Know What Grinds My Gears?

People that think they know everything. That’s what grinds my gears. I’m sitting here, in the middle of the night, reading all of the insane things people are posting about the Xbox One. Now I would just like to start off by saying that I’m not a fan of a lot of the things that Microsoft has chosen to do with the X1. I think they should be focusing on games primarily, and then add the whole “entertainment console” thing afterwards, instead of the other way around.

But the difference between me and what seems to be everyone else? I DON’T ACT LIKE THE CONSOLE IS COMING OUT TOMORROW. These people are acting like Microsoft has already announced every bit of information about the Xbox One when there’s still a HUGE amount of questions to be answered. Practically every next-gen console has been released in November, so if they follow the same pattern, we have a good 6 months to go before it’s released! That’s a huge amount of time. I just don’t understand the logic of deciding whether or not the X1 is the console to buy or not. How about we actually wait to hear Microsoft’s official response to all of these questions? Which of course would be at E3 if anywhere at all.

And another thing… Continue reading

Xbox One: My Initial Thoughts

Here it is. The new Xbox. I’m sure you all have had your news feed absolutely demolished with the new Xbox info, but let me add my 2 cents:

Can't get much slicker than that!

I’m not looking at giving you all of the information on the new console. It just wouldn’t make sense. Instead, I’m just going to go over the things that really stood out to me, starting with the hardware.

Hardware
When I look at the console, I think “sleek.” The black chrome finish is wonderfully modern and I even think the vents at the top add to the aesthetics. Underneath the hood, I was pleased, but not surprised. It has 8Gb of RAM and an 8 core CPU. It comes with a 500Gb Hard Drive, although I bet they’ll have optional bigger ones. All-in-all, in terms of processing power, it’s about what I expected. Keep in mind that the Xbox 360 only has 512Mb of RAM. That’s NOTHING in the computer/gaming world. All-in-all, I’m not overly impressed with the hardware, but I’m not disappointed either. It’s about average specs for a gaming machine, but I’m afraid that it will be outdated quickly. Even more so than the 360 did. Im interested to see if Microsoft addresses this issue.

Remember the first Xbox controller? Blegh, what a monstrosity that was... I'm lovin' this one.

Remember the first Xbox controller? Blegh, what a monstrosity that was… I’m lovin’ this one.

The next piece of hardware is the controller. Again, “sleek” comes to mind when I look at it. Not a crazy amount of changes, but enough to make a difference. Upgraded joysticks, flush battery pack on the back (That’s a HUGE one for me. I hate the huge battery pack on the current ones), better triggers that let you jump from one to the other much more seamlessly, and what appears to be a more ergonomic design.

Last but not least, is Kinect. I’ve never been a huge fan of Kinect, but now that EVERY SINGLE XBOX ONE CONSOLE will ship with Kinect, that’ll definitely change. I think this is big for Microsoft because Kinect will be bigger than ever. Now with every single user having a Kinect, they’ll HAVE to make it as best as it can be. It seems to be a much more powerful piece of tech and I can’t wait to use it.

Oh, and how could I forget! We finally have a Blu Ray player!

Software
The huge thing they’re pushing is the fact that the Xbox is running three operating systems. One for the main functions of the Xbox (starting up, etc), the next is for accessories and other capabilities (Kinect, movies, TV, etc.), and the main one is for gaming. Why do they do this? Because then, you can seamlessly switch from one aspect of the Xbox to the other. The downside? Performance might be slowed due to running all of this at once.

I like the new menu interface, and I like how it works with Kinect. The games shown were great looking, although they’re still far out from release so I wouldn’t expect them to look different by the time they ship.

Other Cool Features
This is not my photo. Go here for the original: http://media1.gameinformer.com/imagefeed/featured/microsoft2013/XBOXREVEAL/xboxguide610.jpg
1) Watching TV straight  from your Xbox. I was hoping this would happen, and it did. Basically, you plug in your TV device (cable box, satellite stuff, etc.) into your Xbox, and then the Xbox will send it to the TV. That way, you can access your guide without ever changing TV inputs. I have to say, this is INGENIOUS of Microsoft. Now you really can access anything from your console. They’ve become the medium of all living room entertainment. Absolutely brilliant.

2) Up to 1000 friends on Xbox Live. I can’t even think about how many times I’ve complained about the friends list cap on the 360. They’ve finally learned and boosted the limit. It’s about time.

3) Apparently, there are rumors that there will be dedicated servers for all games? That could be pretty huge.

4) Achievements will be ported. Not surprising, but still nice to know.

5) There’s going to be a live-action Halo TV show!!! Directed by Steven Spielberg!!! Can’t get much cooler than that.

Complaints and/or unanswered questions
1) 
No backwards compatibility with 360 games and XBLA games. This is going to sour a lot of gamers. However, I’ve looked into why this is, and it’s something that’s unavoidable due to how the console’s architecture is now running.

2) Purchasing system for used games. Basically, on the Xbox One, you can download the whole game to your console and basically validate your purchase. Then, if you sell your game and someone uses your disc, they have to pay a fee to download it to their console, and then your dowload will be invalidated on your own console. It’s a way of curbing used game sales. I’m not sure how this’ll turn out, so we’ll have to wait and see.

3) They didn’t address anything about DVR capabilities with your cable box, but I’m assuming it’ll work the same as accessing the cable guide. I just want to hear it from them.

4) They need to address the core gamers in their crowd. Sony did a great job of showing exactly how well the PS4 will process things, whereas Microsoft didn’t. In that sense, I believe Sony did a better job.

5) Price?

6) Release date? (Probably November)

7) There’s some info related to the fact that the Xbox One might have to be connected to the internet whenever you want to play, and I think this is very interesting. I think it’s kinda ridiculous to make a console that can’t play offline, but I guess we’ll see.

And finally…. Here’s some links for much-needed information regarding the Xbox One (or as I’ve now heard it being called, the X1. I like that much better)

1) PS4 vs. Xbox One Comparison
2) Used game fee information
3) Fantastic inside look at the Xbox One
4) Xbox One FAQ
5) Funny bit on how “the cloud” works
6) More awesome information about the future of Xbox Live

Call of Duty: Ghosts

The internet is blowing up today with the news of the next Call of Duty game. Activision sent out a press release covering general information about the game, as well as an official Facebook page, website, and teaser trailer. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out:

Obviously it’s a teaser, so very little information has actually been released, but we can definitely make some guesses based on what was in the video. Personally, I would love to see a game with more stealth elements. After hearing the official name was “ghosts,” I couldn’t help but think of a stealth game. The quiet, stealthy missions in the past COD games were always my favorites.

A few important pieces of info in the press release include the fact that it contains a brand new story, new characters, and an all new engine. The engine, in my opinion, is the most important part. I would love to see a redesign of the current COD layout, and I think the fans would love it as well. The second important piece of information is that it will be available for next generation consoles. Although this isn’t really a surprise at all, it’s still nice to see it stated officially.

Apparently more information will be released at the Microsoft press conference on the 21st, where they are also expected to announce the new Xbox console. My guess? COD: Ghosts will be a launch title. It only makes sense.

If you have any specific hopes for the game, I’d love to hear them! Just post them in the comments section below.