Xbox One: Look ma’! No hands!

Alex Rivera, Editor-in-Chief

 

Since its announcement on May 21 earlier this year, the Xbox One has been on my mind. With the new Kinect features and entertainment focus from that press release, I couldn’t help but wonder what else the Xbox One can do. And on Monday, June 10, I was pleasantly surprised with more. Much, much more.

 

The new Xbox controller will now have a sleeker design alongside its console, with a light feel to it as well as a smaller lithium battery in the back to flatten its size.

 

The Xbox One itself will literally look exactly like an entertainment system, most likely to reflect its main goal for the next generation. The new and much-improved Kinect will come with the consoles having a new design as well, appealing to the modern at heart. But most importantly, it will flex its hands-free muscles by integrating much more engaged voice-activated commands.

 

Being a Microsoft guy since the days of the original Xbox, I was more than excited when eight years after the Xbox 360 they’d be releasing a new and much-improved console. The press conference in May talked a lot about the entertainment side of things, focusing on being able to watch live TV, search the web and Skype with friends. All of these features can be handled without a control in your hand. The new Kinect is fully integrated with the Xbox One, allowing you to tell the Xbox when to turn on, switch to live TV, watch a movie and much more. Xbox One is bringing technology I remember seeing in the movies. To reiterate a common cliché: The future is now. The Xbox One will try to handle all aspects of entertainment in one box, and from the looks of it, will achieve its goal.

 

Then, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft revealed what many people felt they lacked back in May: games, games and more games. Many people criticized Microsoft for only discussing the entertainment portion of the console, but what they failed to realize is that just three short weeks later they’d be bombarded with mounds of games. Game exclusives including Ryse and Quantum Break as well as mutli-platform games like Call of Duty, Ghosts and NBA 2K14 took the value of the Xbox One through the roof. Not to mention the announcement of the next Halo installment. Yes, Microsoft’s stock dropped after the reveal back in May, but with the plethora of games coming in November, the Xbox One has now proven to once again be at the top of the gaming mountain. Just like any system, bold decisions are being made with the Xbox One, including an always-online feature that will require all Xbox Ones to be connected to the internet at least once a day. But such bold decisions are always received with a little fear. The price tag on the Xbox One is reasonable considering all the features that the new system will bring into the home. At $499, it is one of the pricier releases of a system, but it brings much more into the home than any other system. With TV, Skype, web search, and of course, games, the Xbox One will be the premier entertainment system in homes for years to come.

 

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