Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

E3 2016 – My Highlights (Xbox)

July 2, 2016

Well another E3 has passed, people have been wetting themselves with excitement.  Amongst all of the hype and bling here are the few things I’ve taken away from the event focusing on the Xbox presentation:

Battlefield 1 is looking better and better with each trailer, this is one game on my definite buy list for the year.  I am hoping this may be the year BF kills Call of Duty which has grown more stale and less fun each year since it’s glory days.bf1

Titanfall 2 – This looks awesome and with free DLC maps this is sure to be a hit.

Dead Rising 4 is coming, I liked the original but this probably won’t be a purchase for me.

Forza Horizon 3 – This looks amazing, another game I would like to purchase.  I just hope the music soundtrack falls more in line with FH1 than 2 as  that was a great soundtrack.

ID@Xbox – Always like to see what comes from here but there is a lot of crap to  sort through to find the gems.  However ‘We Happy Few’ really has taken my interest, this game looks very creepy but exciting.

xbox-one-sXbox One S – Don’t get me wrong, this looks great and I love the fact the size has been reduced and the power pack is in built.  I however have very little interest in 4K TV at the moment so it’s not for me, although I do know many people foaming at the mouth in anticipation of it’s release.

Project Scorpio – This was the big news for me, what is going to be the next generation of Xbox console for Microsoft and boy have they made it powerful.  They clearly stated it would not be the death of the Xbox One but Iscorpio-2 assume it will be purely backwards compatible with games as opposed to being able to play Xbox one players with better graphics.  The cost is an unknown at this stage and also it makes me wonder if this will just push Sony to delay their next console until the can make it better, however history has shown (as with the Xbox 360) that first out of the gate can gain a massive market advantage, so here’s hoping.

 

 

 

Microsoft – Opening Up The Gaming Network

March 24, 2016

microsoftIn the last few weeks MS has announced that it will open up it’s gaming network to other platforms, with a stealthy nod towards Sony and the PS4.

This would mean that subject to a game developer deciding to go down this route, you would be able to play say a PC gamer from your Xbox One.  Also in what was thought to be a ‘never going to happen’ scenario there is the possibility to allow Xbox One gamers to play PS4 owners, that is if Sony decided to take up this offer from MS.
xbox-live-1

I am not a tecnical guru and my knowledge is limited however I have a number of concerns with this proposal which I will detail below:

PC gamers can have an advantage through mods;
PC gamers have always been known to mod games with some even creating whole new games based upon an original game’s engine (DayZ for instance).  However the issue comes with games such as first person shooters as the PC world is plagued by servers full of PC gamers who have modded their game with things such as aim bots, disruptors to others connections, etc.  It doesn’t appear as if this issue has ever been fully resolved on the PC so how do MS propse they will prevent this on the open network?

Varying performance of platforms causing an unfair advantage.
Even if the PC gamer is more saintly than mother Teresa they may have an advantage simply by the speed their rig can display images on screen.  For example lets take the fast paced world of Call of Duty.  If a PC gamer has a top of the range rig, they may see an enemy just a split second sooner thus giving them  the upper hand.  Again how do MS propose to prevent this, or is this down to the game developers?

Is it opening the Xbox world up to more risks of attack?
As we have seen over recent years Xbox Live has probably been the most secure of the gaming networks, however even that has come under attack a few times.  Will opening up the network perhaps leave us Xbox gamers open to more risk, such as when the PSN network gets attacked yet again.  Does it make it easier for attackers to carry out a multi network hit at the same time?
psn-logo

Finally do we want to play with other networks in the first place?
It may be just my personal opinion but I feel there is a subtle difference between the type of Xbox and Playstation gamer, I feel that the Playstation gamers particularly on Call of Duty are often younger and more vocal (what I call squeakers).   As someone in my 30s I don’t want to have to mute half a lobby just because the network has been opened up.

MS has already mentioned that cross network play will be optional to the user, so you will be able to specify that you only want to play with Xbox gamers, however some of the above risks would still be applicable.

