effort for achievements will be holding up a can of Mountain Dew and a bag of Doritos when Kinect tells you to.