The wait is over, folks, as this morning (or afternoon if you are some East Coast heathen) Microsoft pulled the curtain away from the next iteration of their Xbox Entertainment Product. Let’s go over what happened at the event!
I had started this post earlier today before the event with those words and some excitement, but after watching the event and sighing several times, I am going to write a paragraph or two about all of the stuff Microsoft thinks you want, and then a few smaller paragraphs about the games that were talked about because that part of the event accounted for less time. This will all be pretty biased and in no way journalism.
The event started up like most pressers, where some a guy gets up on stage and recites some numbers to remind you how good they are doing. Unlike Sony a few weeks ago, they did show the console which is now a flat rectangular black box. The new Kinect now comes standard with each One, and the redesigned controller looks pretty similar to the 360 controller you know and love but with an actual D-Pad. Hooray!
Shortly after that is when things got…boring. The Kinect for Xbox One was shown, and it definitely can see more articulations of the human body with a 1080p camera. With that comes better voice integration. You can say things like, “Xbox On!” and the console will turn on, or “Xbox Internet Explorer!” for when you want to search the web on your console for some reason. There are three OSes in the box: the Xbox OS, Windows, and one to let those two things talk to each other. The Windows side lets you snap a sidebar (Windows 8 style) to the side of your screen so you can do two things at once like watch a movie and Skype because you want to not hear the movie or the person very well. Xbox One will allow you to surf TV through a channel guide you control with your voice and awkward Kinect hand gestures. Next, we learned that you can pin your fantasy football scores to the side of the screen while watching sports and talking to your friends about sports. If you like sports in your sports, you better get the Xbox One. At this point, I kind of blacked out for a bit until they actually showed a game.
Keeping with the sports, after thirty minutes the first games discussed were EA Sports titles (no surprise, really). NEWSFLASH: you can get all your Maddens and Fifas on the Xbox One. Now you can stop holding your breath. Forza 5 was shown after this. Cars definitely drove around some tracks and whatnot. Following the cars, a new title called Quantum Break was shown where a barge crashes through a bridge and (this part was shot on film, not ingame) a mother and daughter talk about…something. This is part of Microsoft’s goal to get more exclusive titles, and they say they have 15 in the works for the first year of Xbox One.
Speaking of games, let’s talk about TV some more! 343 Studios, makers of Halo, announced they would be making…wait for it…a Halo TV show! With Steven Spieldberg! And now back to games, which, of course, means sports. Microsoft is partnering with the NFL to allow to do things like see your fantasy football scores on your TV when you watch games. Woa reader, you might what to watch yourself because you almost fell off the edge of your seat! Right? RIGHT?! *Bro-five!*
Finally, a gentleman from Activision came on stage to talk about Call of Duty: Ghosts, a game about super elite forces doing super elite forces things, like shooting and being gruff. This game does have one thing going for it: a dog. A badass S.E.A.L. dog that looks badass. You absolutely know that this poor dog will get hurt or die, and it’ll be the only time you feel anything while playing this game. That’s just how these things work. Still, the dog is a cool idea, and the game does look very pretty. They compared it to the graphics of the last CoD title they made, and you can definitely see a difference.
And that was the show! The expectation here was not that Microsoft would show off a lot of games since E3 is in a couple of weeks, but they could have at least showed something. Yes, they did show something with EA Sports and Call of Duty, but all of what they displayed were little promo videos that don’t do much without any actual gameplay going on. Sony did the same thing for a bit, but then had a live demo of Killzone 4 on stage. That’s all we ask; just show something running. Even if it’s not that good, it’s more impressive than a promo reel.
Basically, this event boiled down to this sentence from a video where Xbox executives discuss the Xbox One:
“My experience is about communicating with my friends while watching TV while I might have music on at the same time I am playing a game.”
E3 is in 19 days. We will surely hear more about the Xbox One then!
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