Xbox Reveal – Numbers, Command Issues, Sports, Guns, Halo TV

Issue One

So, there’s a new Xbox, since the reveal yesterday. Many things have been said a million times by now. It seems redundant to even regurgitate it at this point. I’ll try not to address most misinformation going around after the event.

It started by saying “alive” a bunch of times, during the opening promotion reel. After that, the usual nonsensical hype went on for about five minutes before the first gaze at the Xbox One; the new Xbox, the black box, the new one. Issue One has appeared. The new console is called “Xbox One,” which is confusing for all parties involved. Holiday sales will plummet for Microsoft, as I can’t see casual consumers preferring a “one” over a “PS4,” since they need direct, numerical logic. That is, if they can even recognize that “Xbox One” is not, in fact, the original first Xbox release. You see where that’s going.

Xbox is going back to its roots and launches another colossal black box

Xbox is going back to its roots and launches another colossal black box

Always On Target

“Always on” is bad. That’s why Microsoft changed it to “cloud powered” and then danced around the fact of a mandatory connection to talk about mandatory Kinect integration for 15 minutes. Issue 2: Kinect is always on and is impressively aware of users and their mannerisms and speech. Unfortunately, during the presentation, the host also frequently showed that the console doesn’t need the “Xbox, [command X]” precursor, but simply acts with the command said casually. For instance: “Watch TV,” “Play music” and more simply work as is. This means that these things can’t be said around the console, with fear of it reacting without your approval. I hope no one was watching porn and later happens to mention “watch TV” around their social circle. That’s going to be an awkward Thanksgiving. That said, it did show off snapping in and out of applications on the fly, running multiple programs and smooth Skype integration. It’s biggest reveal that day, however, was fantasy sports, which Xbox One integrates in their sports TV licenses. While it isn’t something I can personally get behind, as a non-sports fan, no one can deny that such facilitating tools aren’t a great idea. For us geeks: Think of being able to integrate your fantasy roleplaying team while you watch Doctor Who and tell Kinect to roll a saving throw against Dalek. That’s pretty sweet, right?

Following, the tech speech began, which reiterated the “elegant” design of the giant black box, with mandatory Kinect. There were even some very rare, straight up facts that night: 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, Blu-ray drive, 64-bit architecture and HDMI in/out. Think of that what you will; it means nothing to the gross of the market anyway. They even went as far as coining the term “rocket science” when discussing the technology, right before showing a basically unaltered controller. Luckily, they then focused on Kinect some more and admittedly, it’s a strong beast. It promises lag free design, a wide angle, easy recognition and so on.

"Xbox, NO! I'm sorry, I don't know how that got in there." XBOX: "Now launching adult feature 'How That Got In there'"

“Xbox, NO! I’m sorry, I don’t know how that got in there.”
XBOX: “Now launching adult feature ‘How That Got In there'”

Xbox Also Does Games

After 500 words, it was finally time for some games. Developer EA took the stage and announced their same tired sports games, with the addition of the UFC title they gut-punched away from THQ, right before its demise. Microsoft and EA are pals, when it comes to hyping sports. That’s why they boasted “human like intelligence” for their games on Xbox One. None of that at Sony, was there? What sells more? Final Fantasy or FIFA? I know what I’d pick. There is even Xbox exclusive content for sports titles. I almost choked on my coffee, as I had missed a few words and thought FIFA would be an Xbox exclusive. I envisioned a world in turmoil, as the franchise is too large for itself to pull that off. It would be the strongest move in gaming ever though.

Forza is still shiny; next.

Scratch That: Xbox Does Exclusive Games

Remedy Games, of all people, were the only ones with a dedicated, new reveal on the show with something called Quantum Break. It looked dramatic, quite like their Alan Wake series, so remember the name and try not to confuse it with Quantum Leap. More importantly, Microsoft breezed past the fact that they’ll have 15 exclusive titles headed to Xbox One, with 8 new IPs coming in the first year. This is the thing that will win us over at E3. No need to see it; games are for E3. Knowing they’re on it should be good enough for now.

The Xbox One is a water cooler! It sure looks bulky enough, but they meant it as a metaphor. Bad timing, I guess. Then they dropped the Halo bomb and before knee-jerk reactions start: Steven Spielberg is involved and there will be an actual show as well. If anything can make detractors shut up, it’s the maker of countless classics. Personally, I don’t like Halo, but their later work has consistently been moving away from the frat boy mentality and into uncharted territory. That shows us that they know what they’re doing and even as a non-fan, credit must be given where due. Halo is the second best reveal of this event.


Call of Duty Is Becoming Better, Deal With It

If you didn’t like that, you’ll hate that they ended with Call of Duty Ghosts. You’ll hate it even more that they’re also expanding the franchise with great ideas here as well. Aside from a dog companion that’s sweeping the internet, personal customization and most importantly, dynamic maps are what the world has been waiting for. You’ll finally see change in Call of Duty. Now, if Pokémon does the same, the old generation can hang up their hats.

That’s it for the conference. While there are mixed thoughts woven within, there will undoubtedly be many more opinions surrounding its side content after the event. If you have any pressing comments to make, drop them here. It’s like a water cooler in here.


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