Xbox One First Impressions

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The Xbox One has been on everybody’s minds after the reveal of what is going to be the biggest thing in Home Entertainment. With a huge focus on TV, Sports, Gaming Experience and Immersion, the Xbox One looks to be a very awesome water cooler. Microsoft are really set on redefining the Entertainment experience. but what does our Pwnage editor Adrian think about Microsoft’s new direction?

Design

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Firstly i would like to appluad Microsoft for showing us the console and the components, I was really impressed by their unveiling, as well as the name Xbox One, which pretty much shocked everyone. In saying that, I’m not a fan of their design choice, especially with the geometry of the console and Kinect, versus the ergonomic design of the controller. The Console’s design especially, I think is really messy, and just begs for a “Slim” design. Kinect looks interesting since the camera itself looks fixed onto the TV, hopefully improving the Kinect’s F.O.V. Hopefully E3 will shine light on the Kinect and Controller specifically, i was more interested in those features more than anything. Also, the console looks like it can only be placed horizontally.

Hardware

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I’m not one for console hardware and architecture, but there’s a lot happening in the console. It’s great to have a larger HDD, especially with the rumoured “game installation” feature they’re introducing.The only thing that caught my attention was no backwards compatibility with the 360, which is a real bummer, but as Xbox Live Vice President Marc Whitten says “This isn’t about getting rid of the Xbox 360″ I’m actually interested in Kinect and the improvements with the FOV and movement and voice detection, but it being fundamental to the whole “experience” still bugs me.

Heres a video from Wired, which shows off the Kinect’s amazing improvements and features.

Interface

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The Dashboard isn’t that much of a step up from what we have now, but it does include great features like the Snap feature, like in Windows 8, where you can multitask with Xbox apps like IE, Skype and Music. Along with the Kinect, the dashboard looks more easy to navigate with the voice and motion gestures, but how much of us really use this feature already on our 360s? It looks like the dashboard is still going to include a lot of advertisements, especially withe the ‘Trending’ screen they’re adding.

Experience

So Microsoft hopes to create a unique home entertainment experience. I’m not particularly hooked on the whole “Xbox will revolutionize entertainment” movement, mainly because I don’t use most of the services on the console, like Music, IE, Movies, Foxtel etc. But i understand what they’re trying to create, and its impressive. Its great to see them reach to all audiences and change the way we think about entertainment in our living room. Xbox is not just about gaming anymore.

Games

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There wasn’t a huge focus on gaming in this reveal as they were more focused on the Console itself, which just creates more hype for E3. The event showed of three types of games that I dislike. So you can understand the pain of just watching people talk about Sports, Racing games and Call of Duty. Nevertheless, I think the console will really shine on gameplay over graphics since Microsoft are working in partnership with some of the best studios out there. I didn’t see anything amazing with graphics since the “innovative graphics” shown to us by Infinity Ward look completely outdated. Interactive smoke and moving fish aren’t that revolutionary IW, so is wall jumping, leaning and sliding in FPS. I really don’t see the point of fancy angles from the sports and racing games, I guess we have to wait until E3 2013 for everything gaming related. Other than that I was pretty disappointed.

Final Thoughts

I had high expectations for the event, and wanted more Gaming content to be shown, but being a reveal, there was a bigger focus on the console and the direction they wanted to take, and their goals to be the biggest thing in entertainment. I wasn’t overly interested in TV and Sports, hopefully we see more information on the controller, online/social/sharing features and the Kinect at E3, alongside a number of new titles including the 15 Xbox One exclusive titles, 8 of which are new IPs. I expected a few more games, or bigger variety in entertainment content, not just sports.

[Images from IGN.com]

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