Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Your One Stop Shop for Entertainment: Xbox One

Today Microsoft unveiled their next console, the Xbox One. It is designed to handle all of your entertainment needs. Can one device stand up to that kind of challenge?

The console race is back in full swing as Microsoft announces Xbox One, the successor to the Xbox 360. The Xbox One looks more like a svelte home theater pc than your average home gaming console, which seems to be in line with Microsoft's marketing campaign on this one.

The Xbox One is decked out with all of the cutting edge bells and whistles of a high end pc, but is designed to be the home entertainment system for everyone. It's almost the anti-gaming console, as they focused on the content sharing, media streaming, and video conferencing capabilities over the raw gaming power angle that a lot of gamers, myself included, had expected.

It appears the Xbox One packs some serious gaming power, hell, they claim it runs three operating systems at once, but Microsoft's press event was pretty thin on games. The announcement of Forza 5 basically sells me on it, but I am certainly not convinced as to why this is a day one, stand outside overnight in the cold, wait in the back of a line in hopes of making a purchase, purchase. 

However, I do remain hopeful. This was merely a press event day, the big kahuna of game announcement events, E3, is coming in a few short weeks. We will be getting a lot more game announcements; new partners and studios will be named; information on bundles, packages, and accessories will be lined up; and most importantly - the pricing on the unit. The almighty price tag will seal the deal on how many piggy banks will have their contents spilled on release day, as well as sure up those numbers for the Black Friday 2013 spectacle of over-consumption event.

Side Note: The only major bummer with the Xbox One is that it is NOT backwards compatible with Xbox 360 games/accessories/features. Now, that's not a deal breaker for me personally, but it is a serious bummer. I put a ton of time and money into my PS2 collection and I still own half of it (a mix of about 60+ good and terrible gems of the mid 90s) and I haven't broken out any part of the set to play since I bought my 360. I scaled back my purchasing on the 360 ecosystem compared to my PS2 lifestyle (life and kids happened), so I don't have a huge sentimental collection of games that become obsolete right away. But, I do have a bunch of smaller downloadable titles that I am sad to hear may not work on a newer system. On the bright side, the smaller games were a cheaper investment, and the Xbox 360 is not dead yet. So, from here on out all of my new game purchases will be on PC, and until the 360 is put to pasture I will cherish my time with it. Plus, new tech is always cool, right?

Extra Side Note: The move to an x86 Architecture for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sounds like a great thing for gamers. I doubt that means any hint of cross platform play anytime soon, but it does sound like developers will have an easier time creating games for multiple platforms, including pc, and the steady stream of new envelope pushing games will be faster than ever before.

Anyway... despite its entertainment based nature, I like it, I'll eventually buy one (but my PC does great for now). How about you? Thoughts? Concerns? Did Microsoft hit the mark with this one? Are they doomed to release the newest dust collector like the WiiU? Will they put up a good fight against Sony?
Hit me up in the comment section.