News – Xbox One Revealed, 5/21/13

At least we got to see it.

At least we got to see it.

Introduction:

So, we have been waiting on this for quite a while. The last of the big three has decided to throw their next generation console into the fray.What is cool about this one? We got to see it. Take that Sony. Well, this job was a little too big for one person to handle. That is why this post will be written jointly by both Will and Duc from the sit. Enough of that, you guys want to see some videos from the reveal. Here you go.

That was a brief overview of the main plan for Xbox moving forward. Let’s go over some of these things really quickly. The first thing of note is that the console is becoming very involved in all sorts of media. You are allowed to transition directly between live television, your game, and web browsing. The concept is interesting, but it seems like a little much in all honestly. You can go from media to media through both voice and motion controls, but that may be the biggest issue. The sensitivity is nice, but it may be too nice if you are in the middle of a game or a TV show and you get interrupted by accidentally activating the controls. Turning it off and on to avoid this is a hassle because you would have to toggle it while predicting how much freedom you want at a specific time. Smart Glass seems to be their response to Nintendo’s Wii U. It will basically allow you to turn your iPhone, Android, tablet, or computer into the Wii U’s tablet controller. I don’t hate this because people have shown to enjoy this kind of thing. A lot of people love using their phones as a mouse as it is. The last big innovation that we will be talking about right now is the built-in DVR. This may seem like a direct attack on Nintendo’s anti let’s play policy, but this has been in the works for a while. It is honestly a brilliant idea because it makes capturing your gaming experience cheaper, faster, and better overall. The appearance of Barbara and Jack in the opening sequence for the reveal was proof enough that Microsoft wants to utilize the free advertisement that comes with the community. All in all, the only big issue that I have from these features would be the media shuffling. I just think that it is doing too much with technology that is trying to be too innovative. However, if the stuff works half as well as Microsoft claims, then this system makes the Wii U look like a GameCube.

General Specs

There is not much to say here before we get into things. We have next generations hardware and here is a quick run down of what we were shown.

Damn, this thing is a monster.

Damn, this thing is a monster.

System:

As we can see from these specs here, this system is going to be a high-speed monster.  Every single aspect shows that Microsoft wants this system to be top-notch in terms of loading and processing.  With such stats, I’d say this console will allow a ton of potential for games in terms of graphics and fluid gameplay.  The 8 GB of RAM and the built-in Blu-Ray Drive are also pretty important features to this new system.  The Blu-Ray Drive will certainly keep the Xbox One on par with the PS4 in terms of media needs, and is a huge improvement over the HD-DVD flop of the Xbox 360.  Another featured that isn’t mentioned in the specs is the inclusion of a dedicated DVR, which will allow you to record your own gameplay.  This feature works really well with the Cloud feature to save your awesome HD videos and share them with others.  The DVR will definitely be a handy feature, as people love to make vids of their gaming, and it really helps streamline the whole process.  Based on these specs, the expenses for the system are probably going to be pretty heavy.  The Xbox One definitely has the specs to trump average computers and could possibly compete with the high tier ones, plus it runs on Windows 8.  While the PS3 was much higher than the Xbox 360 on release, I’m afraid it could possibly be the other way around with all of Microsoft’s current plans for the Xbox One.  We’ll definitely have to wait and see what the future holds, but your wallets are probably hurting right now if you’re considering to pick up this bad boy.

I guess they don't want to cut ties with this thing.

I guess they don’t want to cut ties with this thing.

Kinect:

People who thought that the Kinect was just a gimmick were proven wrong. Even if I think that this isn’t the greatest idea. We are getting some top of the line specs with this bad boy. The camera and microphone are great. That is basically the best way to describe them. This bad boy is sensitive enough to interpret more conversational language and even monitor your heart rate based on images that it receives. Wii Fit has never looked so out dated. Unfortunately, I have a few issues with this. Unfortunately is a key word because those issues are a result of the very involved way in which they are trying to utilize the Kinect. I would have been very happy if they would have used this sensitivity to jump into the casual gaming market. Fitness and party games were the hot ticket for the Wii and the increased sensitivity is great for pushing into the market. However, I think that the frustrating issue that was stated above will kill the opinion regarding what I think is an otherwise great piece of technology. The good thing is that this comes standard with the system. However, that could really jack up the price. Once again, the Kinect seems like it is great for casual gamers and a forced expense for people who would otherwise not use it could cause some major backlash. I know that I don’t need one and a lot of people out there feel the same way.

