All the endless speculation, rumors, guesses, conjectures and just plain wild stabs in the dark about the next generation of video game consoles finally came to an end today. Microsoft officially pulled back that big proverbial curtain to introduce the world to their newest console: the Xbox One.
Microsoft held a special press conference to unveil the new console and its capabilities and features earlier today from their headquarters in Redmond, Washington that was also streamed live over the Internet. The announcements only confirmed a taste of the plans that leaked on to the Internet late last year such as its promise for a better Kinect camera that better can recognize the movements of the players and even voice commands that can control the console from powering it on to moving through the console’s functions and sections of its main hub. However, it looks like we’ll have to wait and see if it can produce playable 3D images that jump out of the screen and make you wish you had purchased a home insurance plan that included breakable belongings and punched wall holes.
The conference focused mainly on the new console’s capabilities and functions rather than games, which was a letdown since that’s the main reason that anyone would plunk down a huge chunk of change for one of these consoles. They did reveal some impressive pre-played footage of “Forza Motorspot 5,” the newest entry to the “Call of Duty” franchise called “Ghosts,” some EA Sports titles including the new FIFA, Madden, NBA Live and UFC titles and a new game from “Alan Wake” studio Remedy for some kind of psychic action-adventure called “Quantum Break.” They promised they would unveil more playable games at this year’s E3 conference, the lousy teasers.
Microsoft has also poured a lot of resources into their entertainment and media divisions to power their newest Xbox. The company claims their console can switch between your TV’s various inputs (movies, live TV and games) using voice commands instead of a remote control and even function like a second hub for your cable service with TV listings and full channel control. They have also partnered with the National Football League and ESPN to deliver live broadcast games with enhanced information features for fantasy players that update their team’s stats in real time. They are also planning to deliver original shows exclusive through the Xbox One including a new live action “Halo” show helmed by legendary director Steven Spielberg.
So when will you be able to buy this high-powered (and sure to be high-priced) video game console? “Later this year.” Damn it, Microsoft! Tell us already! I need my sleep!