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Xbox One: Putting “It” All in One Place

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 05/21/13 at 05:53 PM CT

After months of speculation and rumor-mongering, Microsoft has finally revealed the true identity of the console-formerly-known-as Durango: The Xbox One. Apparently someone at Microsoft has difficulty with counting in the single digits, as the Xbox One is actually the THIRD Microsoft console, and that moniker seems more fitting as a retroactive title for the original Xbox from the 6th Generation.

I understand what Microsoft was trying to accomplish with the name, though, as the reveal event put on display the Xbox One’s ability to be a one-stop shop for all forms of TV-based entertainment, and shows it to be a significant improvement over Nintendo’s half-assed TVii app. Of course, as someone who watches 2 hours of TV per week (not counting incidental viewings of whatever news program or gameshow might be running while I’m eating a meal), the fact that Microsoft’s new console more closely resembles a glorified cable box than an actual game console is not inspiring.

But what about the other stuff Microsoft had to say about the Xbox One? Sports, sports, sports! As someone who is proud of the fact that I have never endured a sporting event in its entirety, the addition of built-in Fantasy Football tracking is repellant (indeed, my definition of “Fantasy Football” involves a wizard using his supreme magical powers to travel back in time and destroy the evil that is football at its source, obliterating the scourge from all universes). Then there’s the fact that EA’s feud with Nintendo suddenly makes sense with the revelation that EA has crawled up Microsoft’s butt and built a nest out of annual sports videogames. On the other hand, there was a great announcement that the console will have “15 exclusive games” in the first year, including “8 new franchises.” But out of the games revealed so far, there are only sequels to “Halo” and “Call of Duty” to go along with sequels to EA’s sports franchises and “Forza 5.” The only new game revealed was “Quantum Break,” which looks like an attempt to copy some of Sony’s recent dreary-realism games like “Heavy Rain” and “The Last of Us.” Of course, what Sony DOESN’T have is original TV programming to tie-into both “Halo” and “Quantum Break,” so people who enjoy watching videogames more than playing them (or watching high-quality videogame movies) will have a reason to fire-up the Xbox One. Hopefully some of the more trivial information that nobody cares about, little things like titles and genres, will come out of the woodwork at E3.

Of course, the elephant in the room – used game compatibility – was also addressed, and the news was less than pleasant. It seems that Microsoft is dead-set upon turning the Xbox One into a proprietary and DRM-riddled PC… we have pre-owned fees for games, a fancy new interface that involves voice control and hands-free touch controls via the Kinect 2, a persistent Internet connection to grab TV listings and push advertisements… why couldn’t Microsoft just integrate these features into Windows Media Center and call it good?

At least with their focus on TV and sports along with their alliances with EA and Activision (What, no Ubisoft to complete the triumvirate of evil?), Microsoft is showing that they know their target audience and how to cater to them. Of course, as someone who has never been in Microsoft’s console target audience, I want nothing to do with the Xbox One. I’m just glad that Microsoft is doing the world a favor and putting “It” all in one place… “It” is easier to avoid that way.

That is a nice controller, though. I wonder when there will be Windows drivers available…

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dbarry_22

Wrote on05/24/13 at 01:58 PM CT

As a person who does enjoy sports and fantasy football, I would like to add that I, too, am not thrilled about the integrated fantasy football in this system.

I don't understand why that's so much better than when I see a TD on the TV, then look down at my phone and it updates a few seconds later.

EA keeps getting worse, the NFL doesn't get it, and well, Microsoft is making this system such a pain that people won't be willing to cough up the cash to give it a shot.

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Chris

Wrote on05/22/13 at 12:40 PM CT

Don't forget they also confirmed mandatory Kinect usage - because I want a machine that's always connected to the Internet with a camera to be always on - all the time. Big Brother is alive and well - no matter how much Microsoft wants to protect your privacy, this, even more than locking games to one console - disturbs me. Maybe E3 will give us a more well-rounded picture, but as it stands, things look bad for One.

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Jonzor

Wrote on05/22/13 at 12:46 AM CT

I expected to hear a lot about Illumiroom today. Did they even show ANYTHING for it? That was the one thing Microsoft was working on that had a chance at actually enhancing the game experience that no one else would be doing.

They're right to try and land some new exclusive IPs. That was the weak point in their library for the 360.

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