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May 21
2013

#XboxReveal Live-Blogging

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7:30am-pst

The Wii U is available for purchase, the PS4 is well on its way, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn to show us what they’ve got in store for the oncoming next console generation. After months of rumors about always-online functionality, attacks on used games and piracy, and even the name, we will finally get some answers from team green. Today at 1pm Eastern/10am Pacific Microsoft will be officially unveiling the next Xbox via livestream only on Xbox Live, Xbox.com, SpikeTV, and Gametrailers.com.

Feel free to get your popcorn .gifs ready, and come back right here in about 2.5 hours for live updates of the big unveiling.

9:00am-pst

We’re only one hour away from the reveal. Don’t forget to use the #xboxreveal hashtag when tweeting about the next gen event, and until things get rolling use the #xboxmemories hashtag to reflect back on the last two gens.

10:00am-pst

And here. We. Go.

Don Mattrick has stepped on stage to begin the conference. “Today we put you at the center of a new generation in the living room…Where all of your entertainment comes alive.” He reflects back on the original Xbox launch, Xbox Live, the beginning of HD gaming with the Xbox 360, and the use of motion controls with Kinect. We’ll find out what’s next for the 360 at E3, but today we’re “looking forward.”

Emphasis on harmonizing experiences of the living room, and address the fragmented nature of tech.

“All in One System” that is “Simple, instant, and complete.”

Here it comes.

And here it is: the Xbox One.

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10:08am-pst

Yusuf Mehdi has taken the stage to talk about the console’s features. The console can be turned on by voice, “Xbox, on.”

The game’s hub menu looks very similar to the one on the 360, but with some key differences. The home screen remembers the individual player’s most recent activities, and has a trending hub that will show you the most popular new content.

Live TV accessible through the Xbox One, provided you have your cable provider connected to it.

“Instant Switching” via voice command allows for switching between tv, gaming, music, movies, and all media instantaneously.

“Snap mode” allows you to run multiple programs on your Xbox at the same time. Yusuf is watching Star Trek while simultaneously opening internet explorer to find tickets for the sequel.

Skype is integrated into the Xbox One, and allows for group video chats through your Xbox One on your television.

Next up the ESPN app which can integrate your fantasy sports stats, standings, and featured highlights, alongside live games on tv.

Potential for live events (award shows, political debates, Superbowls) as an interactive medium is opened up with these features.

10:17am-pst

Live television listings funneled through the Xbox One. Voice commands allow for switching between channels easily.

Xbox Trending will also let you see what is popular among Xbox Live users with both live tv and on-demand video.

Marc Whitten has taken the stage now, talking about the hardware.

10:20am-pst

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Practically silent operation promised despite incredibly powerful operations under the hood. Blu-ray functionality was thrown in rather slyly.

Three operating systems in the Xbox One architecture: Xbox, Microsoft, and a third that brings the two together.

New Kinect sensor paired with every Xbox One, and this device is programmed to respond directly to the individual player.

“This is rocket science.” No, this is video games….and we still haven’t seen any.

Smartglass has returned. Natively part of the platform. honestly forgot that existed

Kinect recognizes you and your controller and integrates the player into the game without any lag.

10:26am-pst

Now discussing Xbox Live. Over 300,000 servers supporting Live for Xbox One.

Content available and stored in the cloud at all times.

10:32am-pst

Andrew from EA Sports announces Fifa ’14, NBA Live ’14, MMA, and Madden ’14 for the Xbox One. He’s also a hottie.

Montage of athletes talking about sports but not sports games…..”I usually look at people’s feet.” Me too.

And now footage of Xbox One EA Sports titles.

Some very impressive animations going on, assuming this is all realtime gameplay and not pre-rendered. probably isn’t

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Studios, has taken the stage now, is also a cutie.

Forza Motorsport 5, running on Xbox One, is shown off.

10:38am-pst

Forza Motorsport 5 will be available at launch.

