Xbox One: Web reacts to Microsoft's multimedia console
- 22 May 2013
- From the section Technology
It would be curious to know whether Microsoft made a conscious decision to make its Xbox One launch as unlike Sony's PlayStation 4 press conference as possible.
We got a look at the new hardware in the first few minutes of Microsoft's West Coast shindig, a contrast to the Japanese firm's decision to keep its design under wraps.
The US firm spent much of its time explaining how it was going to play live TV, stream music and make video calls while Sony's February event was firmly games-focused.
Microsoft's show-and-tell sprinted to an end in less than an hour while Sony took more than double that time to wrap things up.
And then there was the name. While Sony seemed satisfied in adding another number to the PlayStation's tally, Microsoft was determined to reset the Xbox's number system.
So plenty for the internet to chew over, and from first appearances tech writers were more impressed by what they saw than the public posting on social media.
On the face of it, the new console looks pretty impressive. Response times and gesture control are very good indeed, the visuals are stunning, and Microsoft scored an instant win over rival Sony by actually having a working console to show off.
Kinect is no longer the optional extra it was with the Xbox 360. If you want the Xbox One you've got to sign up to Kinect too. Get ready to speak to your console.
Microsoft have beaten the Cupertino crew to the punch on their most widely rumoured but as-yet-unconfirmed product, here: An Apple TV. We've often wondered why Apple would bother with a television set when sales of them are dwindling... Microsoft has side-stepped this by making the new console a halfway house.
Unlike the 360 before it, Microsoft's new Xbox One will be able to fully harness the capacious strengths of Blu-ray. One of Sony's key advantages of the prior console battle has been erased, and more importantly for home theatre aficionados, Blu-ray - which still offers superior video quality to streaming services - just got a major kick of momentum in the process.
Microsoft has 300,000 servers ready for Xbox One - more than the entire world's computing power in 1999. That means bigger matches with more players - effectively offering the ability to live in persistent worlds. Goodbye reality.
Today's press event for the Xbox One wasn't just a coming-out party for a new gaming console but a coming-out party for a bold new strategy to make sure that Microsoft software becomes the go-to software for web-enhanced television. Whether this plan bears fruit is hard to say but for the time being it's tough to imagine either Sony or Nintendo - or Apple or Google, for that matter - offering anything comparable.
While Xbox One is not "always on" and it's not deliberately designed to stop the pre-owned games market, it will likely allow "second user fees" to be charged by publishers. It remains to be seen how that will be implemented, if at all. Retailers tell us they have been told zero, which strikes me as a PR blunder here - as these are the very people Microsoft should not be upsetting this early on.
Perhaps Microsoft has read which way the wind is blowing and realises that a gaming-only box just isn't going to cut it anymore. Maybe even gamers want more than games. Last I checked, we care about Game of Thrones too.
The Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 will both use x86 processors, the same sort of CPU architecture found in most current desktop and laptop PCs. Porting a game between PC and [these] consoles just became that much easier. The Wii U, Nintendo's latest console, just became the odd man out.
Every time you say Xbox One, you feel like to have to add the word "new" in front of it to avoid confusion. @MurraySwe
The one thing I came away with was that Microsoft has trouble with numbering. @FinleyNathan
Am I the only one who thinks the new Xbox One looks like a VCR? @dandahlberg
Not happy there isn't backwards compatibility for the 360 games but looking forward to seeing what games will be on the new console @linkin73
Anyone else think the Xbox One being always listening out and the camera always connected means we are going to be spied on? @ErstPry
Microsoft did it guys! Now you can watch TV on your television! @ForYourPeteDodd
"When do they start talking about games? I kinda watch TV when my Xbox is off." - My 12 year old. @TheRealTacoKid
I'm gonna hold out for the Xbox Two. They always have the bugs sorted out by the second generation. @Ryan_Shelton
Why Kinect and all those stupid extras?!?, Sorry Microsoft, really disappointed... focus on the gamers instead. Jonathan Borg
Very impressed thanks Xbox, can't wait until E3! Natalie Khoury
They called it Xbox One cause they just took 359 steps backwards. Rahul Yadav
Xbox One: The most expensive remote controller for your TV. Javier Bustacara Ruiz
I like the clean classic look. It will go fine with any living room. Mitchell Zanki
I've got a TV, I can watch TV fine on it. I don't need help form my laptop, phone or fridge to watch TV, and neither do I want help from my game system. Rob Combs
The only thing I'm (really) excited for is the Kinect and voice integration. Someone's finally putting everything in one box and releasing it as a consumer product. Dragon2342
Voice recognition seems like such a premature technology being pushed through way too early. Gotta wait at least another decade, maybe more... even then, people just find it creepy talking to robots or alone. this_sort_of_thing
It was never going to be [called] Infinity because it's hard to abbreviate, has too many syllables, and the symbol isn't on a standard keyboard. Marketing departments obsess over details like this. PanicStricken
I don't care about being able to Skype on my TV. I don't care about being able to watch Hulu on my TV. I don't care about being able to listen to Pandora on my TV. I don't care about being able to talk to my console. What I DO care about is: Will it make my mind explode with sheer gaming awesomeness? Are the graphics amazing? Does the controller fit comfortably in my hand? AdventureTim207
I've been an Xbox advocate since the original and I really do love how they are making it a media entertainment system. LocusHammer
All of those entertainment options are already available elsewhere without buying a new expensive box. This is why consoles need to bank on games. because everything else can already be done. cerulean_skylark
E3 will be the deciding factor. It's too soon to make a decision. And people who are writing off the One just because it has the TV and Kinect stuff are really not making a good decision. Newbman