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?