The Xbox though it likes to claim has never ever been the premier console. The original was dwarfed by the PS2 and despite Xbox live being revolutionary, it took the HDified 360 to get the ball rolling. Despite in the early stages being eerily ahead of Sony, Microsoft made calamitous mistakes with hardware issues and more importantly exclusives. The lack of exclusives managed to get Sony a wider array of offerrings which can be argued has lead to Sony selling more overall than Xbox-worldwide that is not in the UK and US.
The new Xbox was announced in its hour long conference. Titled Xbox One rather than infinity or 720, the console essentially has the same specs as the PS4. 8GB ram, Blu-ray drive, SATA HDD, USB in which on the surface presents little difference. However there is much difference and I will go into more in the next post.
Xbox boasted about partnering with EA and Activision prior to the reveal. As always, these two generally have some sort of DLC or relationship tie-in which grants Xbox goers timed DLC-yay(!). New?-engines were premièred for both COD and Fifa/EA sports games which would boast realistic elements, better texture mapping and detail. The EA sports games looked considerably better than say Fifa 13. The graphics have been for some time woeful. Same could be said for COD as graphics have been ailing since Modern Warfare 2. But the graphics and engines don’t look too dissimilar to ones already out there.
Battlefield has far better graphics and as for Fifa well its about time. The real question is why does Microsoft chuck money at third-party publishers like Activision and EA to advertise the new console? What about Microsoft studios? What was revealed? Forza 5 and Quantum Break which admittedly maybe the conferences saving grace. 2 games? In an hour 2 exclusives were revealed…
Console features and this is cute. Instant and lazier voice commands made for Americans and starring Americans. How and why this is a top selling point as well as an essential perk I will never ever know. The sort of window mapping and tabs that Internet browsers incorporate seem to feature in some way which is kinda cool in multitasking from playing a game to answering a skype call. Good in theory though practically it could falter. Voice conversations could work though.
The console itself is nothing to shout about. Its a box. No curves-just a box. Its controller has a few nifty upgrades like a nice d-pad and trigger vibrating feedback. Also each controller will be chargeable rather than battery powered thank the lord. And then there is kinect. Better motion sensing and tracking, kinect is touted as being able to read heartbeats! As a fitness tool kinect looks to be very useful. But what games can be incorporated? Also, each Xbox requires and will include kinect.
There is the smart tv motion gesturing in which sliding across the dashboard can be done by hand swiping. No need for the remote, no need for the game controller. Just your voice and hands. Wanna play a game? Keep the controller nearby. It is pretty useless. Swiping grabbing and shouting an obedient console to change the channel or something. Xbox one is not a games console. Its a media hub-much more expansive and fuller than the previous consoles. I believe its targeting something like Sky/Virgin so that take that away and add the Xbox then you don’t need anything else. Practical? Arguably. Will it work? No. People buy multiple things for different purposes not just for one.
It was a strange conference without any flair that we have seen in the past. The buzz and raw sense of transition in February for the PS4 was excellent. This conference has hampered the console badly-very badly. To put it in perspective, Microsoft’s shares shrunk by 2% while Sony’s rose by 8%. In one day. Okay it is not major numbers but look at it this way. The conference shrunk Microsoft’s own shares and rose Sony’s even further.
This weekend, I will clarify the controversy, the comments and statements made by Microsoft. There has been a lot of rumours, mumblings and already negatively received comments so it will all be put into context this weekend.