XboxOne reveal impressions

It’s hard to not be a little disappointed that there weren’t more games announced at today’s XboxOne reveal, even though I think we all knew, deep down, that today’s reveal was about the actual box itself, and that if they blew their wad on game announcements today, there’d be nothing left to surprise us at E3.  Even the vague announcement of 15 exclusive games, including 8 all-new franchises, doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence – those 8 all-new franchises could very easily be new Kinect titles, which nobody will care about.

And it’s also just been revealed, via The Verge, that XboxOne will not feature backwards compatibility.  Not necessarily that big a surprise, but still.  The PS4 won’t feature back-compat either, but they will offer PS3 games via their cloud; it’s unclear if Microsoft will offer something similar.  (I bring this up specifically because the lack of a PC version of Red Dead Redemption means that the 360 is the last place I’ll be able to play one of my favorite games of all time.)

Still, though – it’s a good-looking device, and that new controller is sexy as all get-out.   If I’m less-than-crazy about the name, it’s because I already refer to the original Xbox as Xbox1.  But then again, I have no idea how to refer to my 3rd generation iPad, either.

The TV stuff – eh.  If it helps me to eventually be able to get rid of Time Warner Cable, I’ll be thrilled.  The snappiness of the Kinect functionality was impressive, though it’s unclear if that was real or not.  (I speak as someone who’s been using Kinect voice functionality to watch HBO with a baby in the room, and while it’s very nice to be able to say “Xbox Pause” when the baby needs attending to and I can’t find the remote, it’s also a little annoying when I say something to my wife and my Xbox starts fast-forwarding for no apparent reason.)

It’s too soon to pick a winner between PS4 and XboxOne until they start revealing games and release dates and prices.  Watch Dogs, which accompanied the PS4 reveal, has been confirmed to be an XboxOne title (as well as Assassin’s Creed 4); the Call of Duty stuff that closed out the show doesn’t interest me in the slightest.   And I’m not that big a fan of any of the 4 EA Sports titles they talked about (although, if they can introduce some of that new tech in Tiger Woods 16, I’ll be happy for the year delay.)  When they talked about the new cloud service and the 300,000 servers that will be powering this thing, they also seemed to imply that XboxOne would be able to handle MMO experiences; this bodes well for stuff like Bungie’s Destiny, but I wonder if they they are also ultimately talking about games like Dota and League of Legends.

(It’s also too soon to pick a winner, because we’ve yet to see the Steam Box.  And if I had to pick one, it’s entirely possible that’s the one I’d pick.)

What did you think?

Author: Jeremy Voss

Musician, wanna-be writer, suburban husband and father. I'll occasionally tweet from @couchshouts. You can find me on XBL, PSN and Steam as JervoNYC.

2 thoughts on “XboxOne reveal impressions”

  1. I was a tad disappointed they showed no games, but like I’ve said in other places and you touched on, it was a hardware reveal. The games are being shown in two weeks and they basically got all of the boring stuff out of the way now so they can talk games and details at E3. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. There are still a lot of questions to be answered. They are going back and forth on the “always on” feature. I really don’t care much, because I am never without a net connection, and the used game details don’t bother me because I don’t buy used. Although I do share the occasional game with a buddy. It just means I’ll have to be more picky on my day one releases. Which isn’t a bad thing with a 1 year old in the house. I can wait for the inevitable 30 day price drop from Amazon and snag the games I wait on for about $25.

    The BC issue isn’t a huge deal for me. I tend to not look back on old games once I’ve played them (unless co op is involved). As much as I loved RDR and other single player experiences, I don’t see myself choosing to play those over a new hot game. I would think that the 360 games will start to trickle over to Games on Demand on the new console. You’ll have to buy them again of course, but it’ll be up to the developer to port them over. I’m already ok with the idea of keeping my 360 as long as it still works. I’ve got 7 Halo games, 4 Gears of War games and about 30 XBLA games that I don’t want to buy again, but I do want to keep.

    The TV stuff is neat, but the fact that it’s not a tuner and you’ll still have to plug your cable box into the HDMI input is pretty lame. That means you’ll have to have your cable box on at all times and they will overlay the Xbox UI over the cable feed. I was hoping to get rid of the cable box in my basement. Unless the transfer from TV to xbox is as seamless as they showed then I’ll just be using my harmony remote and normal AT&T cable box. My only hope here is that AT&T is capable of showing TV over internet. That’s how my cable box in my basement is now. So if I can just plug my internet cable into the Xbox and it’ll connect to my AT&T main hub then it will work the way I want. Again…lacking details.

    Microsoft has been pretty decent with it’s exclusives. So I bet the 13 they said are coming won’t be all kinect crap. I loved Alan Wake and MP3 so I am interested in the game Remedy showed. People Can Fly and Epic are up to something and so is Lionhead. Respawn has said their first game is Xbox exclusive too. Should be a pretty interesting E3.

    All of that said, I am 90% sure I am holding off until spring for next gen. I’ve got a huge stack of 360 and XBLA games to finish. By then both consoles will have a handful of games and I can make a decision. But, I’ve got some cash stored in my Master Chief bank, and I told Amazon to email me when it’s ready for preorder. So who knows…

    1. all good points, Fuzz. i’m probably going to wait until the spring, too, and in the meantime I’ll stay with PC versions of multi-platform releases.

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