After watching Microsofts Press Conference for the new Xbox I felt like talking about what I liked, what I hated and what I thought was just not needed.
Introduced to everyone yesterday was this baby. The Xbox One.
Why 359 digits lower than its predecessor? Because of what it can do! Live TV, Web Browsing, Movies, On Demand media, GAMES, etc.
Enough to make anyones head spin. but really the name is pretty lame. To name a system because of what it can do is modern marketing at its finest and this is no exception, and its no exception that I find such marketing to be pretty lame.
Look at The Xbox 360, An original name, not named for what the system could do but rather have a unique name.
Now for cosmetic criticism.
The system itself looks like a glossy horizontal computer tower with auto feed disc drive... ok then.
The kinect though looks like it now belongs to the system (because.. uh, it does mandatory and all that.)
But the controller is where I find myself looking the most.
For me the S type controller for the original xbox was the start of something great, and in my opinion no controller is better than the 360, So its nice to see that not much has changed for the xbox ones controller, except for a few things.
The D-pad no longer looks like its recessed into its own circular hole, it now looks more like a button. The xbox guide button is gone (not sure how I feel about that one yet...) but best of all it looks like the improved on the only weak point I ever saw for the 360 controller, and that is the bumper buttons, they now look like secondary triggers, and look like they will have a more robust feel to them than just a button, Not to mention the individual rumbler for each trigger button, It looks like Microsoft can still make a great controller.
Before we go into my pros/cons section I would like to briefly talk games.
Though we saw no gameplay footage whatsoever, I am not really upset about that.
What we did see however was teaser trailers for a few games, leaving out the boring EA Sports games, there was Forza 5 Which as always looked gorgeous in all its sleek graphics. and then there was Quantum Break.
I was never really a fan of Alan Wake but I respected it for its graphics capabilities. Quantum Break however looks like it will make Alan Wake look like pong based on the teaser. I also love how they are going to at least attempt to blur the line between something like a tv show and game, that is something I cant wait to experience.
And one more note to add: Halo The Television Series!!! I am really excited for this, Even though the was basically NOTHING mentioned other than Steven Speilberg saying he is executive producing the show. The nerd in me orgasmed when I heard about this.
Now for the pros and cons thus far. To keep this blog from being a novel I will limit myself to 3 pros and 3 cons.
A lot of my information has stemmed for an interview that wired magazine did of Phil Harrison today (Link). Quotes will be from there as well.
Ill start with what I dont like so far:
1: The system is cloud powered.
Call me old fashioned but I love my physical game collection, along with pride in my display I also have total control of my collection this way. The 360 cloud storage has proven inadequate on many occasions, Slow upload, insanely slow download, game save corruption WHILE MOVING TO DIFFERENT DEVICE, and all the while its never really in your possession. I want say I hate cloud, but I am at the point where I have reason to dislike it, until I see what, if any improvements are made for cloud service for xbox, I only see this as a negative.
Speaking of storage this leads me into something I really dont like.
2: Game discs are installation only.
Harrison: Once you put the disc into your machine, you never need it again. If you want to keep it, that’s great. You can do that. But you can also download the game. You don’t actually have to have a physical disc after that point, but you can then share that disc with your friends which is basically a great way of distributing the content to other people.
Okay, whats the point of even having disc-- Oh wait, I forgot, The multi-million dollar publisher and retailer agreements for physical games...
This basically devalues a game for me, One of the core reasons I have a physical game collection is because I can play them off the disc alone without taking up 10 gigs or more of my hard drive for a single game! WTF?! Add to it that the system comes with a standard 500gb hard drive you are looking at a VERY finite amount of games you can play at a time on the system. Plus were are talking about JUST the standard game itself, to put it into perspective, Halo 4 requires 16gb for a game install, 8gb for JUST the multiplayer, 4gb for a seperate game mode, and an average of 2.1gb for map packs (not to mention extra cost for those) and a varying amount of space for clips, custom game types, pics, etc, so when its all said and done a game of Halo 4s stature will take up around 35 gigs.
Imagine my frustration with such a restriction on my gaming life.
3: Kinect Mandatory.
Harrison: Kinect and Xbox One are one and the same. They are two parts of the equation. Obviously the Kinect sensor is used for Skype, for communication, for voice recognition, gesture and motion sensing and the rest.
Granted I do not currently own a kinect but I have observed a lot of problems people have with it. While I like being able to control the system with my voice and my gestures, I do not like have a piece of hardware in my home that is connected to the internet at all times it is on and has audio and video capabilities. Privacy issues aside it seems like a pain that they just didnt build the kinect into the system, now we have a separate piece of hardware that could get broken (as the article hypothesized) and renders your system inoperable.
Yet another Restriction.
But there are good things!
1: Achievement Whore Heaven!
In the future, with Xbox One, achievements are now dynamically pushed from the cloud. Developers can add new achievements… they can do some very clever things with bridging achievements across multiple games, and that means it can go on forever.
Everyone, say goodbye to 100% completion on games and say hello to an unlimited supply of achievements that make you delve deeper into your games.
Or turn you away, your choice.
2: Backwards Compatibility Off.
Most people would be upset by this, but I'm not, I am actually happy that instead of tacking on a backwards comp chip they used it for something else, hopefully for the better. I was never a big fan of backwards compatible system because I believe it holds the system back, they hold onto having old games that look like crap play on your $300+ system. A new system means new games, if you have old games get the older system (at least in my opinion) I still play my original xbox games on my original xbox, and I will continue to play my 360 games on my 360, hell I'll probably keep playing the 360 until online support for it shuts off.
3: The One.
With everything that has been mentioned I cant get over how much the system will actually be able to do.
If Microsoft succeeds, the future of premium tv could change for the better.
Thats all I really have to say about that.
Aside from video games, the fact that you can go from watching a movie, to watching a tv show, to searching the web, to playing a game all by voicing it and having it happen instantly is mind boggling not to mention the snapshot feature (which truth be told is a glorified PIP but still looks so awesome for a system.).
Here is the scenario I imagined when I saw the demonstration:
I am playing Assassins Creed 2, I have all the achievements except for collecting all the feathers across the expansive open world. With this system, WHILE PLAYING THE GAME I can just say snapshot internet explorer, search Assassins Creed 2 feathers walk through and follow along on the same screen.
Again another mind boggling experience...
That seems to be the going phrase for me, Mind Boggling, with a new generation of systems finally upon us, Its great to see that technology continues to push forward for us gamers and couldnt be more happier or more pissed off at where its heading, just like any other period in gaming history for us all.
Thank you to everyone who reads and comments on this blog. This is my first blog posting since December 31st 2011 and now that I have sat here and written an entire blog in the span of a couple hours, all I can think about is what I plan on doing next.
Thank you for the chance to do this again Mag!
...Until Next Tim3...