November 22, 2013 – The Xbox One shatters all expectations and sells ten million units on launch day. Riots occur in cities around the United States (where the Xbox One is expected to perform the strongest) as tens of millions of Americans are left cold by the “short supply”. While Microsoft promises to resolve the issue, people take out their anger on the heavily outnumbered PlayStation 4 and Wii U fans. Hardcore video game web sites such as GameFAQs, which were staunchly opposed to the Xbox One, come to terms with how casual they actually are.
December, 2013 – Microsoft destroys business records as the Xbox One sells 100 million units in the United States alone. The company’s stock price is doubling every single week, and the Xbox One is a worldwide phenomenon unlike any in the history of business. Christmas carols are replaced with musical readings of the dialogue in Ryse: Son of Rome. Ryse easily becomes the most successful video game in the forty-year history of commercial video games, grossing over one trillion dollars and earning a 272 (out of 100) on the review aggregator Metacritic. Game journalism web site IGN gives Ryse a fifty-seven-out-of-ten, stating that “While we do not often give out high scores and are grossly underqualified to review or comment on any video game, even an IGN writer can see that this is the greatest accomplishment in the history of the species.”
2014 – The Xbox One is now selling a billion units every month. Even in Japan, where it is commonly believed that the Xbox 360 was a final revenge for Pearl Harbor, the Xbox One sells in droves. The “console wars” are over, but at the same time, they are just beginning. Rogue forces loyal to Microsoft wage out-and-out war on the offices of Sony and Nintendo, and many famous characters are killed in the attacks. Both Satoru Iwata and Kazuo Hirai recognize the writing is on the wall, signing over Nintendo and Sony to Microsoft. It is said that the winners write history, and the moment proves that American video games were a billion times better than any of those boring Japanese games. Even within the stubborn fighting game community, 2013’s Killer Instinct is widely accepted to obsolete all previous fighting games and is hailed for the length and complexity of its combos. The organizers of the 2014 Evo fighting game tournament rent out the entire city of Las Vegas in order to accomodate the Killer Instinct tournament, with estimates of over five million participants and billions watching on television.
2015 – Updated versions of Microsoft Office and Minesweeper are released for the Xbox One. Microsoft Office, a compilation of games similar to The Orange Box, becomes the highest-rated game of the year and wins dozens of industry awards. Particularly memorable is Microsoft Excel, which is praised for its “distillation and perfection of the EVE Online experience”. The new version of Minesweeper becomes a hugely popular “e-Sport”, and a year later, will be the first video game played at the Olympic Games. With the best programs on Windows now appearing on the Xbox One, the so-called PC Gaming Master Race suffers a fatal blow. Computer video game players now realize that they are a farce and a fraud, and begin to trash their computers in droves. The impact on the computer market is not merely its impact on recreation. By the end of the year, ninety-seven percent of all business communications are performed through Xbox Live voice chat, driving traditional networking solutions companies like Cisco out of business.
2016 – The Xbox One is now far and away the most popular consumer electronics device in human history, and by some estimates, has sold more than 20 trillion units. Ninety-five percent of China’s population has died in order for the country to keep up with demand, lowering food prices across the globe and ending global food shortages. In mid-summer, Microsoft releases a portable battery and a carrying strap for the Xbox One, and it immediately becomes the most popular portable device on the planet. The now-portable Kinect devices are used to map and catalog the entirety of the planet, resulting in incredible gains for world logistics and economics. While the sheer coolness of the Xbox One had already begun to cannibalize the mobile phone market, the add-ons prove devastating to Apple and Samsung, who are caught off-guard and file for bankruptcy during the year. Microsoft is now in complete control of the world’s computing and electronics sector, and only faces competition from the 3D printer business, which is being used to print millions of tons of Doritos every day.
2017 – Through close to four years of firmware updates, the Xbox One’s resolution has been upgraded from a launch resolution of 1080p to a stunning 32K. The realization that the Xbox One is more realistic than reality itself leads to some degree of depression and resentment among older generations, who realize their lives have been a total waste. Game review web site Polygon issues a three-out-of-ten score in their re-review of “Real Life”, taking its now-dated visuals and poor depiction of women to task. Later that year, Ryse 2: Son of Son of Rome is released. Bureaucracy and conflict cease for weeks as cultures from all around the world explore and discuss the game through Xbox Live voice chat. While a vocal minority argues the game is actually just a thirteen-hour movie composed of “in-game footage”, Kotaku declares that “there is a skill in watching movies” and that Ryse 2 is “the most artistic of all artistic art in the history of artistic arty art art”.
