Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thoughts On... the Xbox One

Introducing... the Xbox One!
Hey there.  It's here!  The big unveiling of the next gen Xbox console.  It's not Xbox Durango, it's not Xbox Infinity.  It's Xbox One!  I'm sure many of you reading this have already checked some, if not all of the 2 hour presentation earlier today.  I'm not going to get into the specifics.  There are plenty of websites with people way smarter than me that will break down the Xbox One specs for you.  I'm an average Joe that loves games.  I have some curiosities about the Xbox One and I have a few thoughts that came to mind while checking out the presentation.  So here are my thoughts on the Xbox One reveal.

Xbox One looks like a shiny, black box.  Literally.  Aside from some spiffy looking grooves on top, it really does look like a shiny, black retangular box with little fanfare.  The same deal with "Kinent 2.0".  A comment that I read on my good friend's Facebook page clearly summed up the design nicely, "Was everything designed in Minecraft?  It's so blocky..."  Yeah, folks, it sure does feel that way.  I was surprised that Microsoft went that route.  I understand that Microsoft wants efficiency and functionality to be top priority, but making the Xbox One look nice should have been somewhere close to the top of that list, no?.  Most of our home appliances today have a sleek look to them.  Modern look, if you will.  The Xbox One could look like an eye sore stationed in a sleek looking entertainment center.  I don't know, guys... I think you may have dropped the ball on looks.  The controller looks pretty cool though.  I do love the design on the new controller, so I guess they picked up some points there.

Now, the Kinect is a great idea, but it was not executed properly.  I have one and I enjoyed using it... when it worked well.  The problem I have with it is that if many people are hanging around, the Kinect will get confused and screw up my game.  So when I saw that the Kinect 2.0 will be mandatory for the Xbox One, I cringed a bit.  Anyways, the interface and the voice command features using the upgraded Kinect flowed fairly well.  You could easily power on your devices (TV, Xbox One, Cable...) using the Kinect.  That's some pretty neat stuff, BUT the best part is definitely the improved Kinect itself.  You no longer need an entire living room to play the Kinect.  The Kinect's visual sensors have been improved upon that you need as little as 3 feet of space to play.  That is a HUGE plus to Xbox fans who do not have a spacious living room.
Photo courtesy of endgadget
There was some showing off of live TV features and what not, but I'll be honest with you, I tuned that stuff out.  I'm still one of those guys that want a game console to be a game console so when I start to hear about all extra stuff, I kind of just tune it out.  But from what I do remember, ESPN has teamed up with Xbox One to be able to provide live fantasy football updates.  Now that's something that I may actually use.  All this Xbox TV Guide stuff.... not so much.  There also was mention of how you can view what your friends are watching.  Almost like a Twitter what's trending of what your friends are watching.  Ugh...  More crap that isn't necessary on the dashboard.  I couldn't even get excited for the Halo Series that will be directed by Steven Speilberg.  I'm happy that it's going to be done because I am sure it'll be freakin' awesome, but why put it on the Xbox One?  I'm sorry guys, I just don't watch TV on my Xbox so I don't see the need for Xbox exclusive shows.  Again, I want my console to focus on gaming!

Speaking of gaming... where are the games?  The Xbox One reveal was about 2 hours long and from what I remember, I saw some beautiful shots of Forza 5 and a sneak peak of Call of Duty: Ghosts.  Now... the games are stunningly beautiful, so tell me again why I didn't see more of it?  I think there was something in there about a game called Quantum Break, but I still am not sure what kind of game that is, but still... it looked pretty awesome.  And Call of Duty: Ghosts was simply stunning.  The environments, the characters, the DOG!  I'm not the biggest of CoD fans, but the this presentation has me pretty excited about this one!  When you have a machine with the power to display such stunning gameplay, why waste the presentation on extracirricular stuff that is NOT gaming?  Microsoft seems to be pushing to have the Xbox One be the only hardware to power all of your entertainment needs.  I still don't like this movement towards a "multitasking" console but it seems that it's inevitable now that the big 3 gaming companies are shooting for it.  I'm just saying that resources should be spent on making memorable games as opposed to being able to watch live TV on your Xbox One.
Yes, my friends...  the gaming graphics are THAT good!
Now... on to backward compatibility.  Nope.  Not going to happen.  You cannot play Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One.  Your old DVD game discs will not work on the Xbox One's spiffy new Blu Ray drive.  It's just not going to happen.  The good thing, though, is that your achievements will carry over.  I would hate to have to start all over at 0 on the Xbox One.  Oh, and from what I've read...  before you can play a game on the Xbox One, you will have to install it on the hard drive.  Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot play a used game.  Again, from what I've read, if you try to play a "used" game on your Xbox One, you will be asked to pay a fee.  Upon paying that fee, the game will install on your Xbox One and the previous install of the game will be removed from the previous owner.  I'm not so sure how I feel about that. There wasn't much in details as to how much that fee would be but it seems as if this is Microsoft's attempt to stop used games from being passed around.  I'll admit, It's an intriguing idea that I can get behind...  BUT only if this fee is a fraction of the price of the game.  If this "used game install fee" is the regular price of the game, I would be up in arms.But again, those details are not out yet and hopefully we'll hear more at E3.

And lastly, how much will it cost?!  We still don't know.  No price points were given, no mention of the "mini Xbox", and no definitive release date.  All we got was a countdown as to when E3 will roll around and more info will be given.  Ugh...  I can't wait until E3!  I want to know these things NOW!  lol

So what did you guys think of the Xbox One?  I know I missed on many of the reveal's details but I only wanted to touch base on some of the thoughts that came to me while watching.  Microsoft and Sony both have powerful machines coming out later this year so did this Xbox One reveal convince you that Microsoft is the way to go?  If anything, I can say this, the console war is on and the PS4 and Xbox One are very evenly matched.  It's going to be interesting to see which one will come out on top!  Later!

5 comments:

very underwhelming, the idea of could computing on the xboxone is concerning with all the horrible thing that have happened with sim city.
It feels like the reveal was more of a reveal for a super roku/apple tv box that happens to play games. Just showing the console off wasn't enough to sell me on it, more info on used games, renting, the needing to connect to the net everyday. Right now it feels like MS tried to one up sony by just having a console to show.


one a side note, how long until the memes start up with 4>1

Hey there Tumor20! It did feel like they rushed a presentation to keep up with Sony. I also felt like it was entertainment heavy and very little in terms of gaming. It was disappointing to say the least. They also left out MANY key details, like the ones you mentioned. I would figure, provide those details now and then show it's power at E3.

As for the memes, I've already seen a "Xbox, go home" meme earlier today. lmao! I'm pretty sure that a 4>1 will be along shortly.

My vote is on the PlayStation 4 personally, the controller is lacking any innovation in the Xbox One. Though I think Kinect had so much more potential, the much faster GDDR5 RAM in the PS4 will give it an edge on performance.

Hey there Justin! It sure does seem like Sony has the edge. Especially if their stock is any indication of it. Did you hear that Sony's stock weny up AFTER the Xbox One reveal? It seems that not many people are happy with what Microsoft presented today.

I don't think Microsoft is making a bad bet per say, they are however playing it safe and not being really innovative. I don't think people really want full body movement games, too many people live in cramped quarters, the controller reigns supreme. Also there is a good point that who would skype in front of their living room, that was seen in Demolition man but most people skype on PC, or from a tablet, phone...etc. I don't think the TV is the place for Skype, maybe to answer a call while watching TV or playing a game but unlikely.

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