May 22, 2013
Microsoft Unveils the "Xbox One"
This is it, folks! Microsoft has officially unveiled the... "Xbox One"?
Okay, ridiculous name aside (I think "Xbox 720" would've been a much better choice), we finally have more information on the new Xbox that will be coming out later this year. And there's a lot of stuff to talk about here (both good and bad).
Let's talk about the good stuff first:
Right off the bat, just take a second and LOOK at that thing! The console's overall design looks rather simplified, but also downright sleek and sexy! (Don't you tell me that a piece of hardware can't look sexy. Just go ahead and make your "SexBox" jokes, see if I care.)
The internal components of the system have gotten a complete overhaul, and now sport features that include: an 8-core CPU, 8GB of system memory, a 500GB hard drive (the hard drive will also function as a game DVR to save and upload game video and content), a Blu-ray drive, and pass-through HDMI (which will allow you to connect a cable box or satellite directly to the system)!
The Xbox One is intended to be an "all-in-one home entertainment system", and will feature several nifty new features. Some of these features include: an internet browser, support for Skype (with full 1080p HD video chat), and support for live television!
The controller has gotten a number of upgraded features, including a built-in battery pack and supposedly more ergonomic design, AND an improved d-pad (FINALLY)!
The console has an impressive array of launch titles, and 15 exclusive games planned for the system’s first year, 8 of which will be from brand-new franchises!
The console will NOT require an "always on" internet connection. (However, there IS a catch, and this one could very well be a deal-breaker. Ouch.)
The console WILL play used games. (But again, there's a catch.)
And now we're getting into some of the really bad stuff:
Due to the complete overhaul that I mentioned before, the Xbox One will NOT be backward compatible with Xbox 360 games. However, this really isn't that big of a surprise, considering that the PlayStation 4 is going to be the same way...
Each console comes with a redesigned Kinect sensor... Really!? Why does nobody have the sense to bury that piece of junk?
This issue is more of a nitpick, really, but I imagine that the live television support will only work if you're already paying through a separate television provider. The way they're advertising this thing would make you think that it magically comes with its own television service...
The fact that the controller now has a built-in battery pack? Like the PlayStation 3 did? Yeah, if that battery goes kaput, you're gonna have to buy an entire new controller...
Most of the system's new features won't work without an internet connection and, while Microsoft isn't implementing an "always on" requirement, it DOES appears that users will be required to connect their consoles to the internet ONCE EVERY DAY. OUCH. BIIIIIG deal-breaker for some people...
Xbox One games have to be installed to the hard drive. If you want to install a game that's already been linked to a different Xbox, you'll have to pay a fee... My goodness this is gonna hurt rentals and resales...
Now, with most of the good and the bad out of the way, I'd like to throw in my own two cents... Personally, I'm gonna sit tight and wait to see where this goes... That's it. I'm in no rush to jump into the next generation of gaming, and if poor sales force Microsoft to fix some of their poor decisions, GOOD. The way things are looking, there's NO WAY I'm going to buy this thing on release day. But on the other hand, this piece of hardware looks like it has a lot of potential, and I DO think I'd like to own one... someday...
In related news that simply NEEDS to be included in this post, Steven Spielberg will be producing a Halo TV series! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Now THAT is some good news!