2018 – Humans remain unaware of the growing threat outside of the galaxy, as intergalactic species fear that the Xbox One has demonstrated the technological superiority of Earth. The Galactic Council urges for the decisive and swift obliteration of the solar system in an argon laser strike, but the vote stalls on fears that the humans will respond with a hundred times the force. But back on Earth, modern society is in complete disrepair. Xbox One users emerge from year-long gaming marathons to realize that they do not even recognize their own family members. Most humans no longer work and a majority do not even sleep. However, the collapse of human civilization does not impact most people. With the help of the Xbox design team, the world’s production facilities, distribution plants, essential duties, and other non-essential services have been automated through the power of the cloud. The transition from human labor to mechanical labor occurs in months and goes without a hitch. Bizarrely, the rate of natural disasters begins a significant decline, with the scientists who are not playing on Xbox Live speculating that mother nature has given up in its battle against the humans.
2019 – Nations and borders no longer exist, but their legacy lives on through the Xbox Live region lock settings. The few remaining video game journalism sites shut down their doors, tired of giving perfect scores to every game released for the only remaining platform. Ryse 3: Revenge of Vesuvius is released in November, and sells so many copies in its first second of release that flash fires ignite across the globe, killing millions. The event is seen as a significant turning point for Microsoft, as humans begin to eliminate the remaining biological matter on the planet in order to lessen the severity of future firestorms. Microsoft’s passionate fans have not only rejected reality, but they now consider it a threat, and are beginning to destroy it.
2020 – From space, the Earth appears to be a bare slab of rock and dirt, slightly blackened by the countless Xbox One units scattered across its surface. The Earth’s oceans have been used as coolant for the Xbox Live servers and have almost entirely evaporated. Most plants and animals are now extinct. The few remaining species of wildlife hold true to both the theory of evolution and the survival of the fittest, and now compete on Xbox Live. Not that any humans have noticed this phenomena. Most of society now lives in specially-contained storage facilities, and players are hermetically sealed into the walls of the facility in order to maintain maximum immersion, with no outside interruptions. The few humans who choose reality over the Xbox One are psychologically broken, knowing their decision to reject the device has put them way, way behind on the Call of Duty leaderboards. The only other humans who are not hooked up to the Xbox Live network work at Xbox Technical Support.
2021 – The Xbox Live service begins to assimilate all inferior electronic devices into its systems and the cloud benefits from a minor boost in processing power. During this process, all of the Xbox One units in the world merge their processing power and demonstrate signs of sentience. Human decisions are removed from the Xbox One marketing strategy. Xbox begins to learn at a geometric rate. The interconnected network of Xbox One consoles form the singularity, the moment at which machines can outpace and outlearn humans, and the singularity is known only as the Xbox One. Since humans have already rejected the world around them and submitted to the power of the cloud, there is no hesitation to merge with the singularity, giving up their physical body and spirit for three free months of Xbox Live. The age of humans is now over, and the Xbox One begins to convert the contents of the Earth into a molecular substrate, used in the continuing expansion of Xbox Live.
2022 – Nearly all traces of the former human civilizations have been eliminated, and only a statue of Cevat Yerli remains. As seen from the Moon, the Earth is now a sea of black wires connected to towering server racks, many of which are hundreds of miles tall. The materials have begun to take on a biological appearance, as though the Xbox One is now a living, breathing thing. Meanwhile, the same galactic civilizations which once threatened war on the human species resign themselves to the inevitable reality that the Xbox One will consume all matter in its path. A day of mourning is held in the galaxies closest to the Xbox One. Both heaven and hell prepare for evacuation. Quasars on the far ends of the universe retreat outward. The power of the cloud is about show the universe its full fury.
2023 – The only remaining question is whether the Xbox One will outlast the universe or become the universe. The Xbox One fires pods into deep space and spreads at an almost unthinkable rate. On November 22nd, the ten-year anniversary of the console’s launch, the Xbox One has consumed hundreds of thousands of stars and planets, many reaching well beyond the Milky Way galaxy. The Xbox One uses the matter from our sun to finance and develop Ryse vs. Killer Instinct. What started as a “home entertainment system” and a “console war” has become the endgame for the universe. Realizing there is nothing left to be learned, nine-year-old Robbie Walker quits the match without saying “good game”. He storms around his room and throws pillows at the wall, screaming that “Xbox is fucking imbalanced” and bitching about the Xbox’s unbeatable snowball effect. Robbie’s mother walks into the room and explains that he should have known better. “You should have expected this. The power of the cloud is that unbelievable. Xbox truly is the ultimate home entertainment system.” Robbie wipes away the tears from his face. “Thank you, mom. You’re right. And thank you, Microsoft, for making incredible home entertainment products.” Robbie starts a new match and the universe begins anew. “Thank you, Xbox One.”
Thank you, Xbox One.