Xbox One Revealed... Everything but Games
Microsoft just finished with the much anticipated press conference to reveal their participant in the next generation of console gaming. Named the Xbox One (your guess is as good as mine as to why this name was chosen), Microsoft featured a slew of features intended to transform your media rack into an all-in-one entertainment platform.
To start, here are the things showcased in this press conference that are irrelevant to the Xbox One:
1. EA's press conference within a press conference
Microsoft allowed EA to turn their console reveal into a tech demo for the new generation versions of Madden, FIFA, and UFC. While informative if these are titles that you buy every year, it was out of place in this whole event--as EA did not talk about how these games will be unique on the Xbox One.
2. Activision's press conference within a press conference
As EA showcased their premier franchises towards the beginning of the show, Activision premiered footage of their upcoming installment in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Ghost. While they at least affirmed that Call of Duty's DLC will remain exclusive to Xbox Live, like the EA press conference, this felt out of place and irrelevant to the press conference as a whole.
Microsoft did show off some actual features of the Xbox One that gamers and non-gamers alike should be interested in. The Xbox One is shipping to every consumer with the Kinect 2.0. The Kinect will now be mandatory on all home consoles, and seems to be an integral part of the dashboard navigation system. Microsoft representatives showed off the seamless transitions between playing a game, listening to music, and watching cable television--yes, cable television subscription will now be available through Xbox Live. All of these transitions were done through voice commands and was rather impressive, if it was actually live and not pre-recorded. Combined with the new Skype functionality of the Xbox One, it should open up new ways to interact with friends and games alike.
The Xbox One will also be navigable, to some extent, with the use of the Smartglass app. They did show off the ability to navigate through your cable menu with the use of your tablet device.
Where the show was lacking was with any actual Xbox exclusive games. Other than the EA and Activition shows, the only games mentioned during the press conference were the next installment in Forza and the new game Quantic Break, each only being shown as impressively rendered cut scenes. Microsoft did tease that there will be fifteen Xbox One exclusives released within the first year of the consoles debut, eight of which will be new IP's--here's hoping that not many of those will be kinect titles, though. It seems that we will have to wait until E3 for any real news from the gaming side of the console.
Thankfully for gamers, Microsoft has announced that the console will not be always online, as were the rumors in the months leading up to this announcement. However, there will be some form of restriction on used games on this platform.