Xbox One – The Ramble

So the way I wrote this blog post is in conjunction with how the reveal is screened, in that order for the most part also. It’s also a long one, so feel free to skim over the bold parts that hold no interest with you.

Xbox One

“Not too sure about the name. It is really presumptuous in the way it’s introduced and a bit arrogant too in the way they presented it. Then again, it is corporate speak and they have to speak with confidence, but I’m really not a fan of it. Also, noting an early thing on the controller in that there seems to be a loss of two, maybe three, buttons – what used to be Start and Back seem to be replaced with a screen switching button and a “menu” button? maybe replaces the Guide menu which was previously the use of the Xbox button (which is now higher and reasonably assumed to be non-functional in this iteration). Considering how little I use of the 360’s Kinect as well, seeing a lot of how it’s essential to the function of the One is rather unsettling and concerning for me.”

Tech Demonstration

“Obviously scripted to react quickly. The tech demo for Kinect was never that fast, and I doubt new technology – atop of all the security bullshit – will make that faster. Also, I hate looking at what’s trending on Twitter – why the fuck would I want that on my Xbox?

‘Xbox, go home, you’re drunk.’ -Some Twitter responses.

Seems appropriate. I’m also not likely to bounce around between different programs, so switching from different things is relatively useless. Snap might be useful, but it does seem awkward, having a small side-screen if you want to work with more space. Skype looks good that way too, but does video calls in group Skype calls a free service for Xbox Live customers or does it require an additional charge? And will Skype be an installable device for the 360, if they truly are going to support both the One and the 360?”

Tech Talk

“Not entirely a tech person, but guessing 10x the number of transistors is a good thing? Because I know that having 16x the amount of RAM is typically a very good thing. Blu-ray is a good thing because (A) it eliminates what competition the PS3 had last generation, and (B) more content on the disc, which likely means less problems with disc switching – hopefully won’t be necessary, though, judging by later mentions. 64 bit architecture basically makes it up to date with Windows 7-8, although it seems the “architecture” is a multi-tasking term for the jargon used for separating out “Windows 8” and “Xbox One” if you look at it another way. Personally, I can do without Windows 8 unless I’m using a computer. And a Kinect with every Xbox One? May as well say it’s essential to the operation of the device – basically doing what the Wii remote sensor did years ago (albeit a device that does a lot more than the Wii remotes could ever do).

Also, there’s a part where the guy states that the number of servers they have for Xbox Live is ‘more than the entire world’s computing power in 1999.’ I swear someone laughed in the audience – and they weren’t alone, judging by Twitter feedback.

The ‘Game DVR’ thing (much like it was for the PS4 announcement) seems like they’re trying to take editing power away from the gamer while giving those without the tools to record and share software. ‘That can’t possibly go wrong…right?’ -Someone in Microsoft, no doubt. Kinda skipped over achievements and matchmaking, though the expanding architecture for Xbox Live to allow for larger games is possibly a good thing.”

EA Sports

“By the way, ‘This power means nothing without the world’s greatest creators. So here’s someone from EA!’ Possibly not the smartest of moves, given their reputation? Also, ‘we’re here to talk about games, so fuck it, let’s talk sports!’ Not everyone cares about sports, but that’s the first thing you shove in our faces, and not even working arenas, but wireframe models? When they finally got away from the wireframes, it does look good, but so did Ridge Racer 5 when it was first announced as a next-gen release title.”

MS Studios

“Forza 5 looks impressive, but again, it’s looks. It’s what we do all expect, but not what I care about. As for Quantum Break…all I saw were live action sequences and literal ‘flashes’ of gameplay. I saw nothing. In respect of the IP, news of there being 15+ exclusive titles in the first year is a ‘meh’ point until we know what all of them are, but hearing about 8 new IP’s is a very, very good thing. This is what the industry needs and wants, and I look forward to hearing more about the titles, including what new IP’s will crop up through the next generation across all consoles and PC. If the new IP comes out strong, it’s a confidence boost for developers and producers alike, and this will make a welcome change for the better for the industry as a whole. This exact thing is one reason I will support the next generation, but that’s not solely to one console. So we’ll see.”

Xbox Entertainment

“Starting off with ‘Among our many achievements’ is possibly a bad way to start off your talk when you’re talking about Xbox. Y’know, “gamerscore” and all that. And recommendations with ‘precision‘? They can’t do that now! I still get recommendations for DLC in games I HAVE THE DLC FOR! And the line of the presentation for me:

‘Xbox is about to become the next water cooler.’ -Nancy Tellem, Head of Xbox Entertainment Studios

WHAT THE FUCK?! Seriously?! You SERIOUSLY said that?! I don’t want a goddamn fucking water cooler IN MY BEDROOM, and I certainly don’t want a goddamn crowd in my bedroom. Not unless I suddenly turn to the porn industry for money and I want to get a good gangbang going. ‘And this is only act one’ I hear as I restart the video after that line…POSSIBLY not the best image in my head to restart the video from, that said. But that’s Wonderbook-level bad when it comes to Xbox analogies. And after the next segment, more sports. Meh. Opinion on sports is already known, so I’ll skip that entirely.”

