Microsoft’s foray into the 8th generation of games consoles was finally revealed Tuesday. In a packed out room on Microsoft’s Redmond campus in Washington, Technology journalists whooped and cheered as the “X BOX One” was shown off for the very first time. We were told it will ‘change everything’ and ‘revolutionise it’s users ‘lifestyles’ by integrating the cloud, voice control and gesture technology into a simple intuitive machine. But what do we really know about this multimedia mammoth and what can we expect come the ‘Q4 1013’ release date?
The ambition here is clear. Bring everything together in one box under your television. Gaming, video and music on-demand, live TV, web chat, internet browsing and dedicated apps, all together with on the fly switching in your living room. Also announced is a deal cut with the NFL (and other sports bodies around the world, TBC) to integrate coverage with apps such as Fantasy Football and stat trackers, allowing you manage your team or check players’ records while watching the big game. And to top that, Steven Spielberg is directing a Halo television series exclusively watchable on Xbox One.
Component wise, it matches up to the PS4’s specs with 8GB DDR RAM, 8 Core AMD CPU and a Blu-Ray optical drive. Kinects back with better voice control and a higher res camera. The controller has been tweaked, fitted with a brand new dpad, ‘pulse triggers’ and slimmer battery pack. HDMI in and out, internal capture tech to show off to your friends and 3 USB 3.0 ports round off what is nice looking bit of kit.
All sounds great so far right? But your probably asking yourself the same questions as me, where the games at? And that’s where I’m concerned. We didn’t really see any games, and what we did see, we already knew about. FIFA, Madden, Forza and Call of Duty, as expected, were shown off to the crowd, and apart from a confusing sneak peek at futuristic action adventure Quantum Break, I was left feeling pretty disappointed. While I am sure there is more to come at E3 in a few weeks’ time, it really seems like this console isn’t made for me.
What is there here for the ‘Hardcore’ gamer? Fifteen exclusives have been promised for the first year, two of which we know, Quantum Break and Forza, and a few more we can guess; Halo, Gears, Fable and the likes, all of which are never really exclusive because they always get a PC release eventually. Xbox Live is probably the main draw, it has always been vastly superior to the PSN, but surely this time around Sony won’t be far behind. With all this talk of TV, Sports, TV, Skype, TV, FIFA/Madden, Call of Duty and TV, Xbox One seems more like a ‘BroBox’.
All of this fancy tech sounds great and I’m sure I would get some use out of it but I still feel that this showing wasn’t really for me. At heart I’m a gamer, and if all I’m going to get on launch day is Call of Duty and the usual EA Sports suspects, my money is with Sony. E3 may prove me wrong, but I’m not going to hold my breath.