Microsoft’s Next Generation Reveal – The Xbox One

Earlier today Microsoft held a press conference to reveal their next generation console – The Xbox One. During this reveal, speakers discussed the very basics of the Xbox One and what games it will feature, promising to offer more information at E3. In this post I will basically recap the event basics and then discuss my thoughts on the big reveal with you. Let’s get started with the console itself:

XboxOne

Source: laughingsquid.com

Microsoft started off the conference with Don Mattrick, Xbox President, taking the stage. He set the scene for the console by recapping the history of the Xbox console and showing the leaps forward that the company has taken. Bringing up Xbox Live and the Kinect as well as how they want to “evolve” and stay “looking forward”. After his speech  he revealed that the next generation Microsoft console would is titled Xbox One.

Source: Yahoo News

Source: Yahoo News

They then proceeded to show a computer animated showcase of the console, the controller, and the Kinect up close and personal. After the video, and actual Xbox One with Kinect and controller was brought to the stage and remained there throughout the conference. Mattrick introduced Yusuf Mehdi, Senior Vice President of the Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft Corp., who came out to talk about the system’s interface. He showed off how the Kinect and the console work together with your television and smart devices for an “all in one experience”. Mehdi showed the dashboard of the Xbox One as well as how the Kinect will be a mandatory peripheral which will help users to switch inputs simply by saying a set of words. The Xbox One can switch between games, the dashboard, television, and more. It also knows your voice and signs you in automatically upon telling the Xbox to turn on.

Some of the new features to the dashboard include the “Trending” tab which will show users what their friends are playing or watching. The “instant switching” feature works on every app the console will offer. Users can switch from a game to a movie to a music app just by saying a few words. The Xbox One can also multitask with the “snap mode” feature, a feature that allows multiple programs and apps to run at the same time without any lag or slow down. New gestures have also been added so that moving around the dashboard can be as simple as moving your hands around. Those of you that use Skype will be happy to know that the Xbox One supports Skype video chat through the Kinect and users can video chat while doing anything else on the console, even while playing games. The “interactive TV” feature is said to bring the television experience right to the console, thus embodying the “all in one” slogan.

Next on the stage was Marc Whitten, Corporate Vice President, Xbox LIVE at Microsoft Corporation, who talked briefly about the hardware of the Xbox One. Whitten described the connection to Cloud storage system and smart devices. He mentioned some of the specs and features such Blu-ray capability. He also mentioned that with game development the creators will have no restrictions and that the console is “flexible, powerful, simple.”

Source: IGN

Source: IGN

Whitten also talked about the controller and how it is re-imagined updated. The Kinect is also undergoing an update allowing it to do much more that it was previously capable of doing, including a new sensor and camera. He mentioned the Smart Glass app and it’s connectivity to the Xbox One as well as the fact that this console is “anchored by the Kinect”.

Source: joystiq.com

Source: joystiq.com

Source: joystiq.com

Source: joystiq.com

Xbox Live was briefly mentioned, they stated that it was based on the same membership that users already have, but not much more was said. There was also a short mention of being able to record and share from the system itself, but again they didn’t go into much detail.

At this point in the conference the game developers and publishers took the stage to show off some of the games the Xbox One will offer. First up was EA’s Andrew Wilson with EA Sports games. EA has partnered with Microsoft and will be released 4 next-gen sports titles on the Xbox One: FIFA, UFC, NBA Live, and Madden Football. Wilson also brought up the new EA Sports game engine called “Ignite” and showed off some of its capabilities.

Next was Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, with some information about what Microsoft Studios will bring to next-gen. He mentioned that the focus is on storytelling, player immersion, and personal features and that we can expect new and innovative games in the future. Me briefly mentioned Forza 5 as a launch title for the Xbox One then brought a new IP from Remedy to our attention: Quantum Break. A short trailer for the game was shown, but no solid details as far as story line or gameplay were given. Spencer did say, however, that 15 new exclusive titles will be coming to the Xbox One next year and 8 of those will be brand new franchises.

Nancy Tellem from Xbox Entertainment Studios took the stage next to talk about how the TV on the Xbox One will immerse users in a new way. She brought Bonnie Ross, General Manager of 343 Industries, on the stage to announce a live action Halo television series and a partnership of some sort with Steven Spielberg.

XboxOne5

Ross left the stage to Tellem to discuss a “game changing partnership” with NFL on the Xbox One television. As a wrap up they discussed the Xbox One as an “all in one system for the living room” and that more will be announced and revealed at E3 this year. The last bit of the conference was dedicated to Call of Duty: Ghosts and the stage was given to Eric Hirchberg of Activision. He described Ghosts to have an all new interactive experience with new characters, story, and dynamics. A video came on-screen of the Infinity Ward studios as the developers working on the game discussed its new features and showed off small amounts of gameplay and features. There is said to be a new story, new world, a dog squadmate, and even a brand new game engine.

That was the end of the conference, it lasted a little over an hour and made sure as a whole to point out that more would be shown at E3. For more information, visit Xbox.com and see the Xbox One in more detail.

