So, Who’s Going to Buy the New Xbox One?

The hardware of the Xbox One is shown, disassembled to break it into its bits.  It's black.  It doesn't look at all distinguished from any other electronic equipment.

Basically the entire internet (or at least every person I follow on Twitter) was tuned in to Microsoft’s live Xbox reveal press conference in which precious few details were released about the new Xbox One.  Not to be confused with the Xbox 1.  Yeah.

Some things we know:

  • It’s not backwards compatible with the 360.  Boo.  Not unexpected, but it would have been nice.
  • If you want to play a secondhand Xbox One game, you’ll have to pay a fee.  Disappointed in this, because used games are a great way for low budget gamers to be able to enjoy great titles.
  • The controller got like “40 new design changes” which mostly means it’s a bit more refined and smoother in all the right places.
  • There’s going to be a Halo TV show.
  • The new Call of Duty: Ghosts promises to deliver us more emotion while we’re shooting other humans on the battlefield.  The technology looks pretty sweet, in case you need to see every single pore and hair on a man’s arm.  There was a pretty cute dog though, who already has his own Twitter account.
  • It has 8 times the graphic performance of the 360.
  • All downloaded and installed games will be synced to the cloud, so if you sign in on your friend’s Xbox One you can play any games that you own.
  • The Kinect technology is getting a full retooling, with a 1080p camera with a larger field of view, 60 fps video capture for Skyping with mom & dad, and you can walk up to it and say “Xbox On” and it will turn on for you.
  • You’ll be able to connect your cable box to the Xbox One and watch TV through the console instead.  You know, in case you want all your friends to know that you’re watching the “Dance Moms” marathon.
  • It’s going to be releasing later this year.

So there you have it.  More details should be released by E3 time, but if you want a pretty good rundown of information check out this article on Wired.  So, let’s discuss this piece of machinery. Impressed, underwhelmed, blown away?

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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26 Responses to So, Who’s Going to Buy the New Xbox One?

  1. Cade says:

    I’m not blown away but impressed enough that if I had the money I would probably buy it. I get why one would want it to be backwards compatible with 360 but I understand that it may not have been very realistic giving some of the changes they made with this. When I bought my 360 less than 2 years ago I knew given how old it was it was a dated platform & gaming platforms don’t live forever. I wish it came with a Kinectless version but not opposed to the Kinect features to hate on it.

    • Cade says:

      So, apparently they’re looking at marketing it as the ‘Dad Box’. As a Gen X gamer who’s both female and happily not a parent, that alone makes me recosnider my above earlier opinion.

  2. Joe Tortuga says:

    Well, the cost for used games is what kills it, but frankly there’s nothing there that’s compelling enough to upgrade. It’s like the took all the things I don’t use my TV or XBox for and they made them better. Controller upgrades are par for the course for a console generation. The Kinect changes might be nice, but we ultimately turned the Kinect off because it kept interrupting what we were doing. That and my apartment is too narrow for it’s field of view (I’d heard they were going to fix this, but I don’t know if they did or not).

    So, over all meh. Pretty much what I felt about the ps4.

  3. Merrypetal says:

    I feel oddly compelled to buy another 360 and quietly stash it away. What the presentation did feel like was one long television ad for, um, television. The new Kinect does have my interest piqued and an improved controller (especially the D-pad) would be nice to have. The PS4 felt more directed at the gamer in me in comparison to the Xbox …One?! My brain trips over that name too. Only awesome new games will have me heading out to buy this console, and I can wait. My backloggery of games on the current 360 shames me. Nothing spoke to me as I’m not a Halo, Sports, CoD or Motor Racing fan … I sort of felt left out of the demographic they are targeting, and I probably was, as the games I play are a sliver of where the money is.

  4. Root says:

    So far it doesn’t really seem like there’s a whole lot going on with the new Xbox (or really any of the three next-gen consoles) that is For Me, but I have to say I’m pretty skeeved out by the idea that a voice command for the Kinect turns the console on. Doesn’t that basically mean that the Kinect, a microphone and camera that sits in your living room, is always on? Man, no thanks. If I wind up getting one of those things it’s getting turned off at the power strip when not in use.

  5. Llamaentity says:

    Looks like it does pretty much what my computer currently does, but with less customizability and a smaller library of games (my computer is hooked up to my TV and is a gaming/media center). Was hoping to see some innovative, exclusive video games, but wasn’t surprised when it didn’t happen.

  6. Savoto says:

    The horrid fee news I’m hearing is not going to do them any favors. Lots of families have more than one Xbox in there house and with this fee business they’re not going to be able to do that anymore with having to pay, worst case scenario, full price all over again(hopefully Microsoft doesn’t do this).

    I love my Xbox 360 but I was raised on Playstations. I miss the type of games that are usually on PS so I’m going to get a PS 4. I need my JRPG fixation scratched. And with no exclusives that I’m interested in I won’t be losing out.

  7. Matt says:

    Sounds like a perfect storm of Veblen good and walled garden.