Not much change here.

Not much change here.

Controller:

In terms of aesthetics, there’s not much to say here, other than it’s essentially the same as the 360 controller.  Although the aesthetics and layout have been preserved, as highly demanded, it has also been promised that the precision and performance will be significantly improved.  One feature that I am glad they addressed is the awful D-pad of the 360 controller.  I thought that the 360′s D-pad was a huge pain as it was poorly designed and completely lacked the accuracy needed for many games, such as those awesome fighters and Halo 4 when I wanted to choose my ordinance.  Luckily, the Xbox One controller is supposed to have much more precise D-pads and will fix all of the issues from the past controller.  Other than the improved D-pad, it seems that they’re maintaining a decent wireless connection and integrating rechargeable batteries, which is a great addition to save us a bit of cash in the long run.  Overall, I’d say the Xbox One’s controllers are looking good and will contribute positively to the system.

Games?

What do we know about the games that are coming out for the Xbox One? There is one game slated to come out with the release of the system. Well, that seems horrible. What happened to the days when games came out and made you want to buy a system? We saw this with the 3DS, PS Vita, and Wii U launches. The PS4 might not even get a solid starting library. That really disappoints me. What is there to look forward to? Fifteen exclusive games, including eight new franchises, will be released in the first year of the system’s life. Looks like I won’t need one for about a year. Oh well, let’s look at what we actually got to see on the gaming front.

Call of Duty Ghosts

Here is a game that is successful even though there has been a lot of mixed opinion regarding the franchise. A major complaint regarding Call of Duty is a lack of attention to the story mode. Most people buy the game simply for the multiplayer. Well, that seems to have changed. Stephen Gaghan was brought in to write what seems like an actual story. America was hit hard and we are no longer a power player in the world. Thus, our military must operate with more stealth in order to regain control. Things seem great story wise and that is not all. The graphics look amazing, the new weapons are sure to wow the fans, and the dynamic maps are a great next step. That is right, we are getting dynamic maps. Environments change and traps can be set. The game looks great, but there was neither real gameplay nor a release date announced for the new Call of Duty. What happened to getting games when the system gets released?

EA: Fifa 14, Madden 25, NBA Live 14, and UFC

EA decided to put on their LeBron head bands to announce not one, not two, not three, but four new titles that are in the works for the Xbox One. It seemed like it was time to show off what EA has going on because they spent a lot of time talking about their new engine. EA Ignite is meant to go deeper into what really matters when you are playing a game. The mental side of the game was explained by five of the world’s greatest athletes. Jon Jones, Robert Griffin III, Lionel Messi, Kyrie Irving, and Anthony Pettis were part of the video that showed off the best graphics that I have ever seen in a sports game.However, trying to dive into a broader view and everything may make things a little too complex. Characters are already really small when you play Madden and I don’t know how they are going to broaden your view and keep things playable. This has me excited because I love sports, but things may not be going too well for EA. The biggest advantage that third-party developers have is the ability to market their gamers to people regardless of their system of choice. However, EA has chosen to make the Ultimate Team feature in Fifa 14 an Xbox One exclusive. That has backlash written all over it. You just angered Sony and Nintendo fans that won’t shell out for multiple systems and you probably cost yourselves some serious cash. Also, these games are slated to come out within the next twelve months. More promised games that we won’t see for a while.

Forza 5

The only game guaranteed to be released with the launch of the system.  Well, if you watch the short trailer that was released today, Forza 5 seems to be very promising in terms of aesthetics as the cars simply look amazing.  Despite this, I must say that it is just a racing game, and will not represent the system very well.  When I think of racing, I personally think of high-speed gameplay over graphics.  I can’t really judge this game yet, as we only have the trailer and haven’t seen actual gameplay.  What I can say is that I am severely disappointed that it is the only game currently concrete in terms of release for the system.  I’m sure this game can make great use of the Xbox One’s amazing specs, but honestly there’s not much to say other than it being a racing game.  Right now, I don’t really see it as a true flagship game for the console, as it feels like it’s just riding the hype that the Xbox One is trying to generate.  In the end, I hope that some more solid games are announced to be released at the system’s launch.  Otherwise, the Xbox One is bound to have a very rough start upon release.

