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XBOX One: The Next Generation

December 2, 2013
Actually impressive considering how heavy the box is.
Actually impressive considering how heavy the box is.

I’ve just chosen this title thinking it was really clever and witty. The problem is that I know nothing about Star Trek and as a result, unqualified to make any metaphors that tie in to that situation where a follow up to an incredibly successful idea is given a huge amount of hype and no one knows if it will sink or swim. Hey look, I did it anyway. Good job unfiltered stream of consciousness. We fluked it, again.
This week is of course the first week of next generation gaming in the UK and the first time that I was in a position to experience it first hand in the comfort of my own house. I’ve had many consoles in the past but always a year or four after it’s been released due to interest levels in my brain or bank account. This time was different, I started saving as soon as the consoles were released. My normally empty spare account was filling up with untouched money to the point that the people in my bank would actually start smiling at me. Then last week I had to take out some of that money and walk nervously over to my local GAME shop to pre purchase. The agony of seeing my console and games scanned right in front of me and then put aside for the next night was almost too much to take. I left and tried to concentrate on other things like work, sleep and walking. All three things were affected until the next night.

He better have paid for that.
He better have paid for that.

I decided to go to the midnight launch of this console, only my second midnight launch after Modern Warfare 3 a couple of years before. I was prepared this time. I took my Vita, my Netbook and most importantly, a foldable camping chair. Due to my rapidly increasing age the thought of standing up for over two hours did its bit to dampen my excitement. After picking up my chair, my entertainment and as many layers that I could manage without looking like someone had decided to dye a snowman with beetroot juice, I set off to join the hopefully not too long line to settle in for two and a half hours of nervous waiting, fully expecting my excited jitters to mix with the shivering to keep me alive during the fast approaching English winter. I arrived and there were literally six people in the line. That number didn’t change till about 11:30 and I felt a little annoyed till I realised the person first in line had arrived at 16:30. In the end he had spent five and a half hours longer in line then me in order to pick up his console a whole three minutes before me.
If you haven’t experienced a midnight launch before I definitely recommend it. You are surrounded by people who have a tonne in common with you and you’ll find a little community of dedicated gamers who spend way more hours playing than you do. You’ll never run out of anything to say as long as you don’t start a Sony vs Microsoft debate. I mistakenly pulled out my Vita (Not a euphemism) during the last hour of waiting to keep my over excited but sleep deprived brain from shutting down, only to hear comments taking the piss out of my hand held games console that’s full to the brim with free games thanks to PS+. It’s a bit like taking the piss out of someone’s amazing and economical car that they got for free while you walk to work like a peasant.
So to my first impressions of the first gateway into this new generation of gaming. It’s brilliant. I don’t know whether I just have a very clear speaking voice, but the kinect works very well when I can remember the proper command to give it. It would be nice if it could just understand the short hand for games that I want to play but expecting it to know what Deadery Risingly threedidly dee means is asking a bit much. I picked up Dead Rising 3 and Killer instinct along with my free-for-Europeans copy of Fifa 14. I downloaded every possible app and demo that I could and I haven’t found anything to complain about.

Look at how mean she is.
Look at how mean she is.

Actually I have. The fitness app is mean. It tells you off for not trying hard enough which is preferable to an actual person doing it but has the drawback of never forgetting the score that you posted on your first attempt with the camera positioned wrongly and before you’d put on appropriate exercise clothing.
Dead Rising is a tonne of fun due to its addictive collectibles-that-actually-improve-your-experience mechanic. Killer Instinct is everything I’d hoped it would be so far with a net code that may make me a believer in the cloud if it’s an example of how good online play can be.

Now I’ve just got to get my bag packed again for the other launch. Might take a hot water bottle this time.

XBL, PSN and Twitter @Urbundave


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