I am sure this is not a decision MS has taken lightly and I am sure in time they will publiclly address these and many other concerns, but for the time being it just makes me a little nervous.

Kinect-less Xbox One–Issues, Issues, Issues

May 17, 2014

xb1

This week Microsoft announced they would be releasing a Kinect free Xbox One.  This has been met with great internet back lash.

This is showing yet again Microsoft are doing yet another u-turn on an executive decision.  My problem with this decision however is just how much of a U-turn this is.

Back last year when the Xbox One was near release, Microsoft were going on and on about how this is the future of gaming, how that by supplying every Xbox One owner with a Kinect sensor that developers will be utilising this amazing piece of tech.

6 months on and we have just a handful of games utilising the tech and most of these aren’t great.  Kinect sports is ok and a vast improvement on the previous Kinect Sports games but there were still things lacking, that I believe with time and research could be improved.

Kinect2

However now that gamers will be able to buy the Xbox One without the Kinect the incentive for developers to utilise this has been removed.  I feel this was one of the main reasons the Kinect v1 wasn’t very successful or improved over it’s short life span.

Whilst I am not a massive fan of the Kinect games, it did offer some nice features to games, for instance in Battlefield 4, the leaning function felt very intuitive (you leaned on you chair, the first person view leaned).  The voice commands were also very good, although this was not so much of a draw for me as I play in the same room as my wife watching TV so I don’t really get to utilise this feature often.

phil sPhil Spencer is still saying that developers will utilise the tech but really it just means that any developer wanting to use the tech will also have to come up with a non Kinect alternative for the new owners.

I do understand why they have done it as they are falling way behind the PS4 sales, however by removing the Kinect I feel that they are not offering anything different to the PS4, other than a same priced, less powerful machine, so i don’t understand how that will draw people in.

Whilst it is refreshing to see a company listen to feedback and make major changes, it does also put the company in a bad light and make it hard to trust anything they say.  When the console was launched last year they said the Kinect was an integral piece of equipment and it was essential to the consoles success.  6 months later and apparently it is not essential and you don’t really need it.

So whilst they cannot please everyone, they should at least stop the rubbish they are coming out with regarding developers still wanting to use the Kinect when there has been little evidence of this before it was no longer a requirement for the console.

What will happen, who knows, if it does draw new crowds in then great, I am an Xbox gamer through and through and anything that prolongs the console’s life is fine by me, but please just stop the bs declarations Microsoft!

Xbox One & The Propriety Headset Connection

February 11, 2014

Since the Xbox One’s launch back in November I have loved the console.   I had never had a console from launch before so it was a special time for me. 

3 Months on and I am still loving the console, however one thing has really annoyed me, the propriety headset connection!

I own a less than one year old Turtlebeach XP500 headset.  At the time of purchase I looked into the compatibility with the upcoming 417RqdCulALXbox One and most websites indicated that an adaptor would be needed for in game chat, but that the game sounds would work as per the 360, but the chat adaptor would come out soon after release.

3 months on and still no adaptor, I contacted Turtlebeach a couple of times over the past few months to see if there was any news on the adaptor as there were rumours it would be out in February but I received the response

“Microsoft has not, at this time, licensed the sale of a standalone control unit”. 

I feel this is an obvious money making initiative on behalf of Microsoft, whether it be to direct gamers to buy their own accessories (of which I’ll come to an issue with that) or whether to push the bidding up for external companies to gain exclusive rights to create the accessories.

xbox-one-logo-wallpaperThe Xbox One did come with a communications headset, however this is purely for chat, no game sound comes out of it, you are either left with playing with the TV sound on and the chat headset, this not being an option for me as the wife watches TV in the same room, or you need to wear two pairs of headsets, which is uncomfortable to say the least.

Why can’t Microsoft put the gamers first, with no real first party headset, they are not making any money out of holding out on the licences and it just leaves gamers like me not being able to make the most out of what otherwise is an amazing piece of hardware.

UpdateSince 07/03/14 the adaptor has finally become available, I now am able to freely use my XP500 headset to chat, I am very happy but why has it taken this long?

