Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The New Xbox One: Nothing Like the Old...Xbox...One...

Halley's Comet. The United States Census. The changing of the console cycle. Events like these happen once, maybe twice, in a lifetime, and we are lucky enough to be in the midst of one such happening. There is a new Xbox on the horizon, and it goes by the confusing moniker "Xbox One," because there totally isn't another Xbox to which people have given that name. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to have basic cable, so I watched the reveal and recorded some of my thoughts. In case you missed it, the show was on Spike, your source for everything deep and cerebral.

Also, Manswers.
Since the PlayStation 4 announcement is still fresh in everyone's mind, Microsoft countered in one of the best ways they could, by actually showing the console. And darn if it is not sexy.

Admittedly, it's a bit boxy. But curves aren't everything.
The box itself has been upgraded with a Blu-Ray drive, a buttload of internal memory for what I can assume is a push for digital content, and an HDMI in port.. However, once the device is turned on, and the tiny Satan-wizards inside work their black magic, the Xbox One gets much more impressive. It instantly goes to the dashboard without any delay or need for updates, as mentioned in the presentation. While Windows 8 is an obvious inspiration, it has a much bigger emphasis on your recent activity and even what your friends are doing at the moment.

Xbox One's big push is to replace everything you need and everyone you love. It does this through "instant switching," kind of like multitasking on smart phones but on steroids. After plugging in your cable/satellite TV to the HDMI in port and connecting to anything else that you want to give you ADHD, the Xbox One allows you to switch between games, movies, and TV, almost instantly. Oh, I see what they did there.

Or maybe just between J.J. Abrams films and
"The Price is Right." We don't know for sure.
If you squinted, you could even see some games for the new Xbox. While we were promised 15 new franchises, we only got to see one: Quantum Break. Developed by Remedy, the folks behind the OG Max Payne games and Alan Wake, Quantum Break is...well, I don't know what it is.

Others included a new Forza and the inevitable Call of Duty: Ghosts. I found it odd that Microsoft decided to show off their innovation with a studio that's been putting out the same game since 2007. But maybe I'm being too hard on them; they do have some pretty novel features planned.

I'm pretty excited for this new console. The biggest question left is how much it'll cost; I assume we'll find out sometime before it launches later this year.

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