Unsurprisingly, the gaming news du jour has revolved pretty exclusively around Microsoft’s official Tuesday unveiling of the Xbox 360’s successor: the Xbox One. While there have been months of build-up for this next-gen console, including its fair share of controversy and leaks of system specifications and features dating as far back as last October, the general public has not been able to set eyes on the device itself until this week.
As it turns out, Microsoft’s new console—first known as the Xbox 720, then code-named Durango—has finally settled into the official moniker of Xbox One. Initial reports speculated that Microsoft had chosen this slightly-pretentious name in hopes that gamers would ultimately condense it into the significantly-more-pretentious handle: “The One.” Of course, this being the internet, it was only a matter of minutes until the somewhat less-flattering nickname of Xbone was trending worldwide.
So what will the Xbox One actually do? Aside from the obvious—make games look slightly prettier—the new console additionally includes a Kinect, a new operating system, and a renewed focus on becoming an all-purpose media center rather than strictly a gaming console (so it turns out developer Jonathan Braid was right when he said Xbox was no longer all about the games). The beefed-up Kinect turns the Xbox into a voice-activated device, has significantly improved musculoskeletal detection, and can reportedly even detect your heartrate while you play. The enhanced hardware specs will certainly improve performance, and the heavily cloud-based OS will allow users to instantly resume saved games or paused movies and TV shows, in addition to potentially resuming your own personal saved games on different consoles—for example, at a friend’s house—simply by logging into your own Xbox account on their device. However, Microsoft placed the most emphasis on the Xbox One’s capability to improve... your TV watching experience? Wait, what?
Yes, you heard that right. The Xbox One is re-defining the next generation of entertainment and shattering the boundaries of your TV... by letting you watch TV more easily.
With all that said, the console’s reception in the gaming community was lukewarm, at best. Why? While IGN has compiled an excellent FAQ covering the key issues, the following GIF, found on Joystiq (via Kotaku), sums up the negative reaction most effectively, courtesy of David Fincher. (Warning: NSFW laguage.)
Meanwhile, in not-so-Microsoft-friendly Japan....
In other gaming news this week, Joe Biden talks a violence tax, The Last of Us still looks amazing, and Telltale looks to build on the success of their Walking Dead games. Read on!
- As anticipation builds for Naughty Dog’s latest and greatest offering in the third-person survival genre, The Last of Us, let’s check in briefly on how the game is looking.
- Hmmmm... yep. Still awesome.
- As part of the Xbox One rollout, Microsoft announced a Spielberg-produced live-action Halo TV series.
- Replay Games is delaying their Leisure Suit Larry HD remake until the end of June in order to fix up a number of last-minute bugs discovered by their testing team.
- Telltale’s next game, A Wolf Among Us, will make the choices you make in-game more meaningful than in their prior critically-acclaimed Walking Dead series.
- Finally, a violence tax on violent media, with video games at the forefront? Definitely a possibility, according to Joe Biden.