E3 2013 Impressions: Xbox One
Microsoft and Sony have laid their cards on the table and delivered exciting presentations showcasing the new consoles and games we’ll be getting our hands on in the coming months, and in some cases, years.
In the months leading up to the big reveals, there have been several rumours circulating in regards to restrictions imposed on Microsoft’s new console, unfortunately they pretty much all turned out to be true. On the other hand, there really hasn’t been much speculation about Sony’s new baby, which had me a bit worried. No one seemed to be asking them about the important stuff that Microsoft had been under the microscope for. Would PS4 end up having the same types of game licensing restrictions as Xbox One in the end? Are we (the gaming community) screwed either way? Nope! It would seem that Sony is our saviour at the moment, with Xbox One’s main points of concern being directly addressed in Sony’s presentation, and received by thunderous applause. I, sitting alone in my living room, nearly leapt from my couch with excitement as Jack Tretton (President and CEO of SCEA) went down the list.
Heading into E3, I was very much on the fence with both parties. Xbox One has all of these shitty restrictions on games, sketchy business in regards to requiring the console to check-in once every 24 hours, and a mandatory Kinect sensor. But the hardware’s nice, and they will no doubt have games lined up for some of my most beloved franchises. We hadn’t even seen the actual PS4 console yet, and none of the concerns with Xbox One have even been discussed by Sony. But they have a Killzone game at launch, the new controller actually looks pretty sweet, and I loved how their announcement presentation was all about games, with little focus on other mediums like music, movies, and television services.
This is a two-part article, and I’m going to focus on Microsoft’s new console from here out.
Microsoft’s Xbox One Presentation
It kicked off with a lengthy Metal Gear Solid 5 announcement trailer, which I’m sure had a lot of people excited. But I’ve never been a fan of the series, and while the trailer for this new open world game did raise my eyebrows at least a couple of times, I probably won’t end up playing it once it’s released. So bummer, right off the bat. A slew of other trailers were shown, of which only a few really resonated with me. Of the exclusive titles…
- Forza Motorsport 5
I love me some Forza, but I’ve played so many racing games (and every single Forza title to date) over the years, and find it hard to get truly excited about them anymore. Launch title, but not a system seller for me.
- Quantum Break
Looks like it could be cool, but still very little is actually known about it. The supposed in-game footage they showed today didn’t look like actual game-play at all. Due out some time in 2014.
- Ryse: Sons of Rome
They did a proper stage demo for this game, and I was quite impressed. Some brutally violent hack-and-slash action, with cool squad based mechanics. This is a launch title I would probably pick-up.
- Dead Rising 3
Meh. I’m glad it’s going an entirely new direction, as Dead Rising 2 seemed extremely lazy, but when I heard the words “open world” and “zombies” in the same sentence, I groaned like a zombie myself.
This looks rad! It’s developed by a new studio formed by some of the founding members of Infinity Ward. Jetpacks, mechs that rain down from the sky, huge explosions, big battles. Totally looks like it would be a blast. Exclusive title, but not set to release until 2014.
- There were a few other exclusives shown, both in demo form and trailer, but none of them really hit home. Oh, and a new Halo game was teased, which is looking like it will see the light of day some time in 2014.
Some of the details pertaining to the console and Xbox Live…
- A new Xbox 360 was revealed, and in stores today. No idea why.
- Game licensing is very strict. Once purchased, physical discs can only be traded-in to approved retailers. If you want to give or sell a game to a friend, they have to have been on your Xbox Live friends list for 30 days, and games can only be transfered once. Lending games, renting games, and private sales (eBay, etc.) are not supported.
- Kinect (camera/microphone) ships with every console and must be plugged in for the console to work.
- Online connection is required, as the console must check-in once every 24 hours. If you’re playing on a friend’s console, it verifies your user account every hour.
- No more Microsoft Points! They’re doing away with them in favour of real currency. Thank you!
- Xbox Live account will carry over to Xbox One, and can be used on both Xbox One and Xbox 360 moving forward.
- From July 1st until Xbox One is released, Gold members will receive two free games per month. Examples of these free games include Fable III, Halo 3, and Assassin’s Creed II. While they’re all old games, they’re big titles and worth your time.
- Partnership with Twitch to allow real-time streaming from the console. This is a pretty cool feature, and something I can see myself using on this here blog.
- $499 at launch.
As you can see, there are plenty of positive points, but also a good amount of negative. At the moment, I’m not sold on Xbox One. Not at launch, anyway. I will no doubt pick one up at some point, as I can see it being my secondary console, where I only buy the exclusive titles for it. Funny, because the roles are reversed in my living at the moment, with Xbox 360 being my primary console, and PS3 only being used to play exclusives and Blu-ray movies. How times have changed!
What’s your stance now that everything is out in the open? Are you going to be pre-ordering a console or picking one up at launch? I’d love to hear what console you currently prefer, and which you’re most interested in for next-gen.
If you missed the press conference and want to watch it yourself, here you go…