Xbox One was announced.  We’re sure you all either watched or read about the big reveal and have varying degrees of excitement or disappointment over “The Future of Entertainment”.  We’re gamers, too, and have our own thoughts on Microsoft’s new console (or at least, what we know so far about it).

Come take a look and see what we think.

Hayes

Impressions
I was really looking forward to the presentation of the new Xbox and, after Xbox One’s reveal, I walked away feeling disappointed but also excited. The technology and integration on display were certainly impressive but I’m not quite sure how to feel about it. The TV integration and instant switching is definitely useful and impressive but, personally, it doesn’t really affect me. Seeing as I watch Game of Thrones and Grimm (and that’s about it), as long as I have my Netflix I’m good.

The tech behind Xbox One is certainly cool, and I enjoy hearing about everything that’s being added (as well as the redesigned Kinect and controller) but none of it really affects me. Of course, keep in mind that going into this Microsoft said that there wouldn’t be a focus on games here. I expected them to show off the technology and the console rather than gaming. So, focusing on the tech aspects, I’d call this presentation a moderate success. Unfortunately, certain concerns do arise. The console has been confirmed to not have to be always online but what does that entail? Are there certain aspects that need to be online and how exactly does that all work? There’s news circulating right now about a used game fee on the system, as well as a necessary installation for games. These are all things that we need to know and need to hear about.

One thing that does excite me and that will factor into my decision between these two next gen. consoles is the fact that Xbox One will have exclusive television programming. The announcement of a Halo series by Steven Spielberg is great and the possibilities that pop up with this programming are cool to think about.

Of course, the number one thing we care about with a gaming system is the games and — while that isn’t something we saw in this presentation — the announcement of 15 exclusives being released in the first year makes me hopeful for what’s to come.

Hopes For The Future

While this presentation was impressive tech wise, there’s a lot that we need to see and hear about the Xbox One. Speaking for myself, I can already tell that the decision on buying an Xbox One or a Playstation 4 will be incredibly difficult. As of right now, I’m leaning towards the PS4 but I am hopeful about what Microsoft can show me to sway that opinion. With E3 coming up in just 19 days, I feel like Microsoft can capitalize on this moment and ride this momentum straight through E3. While most core gamers are disappointed by the Xbox One right now, Microsoft could completely blow that away by having a fantastic E3 presentation that focuses solely on the games available.

Xbox One: Our Thoughts photo

Xbox One Console, Controller, and Kinect

Sean

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with today’s reveal. While I admit that my expectations were pretty high, all that I wanted was to see a gaming console revealed. I felt there was too much of a focus on TV and Sports. Recently, the Xbox has been marketed as an entertainment system and it appears that the actual gaming is now the least important feature. I’m just happy Usher wasn’t there.

Kinect was confirmed to come shipped with the console and the Xbox One won’t work without it so that’s a hefty addition to the price tag. For the majority of us, this is a feature that will barely be used and time and time again Microsoft wants to force us to use it. I’m content with a controller; if I wanted to wave my arms around, I would go to a cinema and do it in front of the projector and get kicked out and asked not to return to said cinema.

They mentioned that Live will maintain the same membership that it currently offers. With PlayStation’s online service being free and PS+ being a huge fan favourite, Microsoft has offered us nothing to counter with.

Not being backwards combatable is a huge issue for me. I understand that there are technical difficulties behind the transition from old to new but Sony has made it known that they have plans to run the games from a cloud while Microsoft, on the other hand, has stated that they currently have no plans to make backwards compatibility possible.

I have been a huge Xbox fanboy since day one. What attracted me to the Xbox was the legendary exclusive franchises — franchises like Halo, Fable and Gears of War. Xbox has promised 15 new exclusives — 8 of these being new IPs — but, having seen the decline of these franchises in recent years, it’s hard to remain optimistic.

The Halo live action series was a nice surprise and, being in the hands on Steven Spielberg, it can only be a roaring success. The console itself looks impressive and I always I judge a book by its cover.

All in all, I’m currently leaning towards the PS4. With the success of PS+ and backwards compatibility already promised, it looks like the clear winner. But, since I am extremely fickle and easily influenced, I will probably change my mind once we see some games at E3.

Xbox One: Our Thoughts photo

Xbox One Controller

Justin

It’s hard to be disappointed­­.  Microsoft’s plan from the very beginning was to turn the Xbox into a set top box; a single device that can control the living room.  Even with the longstanding Xbox 360, you could see the transition — ­going from the hardcore, game focused machine it was at its birth to becoming more of a multimedia focused all in one device in more recent times.  We all knew this was coming, so it’s hard to be disappointed.  Yet, we still are.  At least, I know I am.

Listen, I understand that the market is changing.  Things aren’t the same as they once were and it’s arguable that a niche for a dedicated gaming console no longer exists, and that media functions and video streaming are all the rage but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still want games.  I don’t need a box that can let me watch TV or pull up stats as I watch basketball; I just want to play videogames.

Why put such a big focus on everything else?  I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that if you’re as big a fan of the NFL as Microsoft thinks you are, you already have all of the subscriptions that you need; the Xbox isn’t going to give you anything new.  Halo: The Television Series, while cool, isn’t something you need Xbox Live to watch or something that I particularly care about getting from my Xbox.  TV works fine.  In fact, that was the main problem with the entire Xbox presentation. TV works just fine to watch TV.  I don’t want what you’re offering.

What I do want is what we’ve always wanted from Xbox.  I want great video games.  I’m excited at the possibilities for games on the Xbox One.  I’m excited to see what the newly improved Kinect and greater horsepower can bring to the table, and the great ideas enabled by the new Live infrastructure makes me giddy.  Now Microsoft just needs to show me that they’re excited about video games, too.

I’m hoping I’m jumping the gun a bit.  I want to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and say that this was just a taste and they’ll give me what I really want at E3.  I want to believe that they’ve still got that focus on great games that made me play my 360 for endless hours.  I hope they’ll bring their A game at E3 and blow me away.

Please.  Don’t let me down.


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