Dead Rising 3 – Thoughts So Far…….

December 18, 2013

Pre Xbox One launch I couldn’t decide whether to get Ryse: Son of Rome or Dead Rising 3.  I eventually went for Ryse as I had read that DR3 did not really show off the graphics of the next gen console. Yesterday I completed the excellent, but short campaign of Ryse and with no interest in the multiplayer I looked to trade it in at Game.  After some discussion I got a good price for Ryse which gave me the cash for a pre-owned copy of DR3.

I had played the recently released demo on the Xbox One and I have played previous versions briefly on the Xbox 360.  However once installed I have been very pleasantly surprised.  Agreed, the graphics look like last gen to a certain extent, however the sheer number of zombies on the screen at one time has to be seen to be believed.  there can be literally hundreds of the undead on your screen at one time, ready for you to mow them down in the method of your choosing. 

Dead Rising 3–Short Clip of a Zombie Slice and mowing down loads in a car!

Now this feature wasn’t a real surprise to me as I had read reviews of the game however seeing it for the first time is incredible.  A particular section of the game found me trying to avoid the mass hoard of zombies by cutting through a shop, however as I approached the front of the store I saw hundreds of zombies outside wandering the street, I knocked over an object making a little noise and suddenly the zombies attention was drawn to me and they all started to storm the store, creating an intense fight or flight situation.

After an hour or so of playing the game I discovered that this is one of the first few games to utilise the Xbox Smart Glass to it’s full capacity.  By opening the app on your the device of your choosing you turn it into an in game smart phone.  Whereas calls for side missions would normally come through your speakers or headphones, they will now come as phone calls through your device.  In my case I was using my Kindle Fire.  You can reject or answer these calls as you would do a normal phone and it just adds to the immersion into the game.  You can also look at maps, objectives, etc similar to an everyday smart phone which is a really nice addition to the game.

dr3hoard

The game also allows the use of voice commands through Kinect which works well, you can call zombies from across a ravine to make them plummet to their death, it all just adds to a great gaming experience.

I feel that this game should have been promoted better as a great launch title using all of the consoles new features to the max, making you realise just what a powerful console the Xbox One really is, it may not be the most powerful graphically wise, however it is still amazing graphically, but the additional features just add to an all round great gaming experience.

Xbox One Happy Chappy!

November 29, 2013

Well it has been a week now since I received my nice shiny new Xbox One, today also being the release of the PS4 in Europe I thought I would give my thoughts on the Xbox.  I have now got to grips with all the new tech and have played a fair bit (mainly FIFA14) on the console so I thought I would share my thoughts on my new toy.

machineThe first thing you notice when opening up the box is the sheer size of the thing.  It is approximately an inch or two larger all round, but this is hardly surprising with the hardware beneath this outer shell.  The Kinect is of a more solid build than it’s predecessor, in part due to the removal of need for movement.

Once set up the expected software update began which didn’t take long at all.  This update apparently removes all of the ‘always online’ and other stuff Microsoft quickly changed after initial public uproar at the original Xbox One announcement.

Next I logged into my existing Xbox Live account.  This brought over all of my existing records, friends, etc. and now with the use of Kinect I am automatically logged in when in front of the camera.

Whilst no Kinect specific games are available at launch (well, worth mentioning) the Kinect is used in a number of launch titles and I have to say there is a massive improvement in the speech and movement recognition which is near perfect, as I had hoped.

The first place I looked at was the apps store.  This is currently limited to a few apps but they are pretty good ones.  Upload studio for example enables you to use the DVR recordings of your games and edit the clips for upload to Xbox or your own Skydrive to share with anyone you wish.  There are also a few TV ondemand apps, plus the Twitch app, although this is only for viewing other  broadcasters at this time (streaming will be available via the Xbox without additional hardware early 2014).

