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Xbox One Reveal

Earlier this day I was contemplating choosing tonight’s Xbox One reveal as my first ‘video commentary’ recording. I’m certainly glad I didn’t choose to do that due to heavy lag on the stream in the first 10 minutes, because no doubt that commentary would’ve been nothing but me cursing, laughing and >implying.
Not to rob anyone of their tl;dw version of tonight’s happenings though, I did make some notes while watching which I will expand on here.

01

The first order of business would have to be the name of the new Xbox.
While Xbox720 was the very first contender floating around on the internet, there was also the NeXbox and of course the recently more popular Xbox Infinity…to be honest, all of those (even the completely stupid 720) would have been preferable to the name Microsoft actually chose for their console which is…the Xbox One. Because it ‘brings all the functions of all your media devices together in one future-proof console’ yes, yes, we get it.

That whole ‘media strategy’ I guess you could call it has been annoying enough the past four E3’s, but to even start your highly anticipated new console reveal with a 20 minute talk about watching TV, ESPN and all that other crap…are they even fucking serious? Half if not more of those functions aren’t even available outside of the US, I would seriously doubt if anyone IN the US even cares about them, and then you dedicate HALF YOUR GODDAMN SHOW AND THE FUCKING NAME OF YOUR CONSOLE to it!? Truly they couldn’t have picked a more embarrassing name.

The conference quickly went on to become even more embarrassing though, with the only upside to the next 20 minutes being that they didn’t talk about how you can order pizzas from Pizza Hut straight from your console. Other than that all the well known tropes again made their appearance though, including ESPN (Do you like sports? Hell yeah you love sports! Freedom Fries! Freedom Fries! Madden! NFL! You love watching sports on ESPN! You fucking love football! Watch TeeVee with your friieeeennndsssss); seeing which tv shows are ‘trending’, because you’re such a social media whore you wouldn’t watch anything your friends aren’t watching; skype, because that’s why you bought a console; and a share feature comparable to the PS4’s.

Apparently Microsoft thought all those new, innovative and exciting features (I think they have a very different idea of all three of those terms than most dictionaries have) were much more important than actually showing games, and then they finally did get to the games they opened up with…
EA Sports.
If you’ve been following the whole EA Vs. Nintendo thing for the past few weeks it’s pretty funny that they’d open with them but let’s be serious here, all these games are going to be the epitome of multiplatform and no one’s genuinely excited for any of them. FIFA 14, Madden, UFC and..some other American sport no one cares about..we’ve seen it all before and it certainly won’t wow anyone. The best part of it was how the EA Sports head honcho dared to claim all 4 games would be ‘revolutionary’. I’ll be extremely surprised if anyone will even be able to tell the difference between FIFA 13 and FIFA 14 without focussing on the graphics, but at least if the AI improves a little it’ll be worth it I suppose.

02

After that terrible start a guy from Microsoft Game Studios came on, which had me hoping for a reveal of some new exclusive IPs, but alas he was only there to talk about…
Forza.
Could the line up for this conference be any more generic? Honestly I expected the next few games to be shown to be Call of Duty, Halo, a dancing game and a weight loss game but we didn’t even get that, oh no. After the trailer for Forza, which (surprisingly?) failed to make me even the least bit interested in next gen (look at all the shiny cars!), some guy from Remedy came up on the stage so I expected something great to be announced since Remedy is pretty much the only exclusive dev Microsoft still has left that actually makes interesting games. However, we got stuck with a trailer for a game that looks like it will become Bullet Time: The Game and that didn’t actually show anything, leaving everything up in the air. While I do love Remedy and I hope Quantum Break will be cool, a teaser like this is definitely not something to get excited about.

Then Don Mattrick came up and grandiously claimed there would be over 15 exclusive games released on Xbox One within the first year, and 8 of those will be new IPs, and then…
He left the stage.
So far they had shown only one teaser to one game that was something other than a rehashed multiplat game, and even though they teased with lots of new IPs showed none of them. What exactly do they want us to think about this? Sony showed some of their new IPs. They showed Knack and Deep Down, and a bunch of other games, but all Microsoft had to show up to now was sports and a 30 second teaser.

For a second, it seemed like the obligatory Halo game was coming up at least, but even that was not meant to be. It is almost as if Microsoft tried their very best to keep games out of their conference. What they did announce was a follow-up to their Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn web series, with Steven Spielberg himself working on it. Sure, Spielberg hasn’t produced anything worthwhile in decades but it’s still interesting to see his name attached to a project like this, and since Forward Unto Dawn was actually extremely good, I’m rather interested in how this will work out.

After this, Mr. Mattrick thanked us for watching, leaving me with a very, very big questionmark above my head.
Where
The
Hell
Are
The
Games?
He basically told us to just wait until E3 for games. But if the games are so nearly done, or at least done enough, that they can be presented at E3 which will take place in a month, then why couldn’t they just show some of them tonight instead of showing EA Sports games?
After Sony’s reveal which focused mostly on the games and, yes, the lolsocial features, this conference was definitely a huge step down, focusing on useless services three quarters of the world will never use and shitty sports games that we’ve all already played before.

In a completely predictable ‘AMAZING AND BOMBASTIC ENDING’, they then showed some footage of Call of Duty: Dogs…uhh, I mean Ghosts, my mistake. Apparently the main selling point of their console at this point is Timed Exclusive DLC for a multiplatform shooting game. The trailer for Ghosts did look quite good, though not up to scale with the footage we saw of Killzone at the Sony reveal which was actual gameplay, and the terrible ‘Are you having feels yet?’ music they put under it as if I was looking at some amazingly deep war drama easily got on my nerves.

03

The console itself looks quite good and it looks like the Xbox One will fit in with any modern interior very well. They’ve gone back to black after the whole ‘Everything needs to look like an iPod’ phase at the beginning of the previous Gen, and the asymmetric design certainly looks better than the WiiU, though it does look a bit too much like a Satellite Receiver in my opinion.

The controller is a completely different story though, as it looks absolutely atrocious. It looks like Microsoft took the most comfortable controller on the market today and turned it into an Xbox controller (Xbox as in Xbox 1, but not the Xbox One, the first Xbox I mean). It looks bulky, the layout is dumb, and it has a stupid fucking touchscreen on the back. I’ve been looking around online, but it doesn’t seem like anyone’s talking about that thing on the back of the controller. Maybe not everyone saw it? Maybe they think that extremely stupid design of the front of the controller was the goal all along? I don’t know, but it certainly looked to me like there was a giant touchscreen slammed on the back of it, a 1:1 copy of the PSVita. It could be that it’s just a giant sensor for Kinect though, I suppose, serving the same purpose of the little bar of light on the PS4 controller.

So there you have it, a summary of what has got to be the most disappointing unveiling of any console so far. I have to admit I haven’t seen the Nintendo WiiU unveiling due to my utter disinterest in Nintendo since the Wii, but I’d wager they at least had one exclusive game to show off. Or, you know, any games at all.

If this presentation is anything to go by, the PS4 has at least won my confidence, not the Xbox One. Sony clearly spoke about developer support while Microsoft was talking about ESPN and watching tv and where Sony showed finished gameplay Microsoft showed…more ESPN stuff. With no real information about the technical specs of the Xbox One (something that Sony did share with us) we can’t tell which of the two consoles will be more powerful, but it looks like this gen as well things will mostly be multiplat, with a little spin-off playground for the WiiU users who are stuck more and more in the past.

As for me, I’ll just be buying the one that gets hacked the first, but I’m certainly hoping it will be a Playstation this time around.

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