Microsoft’s ‘next generation’ in gaming was announced yesterday evening from 6pm UK time. At the time I was on my way home from work in what can only be described as a state of ignorance; while I was intrigued to see what the new Xbox would have up its sleeve, I wasn’t exactly drooling over the details like most of Twitterdom appeared to be doing at the time.
So, what can us gamers expect from the new Xbox One? Well, a half-decent name for a start. I was seriously hoping against the 720 nickname, because the next one would’ve then had to be the 1440 and it would’ve started getting daft.
First things first, the box itself; something which thankfully they felt comfortable in showing off – unlike Sony’s weird attempt not to actually display their new PS4 at the launch in February. It’s actually quite a sleek little thing, although I did have to stifle a chuckle when ‘VCR’ was trending last night apropos of nothing – it obviously occurred to a lot of people that they’d have to try hard not to insert a tape into the new gadget. The Blu-Ray drive means increased data capability like the PS3, so you won’t be naffing about with multiple discs – something I’d not really realised was so annoying until I got into Mass Effect 2 over the weekend – while the 500GB drive should just about manage to hold a couple of games, although that whole weird-sounding ‘cloud storage’ thing should be coming into play too.
The controller is, dare I say it, just as nice-looking as before. I think that as a part of the whole package, the controller can sometimes fall down in the order of importance – but as it’s the one thing we’d physically be engaged with you would hope that some credence is given to making it as easy to use and comfortable to hold as possible; a lesson surely learned from the previous generation of X-Box, which made even big hands like mine strain from time to time.
Of course, the games look beautiful – but that should really be par for the course. If you’ve got no imagination then don’t worry – there are new FIFA and Call of Duty games especially for you.
Smart Match is certainly an interesting one too –it’ll find players online of similar skill levels to you and match you up seamlessly. Just as long as they remember: Rage Quit is a disease that affects the best of us.
It’s the whole not-gaming thing that’s worrying me though. Switching to TV halfway through a game simply by voice-commanding your Kinect? Yeah, that’s good – but I feel like it’s a complete disaster waiting to happen – not to mention, something which non-gaming girlfriends and boyfriends can use simply to wind up their spouses during an intense session after they forgot to put the bins out.
No backwards compatibility? That one has got to hurt. The 360 has been in play for seven and a half years now; that’s quite a collection for anyone. I for one wouldn’t be pleased to have to give all that up just so I can get my hands on the latest console quite so quickly….or at all, if this pre-owned fee thing turns out to be true,
So what do you make of the new Xbox One announcement? Will you be joining “the games revolution”?