The store also contains full games, available from day of release and after a quick view the prices are thankfully very similar to buying from Amazon and much cheaper than in store prices unlike Xbox 360 games which sold games over a year old at full RRP.  Within this part of the store was also the ‘Killer Instinct’ free to play beat’em up (you can pay for more characters) and the Kinect Sports ‘preseason’ demo which is a good introduction to the power of Kinect 2.0 in full use prior to the games release later next year.xb1

Next I looked at a couple of the cards that had come with the Xbox, one was a Day One achievement, whilst a very minor benefit the new way for entering codes or gift vouchers is brilliant.  Simply hold up the code to the Kinect camera and it automatically reads it into the system.

Another of the new features is the snap function, this didn’t seem to be that great when announced but I have since enjoyed this functionality by playing FIFA whilst having the live Barclays Premiership goals streaming to the side.

You can also snap your TV to the side but as my Xbox is not connected to our main TV this was of no use to me, however I have since used my Kindle to stream live TV to the Xbox and therefore can now watch TV at the same time as playing games, which whilst isn’t that exciting in my mind, could be quite cool say if you wanted to check up on sports whilst playing a game.

As with the PS4 the Xbox One has gameplay recording facilities, enabling you to upload gameplay videos to Xbox Live or even to your Skydrive to share with your friends or perhaps on to Youtube.  As an experienced gaming Youtuber I often found it inconvenient to have to connect my laptop up to my Xbox360 to be able to record it, also to keep deleting clips I didn’t want so that I just had the golden moments.  Now with the XboxOne this is all a dream.  Some games such as FIFA14 will automatically record the last 30 seconds of gameplay for particular events, what triggers these I do not know, however it seems to have a mystical sixth sense to know what goals I actually want to record and which to ignore.  If it doesn’t notify you it has kept a clip you can always simply say “Xbox Record That” and instantly it will save your last 30 seconds of gameplay to the drive.  If you want slightly longer clips of up to 5 minutes, ytyou can use the snap feature of game DVR, which is constantly keeping your last 5 minutes and you just instruct, via controller or voice how long to keep and when you want to keep it.  Later on you can review all of your clips using the upload app and save any you want to keep for editing or that you don’t want auto deleted as the hard drive feels up.  I am loving this feature as I simply edit the clips afterwards and then upload to my Skydrive where I can then edit them on my laptop for uploading to Youtube which is far superior to the nightmare of my old 360.  Those wanting to record longer clips will need to use a capture card, or join numerous of clips together using the in built software but so far I have never really felt the need for longer clips.

Now to the main event, the games.  In the week leading up to launch I started to get very nervous with all reports of the PS4 managing 1080p but the Xbox only having 720p for the games Call of Duty:Ghosts and Battlefield4.  However now that I have played them, it does not bother me in the slightest, they all look and play amazingly well.  The Xbox One does play at 1080p but the aforementioned games developers made the choice to keep it downgraded to keep the frame rate high with the tight launch deadlines.  As developers get more time with the hardware they will be able to code them to a higher resolution which will bring the (hardly noticeable difference) between the two consoles on par.

So if you couldn’t already tell (did you not read the title) I am over the moon with my new console and I am looking forward to many years of gaming fun!

See my next blog for brief reviews of the games I have played so far on the Xbox One.

Next Gen Console – Why I Have Finally Settled on the Xbox One.

September 16, 2013

Let me start this blog by making it clear, I am an Xbox fanboy, I have owned a PS1 and 2 but my last few years have been spent with Microsoft.

I have spent the last few months agonising over which console I would be going for.  I did a large amount of reading on both consoles and a couple of months back I would have said I am going to get a Playstation.  This decision at the time was purely based upon the rumour that the Playstation was going to be more powerful, the cheaper price and the fact that more of my friends would be going for the Playstation.microsoft-xbox-one

However, a few months on and I have made my decision and actually pre-ordered the Xbox One.  The reason for this complete 180 is down to a number of reasons which I will go into below.

1.  Price – The Playstation is cheaper however if you purchase the Sony camera to go with the console, thus taking advantage of the tech, the prices are almost identical.  This however is not as good as the Xbox One Kinect camera and also not being a mandatory part of the console also means that it will follow the way of the Kinect and thus games using it will be limited as developers are not going to waste money on camera development if only a small percentage of the gamers have it.