    I have much better things to spend my money and time on.

    (Like this vast undiscovered country of Steam games that I can play without rebooting, now that Steam For Linux works with #!… *_*)

    • Matt says:

      Actually the whole thing reeks of MS trying really hard to convince consumers to replace their PCs with tablet + console, knowing that they’ve long lost the fight to keep the PCs under their exclusive, walled-garden, unjailbroken control.

      Thinking about it this way makes the product go from zero-interesting to actively repellent.

      • Matt says:

        Another possibility: this is all a huge publicity stunt to get us all to waste our energy bashing it. Like SOPA paving the way for ACTA even though it was never passed, the X1 is here solely as a horrible alternative that makes their real product, likely some utterly forgettable thing that doesn’t have anything on the PS4 but isn’t particularly horrible either and might have some decent exclusives, look perfectly fine in comparison.

        (It could also be that it is 1:17 AM and I got up at 6:45 Saturday morning.)

  8. Julie says:

    Blown away, in the wrong direction. This is 100% targeted at American dudebros, between the hardware design and features it will sell even less in Japan, if that’s possible. Also apparently the TV features are unique to US market, so about 50% of what was shown in the presentation isn’t applicable to Europe for example.

    EA Sports is probably the least impressive opening act they could’ve chosen, and FIFA 14 is coming to PS4 by the end of the year: it’s not even an exclusive. I remember thinking “I would’ve even been more impressed with Activision talking about Call of Duty,” and then that turned out to be their ‘One more thing..’ The graphics were really good, but again no gameplay was shown.

    I could go on about the used games, required online check-ins, and how this snubs low income/rural gamers, but instead I’ll contribute something I haven’t heard anyone say yet:

    Did anyone notice they went with a 8-core AMD64 CPU, and 8 GB of RAM? Doesn’t it sound EXACTLY like PS4? Between that and leveraging Windows 8 kernel, I get the impression they didn’t want this generation to happen now, that they rushed and just matched their competitors rumored specs with off the shelf components ASAP. Pretty embarassing overall.

  9. Doug S. says:

    I’ll get it when there’s a game I want to play on it. I do not know when that will happen.

  10. Brinstar says:

    I’ve never owned any Xboxen, so I’m skipping this one as well. The majority of games on the Xbox consoles don’t appeal to me.

  11. Deviija says:

    Hm. Nothing here is really grabbing me. Most of these features I don’t even need or use or want to use. Why do we need consoles again? Aren’t they just computers, especially at this point? :P I can plug in my USB controller on my PC and bam, off we go. In this age, methinks we should be converging tech rather than separating it. That’s just me, I guess.

    One real killer for me is that it is not compatible with old Xbox games. D: Horror.

  12. Cypheroftyr says:

    I’m not impressed and really don’t like the idea of being forced to have Kinect. I don’t have the space for one and have never really wanted it. My PC has better specs than that and I took active steps to kill cable, so this has zero appeal for me.

  13. Ten says:

    I always felt that the only good thing that ever came out of the XBox is the kinect technology (not as a gaming controller, but as a technology that has useful applications in other fields), and my feelings haven’t changed with the new one.

    I’m a PC gamer though, so most of what the XBox as a console offers is redundant to me, anyway.

  14. Lassarina says:

    Between the creepy patents for Kinect (like the one that lets them determine how many people are looking at your TV) which is now required integration, the fee for used games that explicitly tries to [expletive] with doctrine of first sale, and the “we really want developers to use our Windows Azure platform for distribution” (read: games that are online-only), and the total lack of remote play? No thank you.

    I’ll probably wait for the first price drop anyway, because I am a JRPG girl and those don’t tend to come out until 2-3 years into the cycle, but unless there’s a killer exclusive I am emphatically not interested. (I skipped the first Xbox completely and only bought the 360 when Lost Odyssey came out – yeah, that was my killer exclusive.)

    Also, it sure sounded like XBox Live Gold was an actual full requirement, rather than optional as it is now? Ugh, no.

    Besides, I felt like the XBox One announcement was “here is tons more of what you never use and hamstringing what you do,” whereas the PS4 announcement actually mentioned some features that I really want (remote play so my fiance and I can both be in the living room playing the big consoles; helping friends via PSN; and mention of a possible solution to the “no backwards compatibility” as opposed to “lol get over it.”)

    tl;dr I’m not buying either one immediately, but the Xbox One just slid straight to the bottom of my wanted list.

  15. Austin Downing says:

    This is very irritating, I’m not interested in Kinect or cable tv. When I travel overseas for months at a time I always bring my 360 and play but I have no access to Xbox live. Plus with the unlock fee for used games, Xbox live going to 15$ a month I feel like I’m not going to be able to afford to play anymore, even when I’m in the states. Nothing about this fits my play style or budget. So I can’t upgrade. I’ll keep my 360 and prob start to slowly merge to PC gaming. Dang you MS.