Halo: The Television Series

“This does honestly deserve it’s own segment for three reasons:

  1. It’s an expansion to the Halo universe, which is already a diverse and immersive experience for those who’ve read through the entire expanse of books, novels and played through the 7 Halo titles that have been released since the original Xbox release (not counting Anniversary, it’s a re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved, not a new title).
  2. It’s a live action series. And considering the quality and expanse of work that was involved in their last live action series, Forward Unto Dawn (if you haven’t seen it, I recommend clicking the link to do so, even if only the first two parts are now available until Machinima release it again to the public), they did an immense job bringing the world to life. And if they have Weta Workshop on board again (mostly known to have risen from the foundations of Lord of the Rings but have been instrumental in other live action series such as Forward Unto Dawn) it’s going to be just as good.
  3. It has STEVEN FUCKING SPIELBERG working on the story. And I swear to all that’s holy, if you’ve never even heard of Steven Spielberg before, call your internet provider and cancel your internet right now and never look back, because he is a living legend in storytelling on the silver screen and I know every movie nerd who’s also a gamer exploded their pants at the reveal. I don’t need to explain his history here.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts

“Xbox exclusives? Meh, heard that line before, I’m sure. News of it basically reinventing from the ground-up is a good sign for CoD fans old and new, though we’ll see later in the year how ‘new’ it really is. Shame there’s a lot of talk about polygons in the entire video, although starting off with an actual story is a good start personally. As for leaning and sliding? Leaning isn’t new (BF3 had that, I believe) and neither is sliding (Far Cry 3). And I don’t really care if fish move out of my way. Aaaand we move from talking about the game then to talking about comparisons with character models – MORE TALK ABOUT POLYGONS! I DON’T CARE ABOUT POLYGONS! More realism typically means more space requirements, which often means less space for other things. LIKE STORY. AND GAMEPLAY. Still, trailer seems alright.”


“So it seems a lot of it was built around the hardware and tech demos and the ‘Entertainment’ side of things. A lot of people have been suggesting that because this was a hardware reveal, the team that’ll work on the E3 presentation will focus HEAVILY on the games, and I both hope and expect that to be the truth. Because if they don’t show any gameplay at E3, Xbox One will be counting to ten and getting KO’d the competition by that point, despite PS4 not even showing a console at their reveal (or maybe it’s the OUYA and they released it on a budget?) so it should be interesting for them. All that said, though, even if they do make gaming a big thing for the new Xbox, they’ve planted a REALLY bad slogan on themselves and their console when it comes to talking about the next generation of Xbox being the next water coolers.”

Post-Reveal Notes

“One of the good bits of news so far to come from this is that the One isn’t going to need an always online connection. That should be good to hear, though I’d have rather heard that myth be dispelled in the stream rather than as part of a post-stream chat with developer teams in the background.”

“There’s also talk of there being no backwards compatibility with the new Xbox which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion, just not a thing people can understand easily without getting into nerdisms. The operating architecture of the system and the platform base it runs from doesn’t cater well for either emulation or reintegration of older formats, and the whole ‘install before you play’ feature may have further conflicts with older games that don’t have that. So I can understand it and accept it – besides, I like my 360 and don’t want it dying out because of the One.”

“The other matter of debate is that the whole ‘install your game before you play’ thing? Yeah, that’s a pre-owned deterrent. Basically, games that get installed, in my own theory from the reports at least, are to have a unique ID attached to each game and, on installation, that ID is used to complete the installation and make the game playable. Using it on more than one system makes the second instance of installation void and an ‘unlock fee’ is then required to be paid. This is destined to fail. From fake claims of returned faulty goods (just to basically have the game and have your money returned to you after installation) to the outcry of anger from people who do trade in pre-owned games (due to falling trade with it being ‘two charges’ to be able to play a game) to even those people who share games in their circles (people who play on the same console, on the same games, in the same household) it’s going to be a monumental clusterfuck of problems.

If anything will make their boat sink, it’s going to be this, and I’m not likely to be sailing on it if that happens. There have been attempts to clarify what has been confirmed, but the ‘confirmation’ is basically less than what we, for all intents and purposes of finding out the truth, have been led to believe. All I’ll say on this matter, in closing, is that I hope they do the right thing and not screw themselves over in the ass on this one and come clean with what they plan to do now rather than later. The longer this one drags on, the more painful the launch event will be, and nobody wants another Dreamcast moment.”

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