My Thoughts:

I’m going to keep this short and sweet: I was disappointed. It’s ok though, I expected to be, but in all honestly I was way more disappointed than I expected. I was irritated that they didn’t go into much detail about the system itself and the hardware other that what it looks like and the basic things it does. They spent a lot of time talking about the Kinect and the fact that you can now watch TV on your Xbox, which is annoying since I don’t want a mandatory Kinect and I can watch TV now without having to buy a console.

Also, let me just come right out and say it, where were the games? They showed off some EA Sports games, a new Forza, an IP that was barely shown, and then CoD Ghosts. I expected 3 out of 4 of those and the one I didn’t see coming was the one they talked the least about. They spent more time talking about watching sports on the Xbox One than they did about playing games on it. This is a video game console, right? It seems like they should have just waited until E3 to announce the console since apparently we aren’t even going to see anything substantial until that point.

There was nothing said that made me want a Xbox One over a PS4, so I will stick to purchasing a PS4 this year and then picking up the Xbox One sometime early next year. I just found this whole thing to be a big let down, since I personally hate watching sports and playing sports games and do not like the Kinect. I was interested in the Halo live action television series, but they barely said anything about it so whatever. I guess time will tell if this will be a console worth picking up at all. Here’s hoping Microsoft is less of a disappointment at E3.

6 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Next Generation Reveal – The Xbox One

  1. I’m with you. Sony might as well go ahead and take my money. Will definitely pre-order PS4 as soon as Amazon begins taking them.

    Microsoft did themselves no favors with me today. It was already going to take a lot for them to make me choose Xbox One over PS4, and they didn’t even begin to make a dent in making me reconsider.

    I’ll see what they announce at E3. It’s not like they typically have a good E3 presser, this thing today actually seemed like something they’d do at E3, but hopefully they’ll focus on the games at E3. 15 exclusives in the first year, eight of which being new IPs, makes me take notice. Hopefully they talk about all of those, although I’ll quickly lose interest if its a bunch of Kinect games.

    I went with the original Xbox over PS2, but have been a PS3 guy this gen. Right now, Sony is saying “hey, we want you to play great games” and Microsoft is saying “want to watch TV?”.

    Like

    • My sentiments exactly. I didn’t expect them to make me want an Xbox One over a PS4, but I did expect them to make me want it at some point and they have yet to do that.

      I think they could have done a lot better, maybe by not focusing so much on the TV and sports aspects since it’s a gaming console. Or by talking more about the hardware and features like Xbox Live.

      I figure that most of those exclusives will be heavy on the Kinect, which would turn me off completely. I hope I’m wrong, but we will just have to see.

      I’ve been the opposite. I went PS2 over Xbox then Xbox 360 over PS3. Next gen will be me going back to my Sony fangirl roots. I don’t care for the Kinect or the fact that I can watch TV on a console when I can already watch it on the TV… And on top of that, I don’t even watch TV other than FRIENDS re-runs before going to sleep so I doubt I’d ever even use that feature. I don’t have time for TV, I like to play games in my free time.

      Like

  2. It’s disappointing that it turned out to be exactly what I’ve come to expect from them. They’ve been transitioning the Xbox 360 into an all-in-one entertainment device for the past couple of years so it didn’t surprise me that they’re marketing the new console as such. It felt like a retelling of last year’s E3 conference.

    It’s interesting to see the difference in approach MS and Sony are taking with their consoles’ marketing. MS wants to be seen as the one-stop entertainment machine. Whereas Sony’s message was all about gaming. I like Sony’s message, but I’m more than a little biased. I buy these machines for games primarily.

    As a gamer, most of the features MS spoke of today didn’t interest me. Voice command isn’t new or exciting, so I don’t know why they made it a focal point. The Kinect as a whole hasn’t appealed to me. The new multitasking capabilities were the coolest feature shown.

    I wasn’t able to watch the live stream so thank you for the recap. It’s still too early to tell which console I’ll pick-up first. At this moment it’s looking like the PS4. I would like to see a lot more of these 15 exclusives MS mentioned at E3.

    Like

    • I agree that their marketing strategy is odd from a gamer’s perspective. I said in a previous reply in this post that I don’t even watch television, so that whole “watch sport and crap whenever you want while playing a game” doesn’t appeal to me. I guess it’s cool for big sports fans and TV watchers, but not for me – a gamer.

      I too found Sony’s message to be much more appealing, after all it’s a gaming console so I would like to play games on it. I think Microsoft is trying to appeal to some kind of broader audience (which is typical for them) but it doesn’t make sense for gamers.

      I also dislike the Kinect business, I don’t have one now for a reason. I just think that whole thing is pointless and annoying. Funny thing is, I am considering getting a PS Move. I too want to see more on these 15 exclusives, but I again I have the feeling I will be disappointed. Here’s hoping for a good E3 and PS4 here I come!

      Like

      • Microsoft just has a very muddled message when it comes to their future as a gaming console. I hope they can clear things up when E3 comes around. All the elements are there for it to be a great gaming system. I really like the new controller. The sticks look slick, the D-Pad seems to be improved, and the new force feedback system sounds interesting. And I hate the Kinect but that demo where it was able to measure your heart rate by the pigmentation changes in your face was some sort of technological voodoo.

        E3 is going to be exciting. It’ll be a showdown between Microsoft and Sony.

        Like

  3. Pingback: Community Spotlight – Recommended Reading 5/23/2013 (Xbox One Edition) – The Vortex Effect

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s