2.  The specifications of both consoles are now much closer, particularly since the Xbox’s recent upgrade in GPU means that there is not a significant advantage to go with the Playstation.

3.  Despite my friends being likely to get the Playstation I have found that the fact I play in the same room as my wife watches TV means that I rarely talk to players and therefore playing against friends is such a rare occurrence it cannot justify a console purchase.

4.  Microsoft appear to be listening to their customer base.  At the original launch of the Xbox One, things could not have gone worse, Sony took advantage of that and took as many shots at Microsoft as they could.  They had good reason too, the used game policy, the always online although not major concerns to me were seen as a major issue by many.  However Microsoft (no matter what the reason) quickly did a u-turn on these decisions.  Therefore I feel more comfortable knowing that Microsoft will make further improvements as time progresses.

5.  Perhaps the biggest reason I made my final decision was due to the games.  With both consoles being very similar with regards to specs, Microsoft development is slightly easier as most developers will be programming on windows systems, therefore making the transition between PC and Xbox ports much easier.  I have also found that many of the PlayStation exclusives are directed at the Japanese market, ie anime style games which just isn’t for me,I realise this is not all they offer but it contributes to my feelings on this.  Also the exclusive titles, earlier releases etc on Xbox are more my style of games.  Do not get me wrong, games such as ‘The Last of Us’ on Playstation looked amazing but I felt that these games that actually grabbed my attention on Playstation 3 were few and far between, therefore my decision has been led by the type of games already being shown for the Xbox.  Also the massive server investment Microsoft has invested in the Xbox looks to provide a better gaming experience, yes Playstation are also making a large investment in this area, but in comparison they are a few years behind on this and therefore it will take some time for them to match the power house behind the Xbox One.

6.  It is only now, with the PS4 that Sony are focusing much more RAM on the operating system, I have heard many complaints from Playstation gamers regarding slow friends lists, etc on the PS3.  Xbox had this mastered in the 360 and this looks to continue into the next gen.

So this is why after month of boring my friends on Facebook I made the decision to stick with Xbox.  The discussions will, as with the current generation continue for many years as to which console is best, but I am going to remain an Xbox fanboy for the next 7 years at least.

Microsoft and the Xbox One – The War Isn’t Over Yet

August 27, 2013

blogLet me start this blog by making it clear that no matter how hard I try this blog will be a little biased as I am undeniably a bit of a Xbox fanboy.  However give me some credit as I have owned a PS1 & 2 and I am also trying my best to stay unbiased.

So over the last few months I have driven my wife, my friends and work colleagues mad with my thoughts on the next gen consoles.

Just a month ago I would have stated that I was well and truely now in the Playstation camp, almost certain I was going to pre order a PS4.  However a month on and that has all changed (yet again).

After the initial Xbox One launch I like many others thought this is ridiculous, how can they not allow indie games, or the sale of preowned games etc.  I also was strongly swayed by the number of friends (real life) who have always been and have stated will still be Playstation.

I had to agree with them, after the initial Xbox One launch, some of the messages coming from Microsoft HQ and the followiing comi-con annoucnments there wasn’t a lot to be excited about.  Microsoft also had made themselves look like money hungry fat cats.

In hindsight I can’t actually remember why I was drawn to the Playstation other than more of my friends would be on it and that it was much cheaper.  I am not a fan of the controller and the exclusives that appeal to me are few and far between.  Many of the Playstaion exclusives are often Anime/Japanese style games which do not appeal to me.

However in the last couple of weeks, particularly after gamescom in Germany I have started to swing my allegiance back towards the Xbox (all be it not fully).  My reasons for this change of heart are due to a number of reasons which I list below:
ps4-rhombox-cropped

The extra £80 on the Xbox is really caused by the inclusion of Kinect, whilst not a huge fan, I did like some of the functions of the v1 Kinect and so wouldn’t mind it being made a staple part of the Xbox, thus making it more worth while for developers to include Kinect functionality in their games.  I have since read on various websites that the PS4 would benefit from the use of their own camera for many functions and this itself would cost currently £50.  Firstly this would bring the cost of the PS4 within just £30 of the Xbox but without the full backing of developers as it is not necessarily going to be on every machine their game is played on.