Phil is talking about ‘first times’ and I am having funny feelings. What a dilf. in gaming. Now he’s discussing Remedy, and Max Payne and Alan Wake.

Quantum Break from Remedy is now being shown. Live action footage being shown off. Switched to game footage of a boat slamming into a bridge. Now seeing clips of human characters running around.Not entirely clear what this game is about besides a creepy little girl and broken glass.

Microsoft Studios planning to release 15 games within the first year of Xbox One, eight of which are new franchises.

10:43am-pst

Oh look a woman! Only took 40 minutes.

Talking about television again.

Bonnie Ross from 343 Industries is here to talk about Halo. She is discussing how to evolve storytelling in gaming, citing the ambitious growth of storytelling in television in recent years and figuring out how to integrate that into gaming through Xbox One.

Live action Halo television series is on the way, from Steven Spielberg! This will be a premium series distributed through Xbox One (no mention of any other major broadcasters involved).

Aaaaaand time for more sports. Sigh.

10:48am-pst

New partnership with the NFL. Integrating live football with fantasy sports and the Xbox One console. Not entirely clear what this partnership will entail beyond putting your fantasy team on the screen alongside a live game. Not sure how this “changes the game of football” but okay.

10:51am-pst

Wrapping up. They have mostly focused on the entertainment and cross media side of the console and less on the games. At E3 we’ll be seeing the big game announcements.

Xbox One launches around the world……later this year.

Ending the presentation with a world premiere of the new Call of Duty. All new DLC for the game will launch exclusively on Xbox One first.

Call of Duty: Ghosts. New world, new narrative, all built on a new engine.

Infinity Ward discussing the new Call of Duty. Working with Oscar winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan to create a new story and original characters that are well written and emotionally engaging.

This is easily the most impressive thing we’ve seen of the Xbox One, graphically. The other games were a bit underwhelming for a next gen console but this one is looking great.

Dynamic maps via the new engine that drastically changes the maps. Fully customizable characters for the first time in the series for next-gen multiplayer.

Zach Volker is a hottie. I’d be willing to play Call of Duty for him.

Gameplay time!

The game seems to be set in an alternate timeline, which allows a bit more story freedom.

In-game real-time visuals are beautiful. We’re seeing a wide variety of environments, and…gasp…a LOT of colorful scenery. Hopefully this means the era of gray and brown shooters is over.

And that’s a wrap on the Xbox One reveal.  Check back here soon for more in depth looks on the console from our other writers.

 

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About Sal Mattos

(Managing Editor and Writer) Sal lives in the beautiful city of San Francisco where he splits his time between playing games, watching copious amounts of television, and occasionally going outside. He has written for GayGamer and Gamezone. He studied creative writing and theatre at SFSU, and when not gaming can most likely be found on stage somewhere. You can keep up with him on twitter @salmattos

4 Responses

  1. I would love to replace my PS3 with this. Shame I’ll still need my 360 to play Fallout New Vegas though ^_^.

  2. avatar Shin Gallon says:

    Kinect required to operate means I’m never owning one. Looking more and more like my feeling that I’m PC only from here on out is going to be true.

  3. avatar Michael says:

    Kinect is required? When I got my kinect it said I was too close for it to function. Despite the fact it was pressed against one wall and I was against the opposite wall. I can’t afford to get a bigger place! Guess that means I can’t play the new xbox if I wanted to.

    Which is fine by me, I haven’t heard one single good thing about it. I really wish I had chosen to go with the PS years ago when I chose which console system to go with. Microsoft’s ‘peripherals’ have ruined the xbox. When they saw no one wanted there crud, they should have said sorry and taken it away and buried it. Not force it down everyone’s throats. It’s as if games are the last thing on their minds.

    I just want xbox to be what it used to be. A great system, with great games, that cared about it’s players. Now it’s none of those. Microsoft won’t be getting anymore of my money again..

  4. avatar leap says:

    Meh, screw Xbox. Screw all consoles really. I just don’t care any more. Maybe I’ll pick one up in 5 years when it’s cheap.

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