Microsoft has come a long way since the days of the original Xbox. Back then, we were just waiting for them to get smacked around a bit before bowing out to the then big boys Nintendo and Sony. As most things go, that didn't actually happen. Instead, they caught a daydreaming Sony and an otherwise invested Nintendo by surprise and delivered the most complete console of this generation, just as Sony had previously with the PS2.
Now as history shows, the third console tends to have issues, whether that's from not doing enough as with Nintendo's Gamecube, or by promising and trying to do too much, as with Sony's PS3. Where Microsoft will sit after everything is done is anyone's guess, but at least from this early reveal it seems much more grounded than the PS4 or the Wii U. More evolutionary than revolutionary. With all that said, let's take a look at what we know about the Xbox One.
The professional and sleek styling is a good fit for this machine. It looks nice on a shelf, but doesn't immediately scream "LOOK AT ME! HEY! I'M HERE! PIZZA!" It houses an AMD based CPU, 8GB of RAM, and will have a 500GB hard drive built in. It also has a Blu Ray drive right out of the box, which is a long time coming. Peep some additional specs below.
If it's not broke don't fix it comes to mind here, but there are a few tweaks. The overall shape is a bit more angled and less bulky. The triggers and bumpers have been reshaped just a bit, and the sticks have a rim around them that should help with grip. The D-pad looks improved, but I won't know for sure until I get my hands on it.
The Kinect comes with a big upgrade to its depth sensor (now 250,000 pixels) and its camera, which is now 1080p. While the demonstration of switching between inputs seamlessly was impressive (using the built in mic), the gestures are still wait and see. I love the idea of it, don't get me wrong, but after having a Kinect previously, they'll have to really prove to me that it will handle that type of task in an everyday living room setting and not just in an intricately organized presentation hall.
None. Well except for EA announcing their sports titles are coming to the system and that Infinity Ward's COD: Ghosts (which does look nice btw). The presentation seemed to get flack on Twitter for not having more games. However, with E3 being just under a month away, who really thought they were going to reveal them? I didn't mind this approach, but I guess there is no pleasing us really. Sony debuted multiple games at their presentation, yet all I heard then was disappointment about which games and how many. See a trend? Let's move on.
The first third of the presentation focused on how Xbox will work with live TV as well as with music, apps, internet, etc, etc. Some people liked that. Some people didn't. For my piece, here is what I will say (though you probably already saw this on my Twitter feed this morning): Consoles are not only for games anymore, and there is a specific reason why. The core gamer isn't 18 to 25 anymore. The audience changed, and so must technology with it. The core gamer is now 28 to 30, and to justify a $400 to $500 price tag your machine better do more than just play games, plain and simple. The days of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo are gone. My 360 is a hub for my entertainment, and for many I know the PS3 is theirs. I play games all the time, but I also utilize it for Netflix, VEVO (leave me alone, I have to get my Rihanna and Ne-Yo fix somewhere), IGN, and Machinima Apps, Party Chat with friends, and soon with Skype. It is the center of my living room, which is how I can justify spending such an exorbitant amount of money on one item. The core gamer is an adult now, and I want a machine that can keep up with my multitasking lifestyle.
It's come a long way
To sum up, I was impressed, and while more features and revisions will be announced at E3 and beyond until it releases sometime this year, I can say I don't get the uneasy sense I got with the PS3 back in the day. I think for once the third console-itis that hit Sony and Nintendo so hard won't be so bad with Xbox. Then again, there is plenty of time left, so I guess we'll see.
What did you think of the reveal? Let us know! Also peep some extra pics below, and special thanks to Wired for the great photos.