Wow. I am stunned.
After I recovered from the glut of buzzwords like "all-in-one" and "entertainment center" and "future of media", I realized that what I had watched wasn't a console reveal. It was a media box reveal.
The first half hour was spent talking about non-gaming menu features, video-watching, fantasy league, and Bing integration. "Where are the games?" I thought.
And then Microsoft delivered. Please welcome to the stage....EA Sports? What? This is the future of the Xbox brand? Okay, so then I watched as EA gave lip service to the Xbox One, knowing full well that these games would be available on every other console (except for Wii-U, of course).
More video streaming. More media integration. I do like how they announced 8 gigs of RAM (but nothing else about the hardware power), but then my hopes were dashed when they subsequently announced three (yes, THREE) operating systems working in tandem. Programming nightmare aside, this is going to take a huge bite out of those 8 Gigs, leaving very little for actual gaming power.
Oh! Turn 10. Forza 5 as a launch title. That's pretty cool.
Studio 343! Heck yeah! A new Halo.....TV show? Wait. WHAT? Did Microsoft seriously just announce a Halo TV show instead of showing off the next Halo title? This has to be a joke. Maybe they have another big-hitter.
Oh. Call of Duty. Call of Duty timed exclusive DLC, something we all knew was coming. It's going to be multiplatform anyway.
What the heck did I just watch? I knew Microsoft was going downhill since their shift in focus to Kinect, but I didn't realize they were this crazy. News flash: we want a game console, not a media box. When your console announcement shows off two - TWO - exclusives (Forza 5 and Quantum whatever), there's a problem. When the first publisher you bring to the stage is EA Sports, there's a problem. When you bring 343 Studios and Steven Spielberg up to talk about a TV show, not a game, there's a problem.
I know what Microsoft defenders will say: "Wait for E3!" Well guess what? The console reveal is a window into the direction, focus, and philosophy of the console. Microsoft spelled out their focus in black and white: media center. You think games are the focus? Not even Microsoft seemed to think so.
I was willing to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. I figured Kinect was a stop-gap while they shifted development to the NextBox (I guess I should start calling it the Xbox One). But apparently, Kinect is even more of a focus this time. And games? 15 exclusives in the first year (the number Microsoft announced) is nothing if they're just Kinect Sports 2.0.
Where are the games? Seriously? Is this how Microsoft wants to expand the gaming audience? Several people keep saying "it was about the hardware! Wait for E3!" Really? It was about the hardware? Do tell! What sort of processor does it use, and what is the speed? What sort of RAM will it use? What is the read speed of the Blu Ray drive? What is the speed of the 500 GB hard drive? Is the 500 GB hard drive a standard feature, or a premium feature? Those are a lot of hardware questions, and I'm not a very tech-saavy guy. I'm sure others with a better grasp of gaming hardware could come up with a dozen more questions to ask.
I also know what others will say "but PS4 announcement sucked! But Wii-U announcement sucked!" First of all, this isn't about other consoles. Second of all, those consoles actually showed off games.
No backwards compatibility (doesn't bother me, but it does bother some others):
And guess what? No used games is confirmed, or at least, no used game installs:
You can install games to the hard drive (cool) but once a game is used by the first person, you "would be given the option to pay a fee and install the game from the disc" if you bought the game used or rented it.
IGN also confirms that Kinect is required. R-e-q-u-i-r-e-d.
If this is the future of Xbox, I want no part in it.