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Leviathyn Reacts to Xbox One Press Conference
Hey everyone, we here at Leviathyn watched Microsoft’s Xbox One press conference. Here are some of our staffs initial reactions to Microsoft lobbing the first shots at Sony and the PS4.
Everything the company announced seemed to revolve around things that people have already expected – things that we all knew were coming one way or another. The ability to give simple voice commands to a device to control TV viewing, music listening, communication, and web browsing, for example, is a great feature, but we could all see it coming from a mile away. We just may not have known it would come from an Xbox.
The conference revealed some pretty impressive cinematics and gameplay snippets from upcoming titles, but again what I saw didn’t knock me to the floor. It’s going to take a lot to impress experienced gamers in a new console launch – I’m thinking full virtual-reality immersion with thought-controlled UI. We’ve come so far in console technology that the next earth-shattering innovation is going to have to be something very big indeed. The Xbox One does not exactly fit that bill, but it does look like a great evolution for the Xbox experience that players already love. Whether it will be worth the large pricetag it’s likely to carry at launch is a question gamers will have to answer for themselves. Personally, I don’t think I’ll be camping out in line for this one.
The new system looks clean and the black motif is an improvement. The name is an odd direction, but I’m sure we’ll all get used to it in a few months time. The system looks a bit bulky, but as it was on it’s own we can’t know for sure. I’m disappointed, but not surprised that the Kinect 2 isn’t built-in especially given the size of the console. The new additions to the UI, like the Snap Window, and the ability to run multiple programs simultaneously might be interesting, for example playing a game during commercials for live TV. I wonder though if certain games will draw so much processing power that the multi-program running might be disabled. I hope they continue the Smartglass integration with iOS. If voice command is still the only thing Kinect has to offer I still can’t see myself buying one. The new controller looks great, sleek, and it appears they took the adage “don’t fix something if it isn’t broken” to heart. It would also seem the new Integrated battery might be akin to the PS3 controller, which might be great. The Native video capture, editing and upload seems to be the norm, but I was surprised they didn’t announce any partnership with Twitch.tv. Built-in wi-fi and blu-ray are a necessity. Bittersweet news from after the conference. Xbox One won’t be backwards compatible and won’t be always online, but it may require a hard drive install to verify a title. This may inhibit used game, which personally won’t affect me, and would provide reason for EA to suspend their Project $10. 15 new first-party titles, 8 of which are new IPs all leads me to the overall sentiment of wait and see. Where Sony’s conference introduced a gaming console, Microsoft seems to be stuck on making a Home Entertainment system, a complete 360 from last generation. As of now, Microsoft will have to do much more to appeal to the gamer in me. Hopefully E3 will be dedicated to games and not another Entertainment rundown.
I started off extremely excited about the Xbox One reveal as the presentation began because the 360 has been my go-to console in this generations, but my joy was quickly diminished as they focused on the technology that I was afraid of seeing, such as their heavy emphasis on Kinect. During this generation, Kinect has been a critical failure in my eyes, and I am disappointed that it will be returning in the next generation. Also, out of all of the games that were showcased at the event, I am really only interested in Remedy’s new title Quantum Break, and it is a passing interest. They may be able to change things around come E3, but as things stand, and based off of things seen so far, I am almost sure that a PS4 will be gracing my room before an Xbox One.
I for one was incredibly underwhelmed with the whole show. After berating Sony with taunts about “Why announce a console with no actual console? LOLZ” and the like, Microsoft went out and announced a new, interesting and exciting gaming console, without new, interesting or exciting games! Yes there is Quantum Break by Remedy which was shown for all of 7 seconds, but in all else, what was there that we could be really excited about? The DVR functions? I for one won’t be paying $350-400 for a fancy DVR with extra gaming. The promise of 15 new games that are exclusive to the Xbox One is great, but there was nothing else after that, just multiplatform games and the promise of E3.
What disappointed me most was that there was an opportunity for Microsoft to take the lead in the race for the next generation launch and they utterly failed. Call of Duty: Ghosts does not matter in the grand scheme of next generation, FIFA 14 does not matter and Forza 5 does not matter. Next generation is a clean slate for all developers and publishers to flex their muscles and there was nothing of the sort. They all looked the same, felt the same and will probably play the same as their predecessors. I could not be more disappointed.
The Xbox reveal was massively disappointing for me. Back in February, when the PS4 was revealed I was hugely excited. There were games I wanted, new exciting features I needed and the console was aimed at gamers and making games developers lives so much easier. With the Xbox announcement, although the Xbox One console was shown, I was hugely underwhelmed. Not only does the console look huge, and much like a VHS player, the whole presentation was focused on entertaining an American audience.
Microsoft only seemed to want to show us what a great entertainment system the Xbox One is, instead of focusing on the fact it’s meant to be a games console. Of course, E3 is only 19 days away and the fact that there going to be 15 exclusive titles in the first year of its release, 8 of those new IPs is great news. So far though, there’s nothing telling me that the Xbox One will be better than the PS4.
I went into this conference not expecting much. Before this conference happened it looked like instead of focusing on the gamers Microsoft was drifting towards the casual market. What did come as a surprise was just how much of the conference focused on the entertainment aspects of the new Xbox One and how much the Kinect 2 seemed to matter. It came to the point where I forgot that I was watching a conference about a game console and started thinking that I might as well be watching a conference on the new Tivo.
While the promise of new ips is interesting nothing Microsoft did today helps it stand out from Sony. E3 is coming up and it’s more than likely that Microsoft will show off far more there than they did today but not soon enough to ignore some of the damage that they did with their lackluster effort. With so much focus on the TV features like the new Halo show, and so much emphasis on the Kinect what reason did Microsoft give their gaming audience to buy the Xbox One? With no gameplay trailers and mostly speeches on how much better the Xbox One is without any visual evidence, is this really the announcement that was supposed to beat Sony and the PS4? The only bright spot in the whole conference for dedicated Microsoft fans is that they will be developing more games for the Xbox 360.
Hopefully at E3, Microsoft shows off what the Xbox One is truly capable of.
So video games are all well and good but today we get this new XBOX ONE announcement that frankly has told us even less than the Sony one did. We saw another call of duty which looked like it was running on a 360, Forza 5 where an English guy was commentating over a three second car and an announcement that halo will be turned into a live action TV series.
What that has to do with the new Xbox I just don’t know.
In short, I was very unimpressed and at times bored (mostly during all the sport talk) at the conference altogether. Microsoft did nothing at all to draw me in as a consumer of games and dimly teased me with a few game titles and told me to wait until e3.
I feel cheated. Please go away from my room now.