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Xbox One reveal and why they don’t care about Sony.

May 22, 2013

Yesterday evening (UK time) we got to hear about the new XBOX finally after what’s seemed like months since Sony showed a little bit of what to expect with the PS4. I wrote about what I was hoping to see after the event and I thought it would make sense to go through my check list and see if my prayers had been listened to.

1. Don’t call it the 720 or Durango. I actually said that I would have preferred them to just call it XBOX or something simple. I think I was pretty close and that particular wish came true. XBOX One is very simple, it doesn’t need explaining to people and can easily be shortened to “One”, “The One” or even XO.
Also well done to Microsoft for keeping the name a secret. Whether infinity was ever a name or just a smoke screen, keeping something secret in this day an age is very impressive.

2.Either stop charging for XBL or start offering more.

Not answered and barely talked about. There will be more servers, offers more stable matchmaking etc. I really hope Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels here by just assuming a slightly better service is enough for consumers to decide on an XBL membership over the PSN alternative. At the moment I’ve not been playing as much online as before and I should test the Playstation out more extensively, however on the occasions that I have the XBOX comes out superior in every way. I stand by my statement that Sony will rectify this by the time the PS4 come out. If that’s the case then the monthly games you receive with the PSN membership will clearly make it the better choice.

3.Either stop with the Kinect or make it possible for everyone to use.
Again not really answered. We’ve been told that it is a better Kinect and every XBOX One will come with a Kinect as standard. Hopefully this means that it will need less space to be usable. If it works as quickly as it did in the show then I will be happy. If the screen was actually being controlled by someone in the back of the show or worse, it was all prerecorded then Kinect will become ignored again.

4. Show us the machine.

That they did and my thoughts went something like this
“That looks huge and boring”
“I like the vents at different angles splitting the finish of the machine”
“I like the silver looking XBOX symbol”
“That will look cool in my living room”

I hated and loved it within about a minute. I like the edgy look. It’s not completely out there and weird and colourful and that’s a good thing. It has to stand out but it also has to blend into an adult living room because that’s who it’s aimed at.
The controller looks mostly the same with some minor changes and that’s absolutely correct. The 360 controller is almost perfect. Maybe the One’s controller will be absolutely perfect. I actually let out an “Ohhhhhhh” when I saw the textured thumb sticks.
The Kinect looks sleeker. As long as it comes with a decent way to attach to my TV I’m happy. I’ve seen people complaining about the Kinect watching you even if you’re not on the XBOX and sending those images somewhere due to it always being online. Just turn it off at the plug. I do that every night anyway in order to save electricity. It really isn’t a problem. Plus stop being so paranoid.

5.Let us hold onto our XBL purchases. 
It looks like achievements are carrying over, thank god. Seriously if this wasn’t the case I would freak out. Nothing about previous purchases. If you’re bringing usernames and achievements and profile details then the purchase history should follow. If you’re going to keep the same XBL Arcade catalogue I don’t want to have to buy the games I’ve already payed for again just to play them on the new system. In fact it would add a reason to buy the new machine at launch as not only would you have a couple of launch titles to play but also your XBL purchases that you can download again.

6. Put a Blu ray player in it.
For it to still offer physical media to play it HAD to go this way. Well actually it didn’t. They could have gone back to using cartridges. Given the fact you can buy USB keys which hold 64 gig of data they could have gone that way. It’s more expensive but actually better for the machine as it uses less moving parts.
Thy need to keep costs down though so discs are the way forward and unless they wanted every game to come on multiple discs, Blu ray was the only option.
I am interested to see how the extra functionality of Blu ray mixed with the multi tasking features that have been shown off will expand the viewing experience on the XBOX One.

7.Try to not let a RROD incident take away from the launch.
We’ll just have to wait and see. I really hope they have “obsessed about every decision” like they said during the tech part of the show.

8.Make it quieter.
“Whisper quiet” was used to describe it and that’s all I wanted. My 360 is getting so bloody loud now that it’s putting me off of using it. I have smashed it with games to be honest so I won’t complain too much. It will be nice to have a helicopterless living room when I get the new one.

My overall thoughts are that I wasn’t massively impressed with the announcement. I liked that they showed us the console and controller. I liked the TV integration as it was the only thing about the wii u that I liked and this means I definitely don’t need to buy the wii u. The quick switching between media was also impressive as long at that’s the actual experience we’ll have.
The NFL and NBA integration was also very interesting. The only problem being that unless that translates to Premiership football, Cricket and Rugby in the UK then no one outside of America will care. This is also the case with the TV aspect. Does SKY TV have the same deal in the UK? Does Virgin Media?
Then there are the games. I like that there will be 15 exclusive games coming out for the One during the first year of release, seven of which are original IP’s. Only knowing the names of two of them is a bit weak. On top of the new Forza game and Quantum break there will obviously be new Gears of war and Halo releases. I hope the rest of the exclusives aren’t just smaller XBL releases.
I get the feeling after watching both presentations that Sony felt they had to prove that they would have games coming out for the system and that it wasn’t such a bitch to build on anymore. While Microsoft took it for granted that everyone would just say “Well the XBOX has had a great record with games in the past so let’s just just trust them” Unfortunately the INTERNET needs all information right away and any gaps are filled with hate and cynicism.
I do think that Microsoft knows who its competitor is going into the future and it’s not Sony. It’s Apple (I really hope you didn’t think I was going to say Nintendo). Apple products sell incredibly well and already does the kind of thing that the Xbox One will do. Once the quality of games reaches PS4 and One standards then both companies are in trouble. The focus on everything as well as games is to try and get in front of that competition before it happens.
I’m going to wait until E3 to hear more from both camps about their new consoles. I’ll then take that information, carefully consider it, then purchase both consoles on day one anyway. Unless they come out on the same day. While that would be incredible to watch as a bystander and really give an impression of who had the better launch, I don’t have enough money to spend close to £1000 in one day. 

XBL, PSN and Twitter @Urbundave


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