Now mainly due to my friends all being Playstation fanboys I was desperately trying to find reasons to be excited by the PS4, however I could only find a few items (even on the Official Playstation magazine website) that even warranted a second look.  According to many sources (however yet to be proven) the PS4 is supposedly more powerful, Microsoft have tried to blind people with jargon to argue this case but nothing is yet concrete proof.  Microsoft say that their 500,000 server data centre will compensate for this slightly lower power, but surely this is dependent upon your internet connection?

They also state that the PS4 will be much faster than the PS3 for multi-functioning as they have allocated a large percentage of the RAM to background processing thus making friends list access quick amongst other things.  This however when judged against what is commonly reported as a very slow background processing PS3, which many claim is why the 360 won the current gen war makes you have hesitation about any real excitement by this announcement.

So the reasons for my swing back to Xbox has been caused by the following factors:microsoft-xbox-one

The launch game exclusives on Xbox One have taken my interest much more, perhaps it is because they are more western developed games but games such as Forza, the exclusives for FIFA and Battlefield all have taken my interest.

Microsoft seems to be listening to feedback and have quickly U-turned on many of their original decisions, this makes me think of Microsoft no longer as a corporate fat cat (which I know they are) but of a company that actually listens to the fans.  They have always seemed to listen to feedback and have kept their Gold service running very smoothly over the years I have owned a 360.  This would appear to be continuing into the next gen with the massive data centre investment and all of the new functionality to be available at launch.

I am however, contrary to popular belief no fool, and will not take any reports as concrete evidence at this stage.  I am going to, as hard as it is, wait until both consoles have launched and wait for the consumer/independent reviewer feedback.

Until the consoles are both in the hands of the gamers we cannot be sure of anything, only time will tell.

Next Gen Consoles – Thoughts So Far! Part 2

June 13, 2013

Well after a few days of E3 there has been a ton of announcements and news around the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft.  Many of which are starting to make me confused and concerned as a current Xbox fan boy.

xbox one vs ps4

Sony has by far come out on top of the initial bout of “my console is better than yours”.  I have owned PlayStations in the  past but have had an Xbox360 for the last decade.  The major blow came as Sony announced their console price is £80 cheaper in the UK than the Xbox One.  I really want to stay with Xbox but with so far no backward compatibility for hardware confirmed there is no apparent reason to remain loyal to Xbox.

It has already been confirmed that neither system will play last gen discs.  But what about my existing controllers and headsets?  It has already been noted that the controller ‘s connectors are different but will there be adaptors available?

The cheaper price for the PlayStation also means non hard-core gamer friends are likely to go for this cheaper option.

The Xbox has come under much fire for it’s pre owned game policy and it’s connection policy which is a concern for  many.  At this point in time I have to admit I am starting to lean towards joining the PlayStation nation however there is a lot of time for Xbox to regain my loyalty.

As far as I understand Xbox will be better for online gaming with it’s 300k server system, it will also have many useful Kinect features, previously wasted due to developers not bothering due to not all owners having Kinect.

But Xbox need  to make consumers unlike myself, who do not have time to read every detail of the specs and news, see why it is worth the extra cash for what a casual gamer sees as a similar system to the PlayStation.

Xbox does seem to have a better launch line up but to casual gamers it probably won’t be enough.

Round one to Sony, bring on round 2.

Next Gen Consoles – Thoughts So Far – Part1

May 24, 2013

xbox one vs ps4

Let me start this post by making the statement, I am currently an Xbox360 user.

I have not played on a PS3 but many of my friends own one and in my opinion there is little difference between the consoles bar the PS3 Blu-Ray.  There will always be the fanboy wars over which is best but in general it is just down to personal preference.  I chose Xbox360 after owning a PS1 and PS2 as it was cheaper.  I also prefer the controller as I am not having to stretch my left thumb to the analogue stick, but as I stated before, this is just my personal preference.