Quantum Break

From the trailer, the first thing you’d notice is that they’re trying to integrate live action into this game.  While this is certainly a fresh take in modern gaming, it seems more like a gimmick than anything.  The live action may be pleasing to some gamers, but honestly it won’t do justice to the system.  From the specs, we can tell that the Xbox One will be a powerhouse in terms of graphics.  If the developers truly wanted to show off the graphics capabilities of the system, just do that and not bother with the live action.  I feel like the live action is just another way to streamline media for the Xbox One, by including movies within the gameplay.  While I can’t say the concepts presented in the trailer for this game aren’t intriguing, it’s not going to be a good system-seller as it doesn’t exactly show off the full potential of the system.  I also can’t judge this game too much until more information is released, but I must say that it isn’t totally amazing and is not impressing me at all really.

Completely New Stuff

Fun technology and new graphics for your games are great, but Microsoft thinks that we need more. That more seems to getting a little crazy. We have a gaming system that has assimilated the technology around it like it is Braniac and we have encountered some major land mines. What do I mean by land mines? Well, a few of our fears may have become a reality. Let’s get right into the fun stuff.

Integrated Media

Another interesting thing presented in the revelation of the Xbox One is the creation of a Halo TV series, by Steven Spielberg and 343 Industries.  While not much information was given about this new TV series, word has spread that there could be other Xbox One media exclusives in the near future, much like how Netflix has some of its own exclusives.  One more interesting feature that I should mention is the integration of fantasy football updates and live sports.  While this feature can be somewhat useful for many gamers and sports fans, it isn’t exactly a necessity for the system.  The integration of various media in the Xbox One shows us that Microsoft is really trying make a selling point out of the streamlining of different media.  As we have seen in recent years, Microsoft has been really dropping the ball with a lot of their new products and the Xbox has essentially been their major saving grace.  It was actually the only profitable facet of the company for quite a while.  With this, Microsoft is basically putting all of their eggs in one basket by relying solely on the success of the Xbox One to turn themselves around.  Unfortunately, they are doing way too much and putting an excessive amount of emphasis on the media aspects of their gaming console.

"Did I forget to mention something?"

“Did I forget to mention something?”

Dick Moves:

Yes, you did forget to mention something. You should only talk about the fun things when you are having a live reveal. Well, there are two things that we needed to know about, but were only made aware of after they could hide away until E3. Kotaku was nice enough to give us a head’s up regarding the fact that you must purchase a game in order to use it on your console. Does that not sound bad enough? Well, it means that you can’t simply lend games to your friends or hand stuff over to GameStop. You must use Xbox as a middle man that allows you to sell the rights to your games. I didn’t think that we were going to have this problem, but it looks like a big stone has been thrown at the used gaming industry. Things could be worse, but this is still pretty bad. The other bothersome thing is the constantly online thing. We may have avoided that bomb, but we are not out of the water yet. Apparently, you must connect to the internet at least once a day in order to use your Xbox One. That is even necessary if you plan to only use the system in its offline mode. Well, looks like you need reliable internet or you are stuck in the cold. Way to go Microsoft. Not only did you refuse to let go of the two things that your fans begged you not to do, but you didn’t even have the balls to announce them at your big reveal. Looks like a questionable skill set for your console and a lack of release games aren’t the only worries for Xbox moving forward.

Final Say

Let’s admit it, this seems pretty crazy. A convoluted operating system, only one confirmed release game, a focus that is spread too thin, and two bad moves seem to be a lot of issues for one system to handle. We haven’t even hit E3 yet. Did we mention that the system is set to come out before the end of the year? Well, it is and that is scary. There are some good things going on and some bad things going on. Unfortunately, one drop of oil can contaminate one million drops of water. We will be looking at the negative for a while and it may take the system some time to recover. Ask Nintendo how that feels. Honestly, I hope that the online and used game controversies can get sorted out because they may really hurt Microsoft in the long run. Oh well, Bill Gates just needs to remind Apple that he did them a solid in the past and a favor may need returning.

Let's see what happens.

Let’s see what happens.

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