After Sony’s impressive PlayStation 4 reveal event back in February, gamers had been anxiously awaiting Microsoft’s response. Now, we finally have their answer, and here is a short recap of the events of the show.
The event opened with a short presentation focusing on “you,” the gamer, implying the personalized nature of Microsoft’s new console. The video featured people of all ages discussing Xbox as a whole, with a few well-known celebrities thrown into the mix as well including Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.
Microsoft followed this up the smartest way possible, by getting straight to the point and revealing the console, the Xbox One. The device is much larger than expected, featuring a sleek black design but with a very boxy look. It’s very similar to some first generation DVD players, as you can see in the image below. The controller hasn’t changed much, which is a very good thing, but features a few modifications to increase functionality and performance.
Each console will be packaged with a Kinect sensor that is required for use, and several of the new features were shown off during the event. Microsoft is focusing on making the Xbox One the only device you’ll ever need in your living room, allowing users to instantly switch between gaming, live television, music, movies, and more. These features are controlled with voice recognition that is personalized to each user, and from the presentation it seems to work well. While the feature is a neat gimmick, it will probably get quite irritating to constantly say “Xbox, play game,” or “Xbox, watch TV.”
One of the most impressive features shown, however, was the ability to multitask. Gamers can be in the middle of playing a game and rather than pausing and switching to live TV to check the score of a sports event, a simple command of “Xbox, snap TV” will bring up the second screen. The feature is very similar to the snap feature in Windows 8.
Aside from the typical science talk that accompanies these events, such as the device having 8GB of ram and a blu-ray drive, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live will have far more dedicated servers this time around to further increase the network stability while offering bigger multiplayer games.
After the technical specs were out of the way, Electronic Arts took to the stage to present their new game engine for EA Sports called EA Sports Ignite, which is intended to create a much more realistic experience in titles such as Madden, FIFA, and upcoming UFC games. A short presentation featuring pre-rendered graphics from an upcoming Madden game followed, though no actual gameplay footage was shown.
This was also the case with the announcement of Forza 5, which was confirmed to be an Xbox One launch title. While the game’s short trailer was impressive, it featured only pre-rendered footage.
Microsoft also announced the Remedy, the team behind the Microsoft-exclusive Alan Wake, was developing a trans-media experience in the form of Quantum Break. Check out the trailer below:
Perhaps the biggest announcement of the show was the reveal that Steven Spielberg is producing a live-action Halo TV series due to the success of the web-series Forward Unto Dawn. The series will be exclusive to Xbox One users, so will most likely be available in the Microsoft store each week.
Microsoft gave a decent presentation, giving us a look at the Xbox One as an all-in-one console, but it’s clear the Microsoft may not be focusing their attention in the right areas. The entire show had a heavy focus on sports-related content, with almost no mention of upcoming games for the console. Hopefully, they will dedicate their entire E3 press conference to games rather than connecting the living room.
ScienceFiction.com will have more updates as they come.