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Xbox One's 'Surprise Me' Button Will Choose A Random Game For You That You Probably Won't Play

You're not alone if you have dozens upon dozens of games that you've never launched. It's just another vice in a long string of them. Some people love to buy shoes. Some spend all their money at the bar. And some gamers hit sales like the games are about to vanish from existence. Microsoft's Xbox One has a new feature for those of you who hoard digital games; one that's available to those in the "Skip Ahead" Alpha testing group.


Whether it'll help you is another story.

Users in the "Skip Ahead" program recently noticed a new button added the Xbox One's user interface: one that randomly chooses a game to play based on what you have installed or what you might want to download to your system. It actually seems like a pretty neat feature. You click the button, and it pulls up a card with information about a random game, giving you the option to either play it or download it. And presumably, this feature would help those with deep libraries surface some titles they might have forgotten about.

As anyone who's ever played music knows, however, this rarely works as intended.

When's the last time you tapped "shuffle" in Spotify and listened to the first track that played without immediately skipping? Did you listen to the second track? Or the third? There's a chance you spent some time skipping through the randomly chosen songs until you found one that you were really feeling. One that, had you thought a bit about it, you probably could've chosen on your own.


Now imagine that not with a three-to-four-minute song, but with a 15-to-20-hour shooter. What are the odds that you're ever going to land on a game and say, "Yeah, this is the one. Let's devote a few hours to this tonight." More likely than not, you'll tire of the shuffle, and you'll just go through your library and pick out a game after scrolling the entire way through the list. Which is fine. Many games require a pretty substantial time investment, and your time might not be something you want to leave to chance.

Maybe some Xbox One owners will find this "Surprise Me" feature useful. That's great! We can't help thinking, though, that most players will not. Instead, they'll press the button a few times, feel unsatisfied with the choices they're given, and then go back to choosing a game the old fashioned way. Then, after that, they'll give up and go back to the live service game they've been playing for the past five years.

We'll update you should the "Surprise Me" button graduate into the Xbox One's public feature set.