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XBox One: Swing And A Miss?!?

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!  DOOM I SAY!  We all saw this coming, and we all kept thinking, there’s no way Microsoft doesn’t get what their audience wants, and the next XBox reveal event would put Sony firmly in their place and remind the world that there is indeed a console war to be won in the next gen.  We all sat here, hoping to see great exclusive blockbuster games right out of the gate and said silently under our breaths “don’t lead with entertainment, or Kinect, lead with the games Microsoft…”

The Next XBox...or my old VCR?

The Next XBox…or my old VCR?

And then it happened, we saw the new machine shiny XBox, and we all conclusively groaned at the name of Microsoft’s 3rd console, the XBox One.  Our editor-in-chief, Alex Carlson, said it best over twitter, just do a Google image search for XBox One to find out exactly why that is such a bad name for this.  What happened to the XBox Infinity?  Or the XBox 720?  Hell, even the “Durango” was a better name.

We got into some hardware specs, and this was very similar to what we saw with Sony’s reveal, an 8 core CPU custom built by Microsoft, 8 GB of RAM (We have since learned this is DDR3, compared to Sony’s DDR5), a 500GB hard drive, a blu-ray drive, 802.11n Wireless, HDMI input and output, and USB 3.0.

And then it happened, for the next 45 minutes, approximately we saw all of 3 total games.  Forza as a launch title is exactly something we needed to see, but a simple passing mention of 15 exclusive games and 8 new IP to come out in the first year of the console?  Why focus on stuff like changing my channels with the XBox, my cable box does that just fine, not to mention that every year more and more people are cordcutting.

Seriously, WTF?

Seriously, WTF?

Why focus on skype and fantasy football and what’s “trending” on XBox Live?  Cloud-connected gaming might be interesting, but a “take anywhere DVR for your games” doesn’t really tell me how that’s going to work, and I don’t really consider this, or any console to be “mobile”.

The new controller picked up where the old one left off and I think it may finally answer the call on the new d-pad players have been asking Microsoft for for a long time.

ControllerUpClose

Getting back to games for the second time in the event, we also saw a truly interesting title in Quantic Break but were barely given a sniff of what it might be aside from that “our choices will influence the happenings in the game.”  Well, great, that describes about half of the games that come out these days.  Also, is this a game & a tv show like Defiance, or is this something more?

Then back to the entertainment, Nancy Tellem came out to tell us that the XBox One will be the next springboard for “Water Cooler” chatter.  We get it, you can watch TV through your game console.  That being said, the possibility, if done right, of a TV show based around Halo, has promise, and could lead to future exclusive XBox Television Programming.

Please don't suck...

Please don’t suck…

They also went on to reveal an alliance with the NFL for exclusive content, and just when I thought I was finally going to see something that would make me buy this thing, like free NFL Sunday Ticket with an XBox Live account or something, they mentioned that this is really a glorified fantasy football app.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

As the event came to a close, and I would definitely be remiss without mentioning the one thing we all knew we were going to see today, game number 3 in this star-studded lineup appeared, and while it did not disappoint visually, does anyone out there really, truly care about another goddamned Call of Duty game?  FPS is so last gen.  Nevertheless, here’s a couple nice images of the new game.

CoDGhosts-Scuba

Oh!  Wait!  This game is TOTALLY different than any FPS you’ve ever played before!  It has dogs!

CoDGhosts

Yep.  You and your trusted canine get to go obliterate some kind of modernish alternate history with guns, and then swear at your enemies over XBox Live.

Ok, so maybe I’m a tad cynical about what we saw today, but I truly think Microsoft came out swinging for the fences and ended up with a bunt at best. The hardware is on par with the PS4, though Sony’s box may have a bit more raw power in it, but what Sony did right in its presentation of its next gaming console is what Microsoft did wrong. Microsoft plain and simple, forgot about the one thing it’s supposed to be selling with this system, and that’s the games.

E3 is a few weeks away and that damn well better be all about the games for Microsoft, or this is going to make for a very short war.  Right now, I’m giving it to Sony.

Overall Event Grade:  D+

Update:  Shortly after the event the other relatively newsworthy items that came out were, and none of these should come as a shock, the system will not be backwards compatible with the XBox 360, it will require a hard-drive install of ALL games (meaning that 500GB is going to get used up pretty quickly), and while it’s not an always-on device, you will need to be connected to the internet for most functions.  Finally, used games do kind of get the screw here, where the instance of where a disc is installed on one account, if the disc is then used with a second unique XBox Live account, that user would be given the option to pay a fee to install it on their account as well.

A part time gaming journalist and radio practitioner, and one of the first editors here at Default Prime, Mike has been gaming since birth, starting back with the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, on through to the PS3, PC, and whatever comes next. He is educated in communications and is a project manager by trade.

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