My initial reaction to the Xbox One is rather optimistic. A somewhat underwhelming press conference performance by Microsoft didn’t hinder my excitement for the new Xbox One, set to be released later this year. Fears of “always on” gaming can be put to rest: That’s not happening.
But what is happening might be more damning. Rumors abound concerning backwards and used-gaming compatibility. Both signs point to NOPE. No backwards compatibility for either Xbox or Xbox 360, and used-games will require a fee of some sort. All just rumors for now, but they’re not pretty.
But the press conference, aside from a few connection hiccups that I’m sure were purely from my end, went swimmingly and Microsoft wowed the press in attendance today. From demonstrating the seamless dashboard with various media connectivity — remember when turning on your console without a game simply crashed it? — to showcasing a shockingly small number of games, the pre-E3 press conference got enough buzz to keep Microsoft coasting through the summer.
By and large, the highlight of the press conference was the announcement of a Halo primetime television series, which according to Microsoft will be “premium,” as it was likened to cable TV darlings Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. The showrunner is none other than Steven Spielberg, whose name will widen your eyes for a few seconds until you remember his other TV credits: the short-lived sci-fi Terra Nova and the groan-inducing Smash which I admit I kind of wanted to see for reasons I will not disclose. And by reasons I mean Debra Messing.
The press conference certainly raised more questions than answers. Where will Halo be broadcast? What other games will be available? How much? When? No release date was specified (“later this year”), a price tag was not even mentioned, and despite touts that the Xbox One will launch with eight new original IPs, nothing was ever specified.
Still, with E3 right around the corner the wait for answers will only be so long. So chill out and go finish playing Mass Effect 3 on Insane. Oh, you did already? That’s nice. I didn’t. Go to hell.
UPDATE: More titles are being confirmed for the new Xbox One, including the much-anticipated Watch Dogs. Now I’m excited. Check IGN for more.