The gaming world looked on today as Microsoft revealed it’s new console, and nearly everyone I know let out a collective, “meh”. The presentation that Microsoft gave was mostly used to demonstrate the hardware benefits and also to crush rumors circling around the internet.
Let’s take a look at the facts as they stand. People can take off their tin foil hats as it was confirmed that Xbox One does not need to be online all the time. However it seems that it is advisable to have an internet connects to allow all the seamless media and updates to occur. Speaking of media, the first part of the show seemed mostly dedicated to non-game features. A segment, like many others in the past, went way too long. It’s interesting that you are able to hot swap betwixt TV and IE quickly, but I don’t go buy a game console for those reasons.
The unit is a mostly unimpressive designed box. It’s a box that looks as if a PS3 had mated with a 3DO. I did notice that half of the shell was vents, and I’m glad they are working hard to avoid another RROD debacle. However, it’s what inside that counts, and from some early specs it is a beast. I cannot wait to see what comes down the pipeline in the next couple of years that harnesses all of that power.
There is no backwards compatibility, and while a lot of people are upset about this I really do not have a problem with it. Virtual consoles have rendered the need for backwards compatibility useless. “Is it fair to have to pay for something you bought twice?”, I don’t think it is, but you are paying for convenience. If you were so inclined to play those games then get up, hook up the old console, and play them the way they were meant to be played. I, personally, am waiting for the day that consoles work more like Steam and it all becomes digitally distributed and/or digitally registered. This way you only purchase it once, either online or in a store, register it through the console, and it perpetually works on that system or any other system that hold those rights. However, this also holds an additional can of worms as who really owns the game? The consumer? The game company? This will be another blog post for another day.
Like it or not the Kinect is required. I do not have a problem with this as long as they don’t try to force developers to put in Kinect-centric features where they do not belong. I was impressed to see that they had enhanced the device by adding in some finger recognition along with balance shifting. This should make for some more interesting game play modes if implemented correctly.
While this was mostly centered around the features the games shown were not terribly impressive. Here’s what I took from the main game showings. EA Sports is still making sports. The “Forza” demo screamed, “Check out these reflections!”. The “Call of Duty: Ghost” had some top notch dog graphics.
The overall feeling for this show was as if Microsoft treated all of us like a child who was born too close to Christmas. They gave us some gifts for one holiday, and is holding out to give the rest later. Hopefully E3 will be Christmas.