If you happened to stumble upon the geeksanity of our Tuesday morning Tweets, then congratulate yourself. For you, my friend, are completely friggin’ rad; you were there when God Hates Geeks helped Microsoft with their giant reveal: XBOX ONE.
With Sony doling out the preemptive strike via PS4 (click here for more on that system’s impressive specs), leave it to those dweebs up in Redmond, WA to barrell out twice the fun. Sure, a good four-fifth’s of today’s hour-plus long press conference was pure flash and spectacle — what else would you expect coming from Xbox? — but at least today Microsoft touched enough upon the surface of this new, seemingly ultrapowerful multi-media system.
Yeah, we no longer call them “video game systems.”
Either way, like our friends the Degeneration-X would say, let’s just.. break it down:
Let’s get the important stuff out of the way. Finally, there’s Blu-ray…meaning, no, there’s no longer an HD-DVD — which lasted about a week after the Xbox 360 launch. No, you can’t take your Xbox 360 games and play them on this sleek behemoth, because the system packs a different chip (AMD x86) than the 360 (IBM). Semiconductor analysts looked at this latest shift in processing architecture as an easier way to push out games. Despite this unfortunate lack of backwards compatibility, Microsoft’s use of the “common tool set” promises far better games from their programmers and developers.
So.. sell your leftover Devil May Cry and Crysis 3 coasters to your little cousin as soon as you can.
Also, as I reported earlier, Xbox One will operate on three partititions: Xbox OS (Exclusive), Windows OS (Host) — as you’ll soon be able to see an interface similar in style to Windows 8 — and a combination of the two (Shared, perhaps a Windows NT “core”), which allows couch potatoes to multitask between the two kernals. That means you’ll be given the chance to browse Gamefaqs on the fly the next time you get lost in the next Elder Scrolls.
Yup — the thought of a new Skyrimesque escapade on this woolly mammoth makes my toes curl.
Xbox One will release with both the Kinect and a 500GB hard drive. Meaning, yes, the X1 appears to be a very, very expensive platform. Kinect must be attached to the new system at all times, too, since Microsoft either finds this A.) To be the only way hardcore gamers will take this function seriously, and/or, more hopefully B.) Kinect will be largely more intuitive and immersive in our gaming world, and not merely present in Microsoft’s longing for a wider female and adult, or female adult, userbase (see: Nintendo Wii/Wii-U].
Lord knows I’m pretty f#$%^*& lazy, but I have no problem using my thumb to turn the power on. And, I do enough talking to myself in this Moody Mansion as it is. All cynical expression aside, shouting a lone word to “snap” from your Spotify player to an episode of “Defiance” to highlights on ESPN to your Into Darkness Blu-ray is pretty nifty, if not impressive.
Speaking of ESPN, or even the NFL, Microsoft’s newest partner — hello, New Disney! — sports fans watching games on X1 through their cable subscriber will be able to pull up fantasy stats midgame at the drop of a rhyme. Siri-belch the term “Fantasy” and your creepy bar-league stats will appear right alongside the pass Mark Sanchez just overthrew…again. Though, it’d be so much cooler if one of the unemployed G4 girls popped up in a leotard.
Hey, I’m yelling “Fantasy” ova hea, all right?
If the G4 girls are too busy, though, you can always “group” Skype all of your nutty insignificant others at the same time and brag about how much your new $725 “all-in-one entertainment console” rules (and not the fact it has put you in a bind with Citibank).
If you haven’t already heard today on your run to the Coffee Bean during breaktime, Steven Spielberg presented Halo: The Television Series at Microsoft press conference. “For me, the Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to create something really groundbreaking,” said the legendary director.
With Netflix, Amazon, and even Chipotle (ay caramba) acquiring pilots and better ways to reach those ever-growing cable-forbidden homes, Spiel’s partnership with 343 Industries may have come with a bit of a shock — but no surprise. Hey, Halo’s web series, “Forward Unto Dawn” was pretty damn good on its own. So, imagine what the world’s greatest filmmaker could do with this titillating IP!
Hopefully, not turn it into another Terra Nova…
-Pads, Lads & Fads
The controller looks like the Xbox 360 pad. That’s great news, considering it’s arguably the most comfortable gaming controller ever. Now, along with a completely smooth finish on the back, each of the better-responding triggers will have their own rumble motor. I always thought the previous Xbox controllers felt like a cheap vibr.. I mean, pager. Pager! More improvements include newer, textured game sticks, an integrated battery (always the primary problem with the 360’s), and a juicier “old-school feeling” d-pad.
You’ll also be able to DVR actual gameplay, but how that works exactly has YTBD.
Microsoft officials also said today that Xbox Live will run on 300,000 servers. No word on whether anyone’s been able to download CAW’s from WWE 2K14 yet, at press time, though. You can now watch YouTube or read e-mails while the far improved “match”-making of multiplayer games like FIFA and COD operate, further immersing the entertainment experience. Expect a unique cloud game-sharing service to shut up at least a fourth of those saddened by the lack of 360-to-One b.c.
-Games!?! Somebody say “Games”!?!
Ahhh… the most important part, and I saved it for last because that’s basically what Microsoft did today. We don’t know a whole lot about the new games; but from what I witnessed in the hour, the “wow” factor is certainly there. The prettiest game had to be Forza’s newest Motorsport 5. And, don’t worry, kids; Xbox promises at least eight new franchise games in the system’s first year, including the very strange albeit intriguing Quantum Break, surprisingly not created by David Lynch.
Break blends TV with gaming, something Defiance somewhat failed to do a little more than a month ago. The difference here, though, is that players will be watching the dramatic programming between the actual playing.
EA Sports delivered quite the statement at the press conference, as they normally do, with a cool promo package featuring the company’s next engine: Ignite. This new sports game engine enables 4x more calculations-per-second, 10x more animations than 360, and incredibly enhanced AI. Maybe the crowds in Madden 14 won’t look like a ginormous horde of Mega Man clones. EA’s latest acquired franchise, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will also promise a game with a near-seemless transition of MMA submissions and counters.
Still attempting to revive the Live basketball franchise, though? Not even #TeamKyrie can save this one, I’m afraid.
-COD: It’s a Ghost!
Oh, this franchise deserves an article on its own. But, for now, you can watch the trailer right down below.
We’ll be there June 17-19. While it doesn’t look like playing the Xbox One will be an option, the live demos will most definitely be tasty enough to share. Here’s just some of what we have to look forward to on Xbox One in addition to the aforementioned: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs and Thief.