The new "Xbox One" has been revealed. Microsoft has drawn back the curtain. What they seem to take so much pride in has the gaming community reeling back. It's not quite as promising as we'd hoped.
At the release event, a whole array of major upcoming games were showcased and announced for Microsoft's new "Xbox One". Titles like "Call of Duty: Ghosts" for Xbox One can't help but provoke images of an unholy union between Ghost Recon and Call of Duty. I watched the trailer for the game, and I was left rather unimpressed. Perhaps it was just my video streaming quality that ruined the impact of the presentation, but what I saw fell somewhat short of what I was expecting from a next generation console. Perhaps this is just because I was watching a video stream of an incomplete sample of the game.
I was excited to hear, however, that Steven Spielberg will be working on a Halo television series. I, myself will definitely be tuning into that, though I'm somewhat disappointed that 343 Industries still won't make a full-length film out of the Halo universe. Having to tune in periodically is more of a hassle than a simple one-time buy-and-watch experience that an actual movie brings to the table. I suppose it is 343's way of keeping you hooked.
I noticed that the Xbox One reveal featured a lot of sports-related titles and news. I, for one, do not play sports titles so the great emphasis they put on how the Xbox One will revolutionize sports games was quite lost on me. Sorry sports fans, I just can't get excited about Microsoft's partnership with the NFL.
The new interface system that the Xbox One utilizes is pushing the hands-free dimension of gaming and machine interface to a new level. Now with a wide array of universal voice commands and hand gestures, the Xbox One (which includes a HD camera) allows you to multitask like you had eight arms. The interface demos featured the ability to browse the internet, Skype, play and pause games, and watch movies all at the same time on the same screen without using your hands. Not to mention that it will be compatible with Cloud, Smart Glass, and other technologies I don't even know anything about. This machine was designed to go beyond gaming and basically replace nearly ever device in your living room and/or entertainment area.
The presentation itself was focused on the immersive experience that the Xbox One could offer customers and how it could connect gamers and viewers like never before. When I said I was afraid, this is what I was talking about. Don't get me wrong, it is exciting, but I'm not sure if I actually want to be THAT immersed or as connected as the developers said that it WOULD allow. My impression of the presentation was that I had little choice in how connected or how immersed I would be. If you think about it, if a person were to fully utilize all the features of Microsoft's new machine, this new Xbox, with its HD camera and mic could completely observe and control your digital life. If hacked, it would be possible to view into the living rooms of millions of households and observe, in ridiculous amount of detail, (the camera and sensors they showed off on the thing were so impressive that I wouldn't doubt that it could sense whether you have a boner or not) the daily and personal lives of consumers. To fully allow the Xbox One to inhabit your entertainment area would be like putting all your apples into one basket so to speak.
I'm excited to see where the Xbox One is headed later this year and to see what new innovations can be built upon it, but I'm also somewhat put out at the level of integration into my entertainment system/space that Microsoft expects to achieve.