Over the past couple of months both Sony and Microsoft have made major announcements about their next gen consoles, both presentations (as I presume they planned) presented more questions than answers.

Now both consoles have very similar specs and the varying combinations of RAM type and CPU/APU pretty much makes it a level playing field as far as you can tell at this stage.  The real test will come when the consoles are in the users hands, or more importantly the independent reviewers hands.

However I am guessing the actual games are going to be very similar, I cannot see publishers spending huge amounts of time making one version of a game significantly better than another.  There are of course the exclusives but it really depends on the type of games you are into.  Xbox may have the advantage of being more similar to a PC operating system and therefore easier to port from PC (which most developers use) to Xbox.  But this probably won’t have any impact as they rarely release a game on one console before the others.

Overall I was more impressed with the Xbox One presentation, from the limited game snippets we saw, there does not appear to be much difference between the two consoles when  it comes to gaming, yes this is what the main purpose of the console is for despite all of the new functionality.  Partly due to the similar specs and partly because we cannot assume anything we have seen is genuine, often previews are pre-rendered making them look even better than they actually are.

microsoft-xbox-one

The Xbox presentation was better for me purely because  they showed the improvements from current gen and also they numerous new features.  Sony however spent much time talking about the social side of the system, I have never found the need to let a friend take over a game for me as once completed I cannot say that I completed it if a friend had to help me.  Sony spent much of their focus  talking about the social aspects and with the (in my opinion) fatal marketing error of only showing the controller,  I completely lost interest.

That is not to say I was amazed by the Xbox presentation, whilst I must admit I probably am an Xbox fanboy, I did find some of the presentation a little underwhelming.  For example, Kinect 2.0, whilst much improved on the current system, I rarely get the chance to use it as you cannot have other things going on in the room or others talking whilst you use it, therefore with my current setup I only really get to use it whilst my wife and I watch films or when she is not in the room.  This leads on to the new TV functionality, whilst it is pretty amazing, I cannot imagine many households where the Xbox would be connected to the main TV.  If you are a single person living alone then this functionality is pretty impressive however many families, couples would have the Xbox connected to a different TV to allow others to watch TV whilst others play games.  Therefore impressive but not a major consideration for someone like myself.

Also the ability to use multiple applications together, again impressive but just how much would we use it?  I am not so sure as I very rarely use internet explorer on my Xbox as it just isn’t as user-friendly as on my laptop.  However the ability to leave a game and come back to where you left off is pretty cool, especially if the speed of switching is as impressive as the presentation.

Dual-Shock-4_contentfullwidthThere are still a number of ongoing debates regarding pre-owned games, Xbox has given some information none of which is particularly clear, however it does seem that games will have to be installed (as currently on PS3) and each game will be registered to a user profile, so no lending games to your friends without a fee.  This is however all guess work and without Sony making any announcements yet I am sure it is a strategic waiting game between both companies as to exactly what will happen as whichever makes a wrong move will knock their own market share to disastrous levels.

No prices or release dates have been announced so it is now just a waiting game whilst we sift through the numerous rumours and snippets of information out there.  Roll on E3 where hopefully many of the outstanding questions will be answered, although I am not holding my breath!

UPDATE 25th May 2013
Since publishing my post yesterday I have watched Woody’s Gamertag on YouTube who raised some more concerns. Will our existing accessories work on the new console? Allegedly the Xbox has a new connection on the controller so does this mean our headsets will need to be replaced? I have a new set of Turtle Beach XP 500s and I can’t afford to replace these yet again! I am hoping that they bring out a new connector which would be far cheaper than a completely new headset. The theory behind this change is so Microsoft can take a cut of any accessories for the new Xbox as the connection is proprietary to them. Alternatively they may be looking to only allow some companies to produce items for the console which wouldn’t be good news for consumers as competition would be all but eliminated.

Another concern raised in the video was privacy. If the console can be always online could hackers switch on the Kinect’s camera without your knowledge? I am sure these questions will be answered in time but for now it is definitely food for thought!