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It was exactly three months ago yesterday that Sony announced the future of their gaming platform in the Playstation 4. Now Microsoft has joined the Eighth Generation of Console Gaming with the Xbox One, formerly codenamed Durango. An hour-long conference at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington featured the new console, controller, Kinect and a number of fantastic features from third-party deals with the NFL and EA Games, to new games like Forza Motorsport 5 and the showstopping Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Again, a preliminary Wikipedia article is already up, and the great writers of What’s Your Tag? have again covered the announcement better than anyone else could. Visit them now to catch up on the details of the new Xbox One before continuing with this one… we’ll wait for you here!
*Instrumental Intermission Music*
Welcome back! Let’s start this off…
The whole package, right there
The console is visually very impressive. A sleek design, eight gigs of RAM, launch-ready HD support and a Blu-Ray drive are a few of the impressive stats for this new monster of a console. The controller, which boasts over 30 design innovations from the 360’s seems to be less ergonomic in look than before, but we all know looks can be deceiving and we won’t jump to conclusions. The new Kinect demos give the impression that there are many improvements in that department as well, and the integration, from the facial recognition log in and motion menu navigation, to the Snap Mode and Skype functionality let us know the Kinect, which will be included with every console, will be a well-used peripheral this time around instead of an underutilised novelty.
A new generation, indeed
Television support is also impressive. ESPN Fantasy Sports will be welcome, the guide will come in handy and Microsoft’s Smartglass will continue to find new uses on the Xbox One. Other points of interest were a Steven Spielberg-involved Halo television series, fifteen exclusives in the first year (eight of which will be new franchises), and the 300,000 servers that will allow for Cloud-driven storage and bigger multiplayer with more players per room.
Please, Microsoft, don’t let this ICanHazCheezburgerz meme come true
On the downside, still no word on the always-online fears gamers had going into the announcement (reports after the announcement went in both directions, therefore we consider it unconfirmed). Also, the name is disappointing. We understand the idea of this console becoming your one device meeting all your entertainment needs, but it just feels like a name-step backwards. PSone wasn’t forward moving, and this name doesn’t give an impression of greatness like the rumored Infinity or Next-box might have (but thankfully didn’t). In addition, not many games were covered in the hour-long presentation. As game consoles advance, it seems as if the companies that make them are trying to broaden their markets instead of giving the people who actually look forward to and watch these announcements what they really want to see, which makes business sense but hurts to experience. But the games they premiered almost made up for it.
CoD PUPPY! And this one won’t eat YOU!!! I heart him already…
Forza Motorsport 5 was disgustingly well detailed, as expected from such an impressive series. The tech demo provided no gameplay, but really showed off what could be done with the new Xbox. The short EA Sports montage included FIFA, Madden, NBA Live and MMA, and looked very impressive at times as well. The big news was the world premiere of the Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer, which blew my freaking mind. Featuring a story written by Stephen Gaghan of Traffic and Syriana fame, the story features an America struck by tragedy and a gathering of what’s left of US Special Forces teams forms the Ghost unit to battle a much stronger force. More details to come, but the in-game engine of actual gameplay will take the series to a whole new level, and multiplayer character customization and dynamic maps will keep this one the king of the multiplayer hill for much longer.
We’re looking forward to E3 and the amazing games that will be announced then. Until that day stay healthy, save your cash and get ready for a hard choice of Next-Gen Console this holiday season!
What did you think of the Xbox One announcement? Will it be a viable contender in the Eighth Generation of Gaming Consoles? Drop a comment below and let us know!