  16. Jellyfish says:

    Even though I’m keeping in mind that we’re pre-E3 and that I know next to nothing about the PS4 I still think it is highly unlikely that I’ll touch the Xbox One. Everything that has been revealed about it so far makes my skin crawl.

    I don’t think you could even pay me to take this console based on the current picture of things. Even if it had really great exclusives these short term benefits cannot outweigh the burden of having a console that could turn into a worthless brick if my internet connection is down for more than a day. I play many games which means the 500GB hard drive will fill up quickly so I’ll be shelling out for more storage early on.

    I buy mostly new games nowadays, but the fee for used and borrowed games is going to be a big restriction for gamers with more limited means. An attack on the preowned games market may also result in new games being sold at even higher prices because there won’t be the buffer of cheaper secondhand games (ones whose prices are determined by the original buyers or independant stores rather than by Microsoft) to hold the new game trade in check. So it may end up affecting every console gamer somewhere down the line.

    The Xbox One is also as ugly as sin. My family’s VCR from the 1990s was more modern looking than this console. I know that sounds kinda shallow, but honestly Microsoft spent many thousands designing the look of this thing and this was the best they could manage? When put alongside everything else about the reveal it all adds up to a shocking lack of judgement on their part.

    Also I don’t have much room so having to lug out that kinect device (that reminds me of the head of the robot Johnny 5 from the Short Circuit movies) will be a pain. And what if it breaks down? Will I have to buy another kinect device or else my console won’t let me play? Huh? It makes the console sound like a mini dictator in my home monitoring my movements and telling me how and when I can play my games.

    It’s too early for me to gearing up for a PS4 because I don’t know what Sony have planned for us. But if Sony avoids Microsoft’s mistakes and appeals to gamers (all gamers, not just the wealthy and the privileged) then the PS4 could easily dominate this generation of consoles. If not then I might save up for a gaming PC and a newer Xbox 360.

    • Matt says:

      I could probably be paid to take it – under a lease agreement for storage space, triple net with the tenant accepting all liability not attributable to my malicious acts and no requirement that I distrain the goods instead of pursuing any other remedy for nonpayment of rent. :V

      I love how unanimously negative everyone’s responses on this thread’s been so far… I wonder how this thing does among, say, Republican voters or something.

      • Matt says:

        It gets worse:

        So imagine your Kinect piece breaks? Tough luck, no more Xbox for you. But you know what’s worse?

        Pay attention, because this is important. The Kinect is always watching. Always listening. Even when the system is off.

        Yes. One of the ways to turn the system on is to audibly say: “Xbox On” while the system is off. The Kinect, which is always on, hears you and turns it on. Now this might seem like a cool feature, but did you know Microsoft patented a feature that would allow the Kinect’s camera (It’s no longer just a sensor, but a camera) to spy on you for the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America?) While they may not actually do this, it is actually possible for them to do this now. It has a camera, and a microphone. The Kinect is always on. It is ALWAYS listening, ALWAYS watching.

        An idea has been tossed around that by using this feature, it will allows game developers and movie produces to set a limited amount of how many people can be allowed to view the entertainment. So as a hypothetical example, you and three friends are watching a movie, which is the maximum allowed. A fourth friend enters the room and the Kinect’s sensor registers the fourth individual. The movie stops and you a prompted to pay a fee so that the extra individual may also view the film. Again, that is NOT currently the case, but these are the ideas currently being tossed around with the system’s current capabilities.

        …yeah, I’ll need to raise the rent. By, like, the cost of a big sledgehammer, a trip to the recycling depot and a notarized general release of liability by the tenant.

  17. stille says:

    Are the hardware specs out yet? ‘cos some Microsoft droid was claiming this to be a generation ahead of any gaming PCs currently on the market, and with the little I’ve heard (8-core AMD CPU, 8 GB RAM) it really, really, really isn’t.

  18. glitchy says:

    I wouldn’t have been that interested to begin with (at most, I might have considered buying it several years down the line, after the price goes down, same as I do with any other console) – but it’s the used game thing that all but guarantees I will never, ever buy this. I’m sorry, but I can’t afford to pay the list price of most games. I’ll wait years to buy most games that I want, just so I can get it at half the price it was when it came out. This also means that by the time I buy a game, unless it was a massively popular game it’s often difficult, if not impossible, to find a new copy. And even then, used copies are still cheaper.

    I don’t even care if some completely amazing game comes out as an exclusive for the Xbox One. There are already more great games out there than I have time to play; I’m not going to put up with this shit just for one (or two, or even several) great games.

    I mean, I get what they’re trying to do, I think. They’re trying to cut out the likes of Gamestop, who make huge profits off of selling used games while the game companies make nothing from those sales. But is it really worth screwing over your customers to do that? Maybe they could, I don’t know, figure out some way to make it a better deal for their customers. Maybe buy back and sell used games themselves, and sell them at more of a markdown than Gamestop does. Now that might be some incentive. (I know it’s not that simple, but really, they can’t think of anything better than this?)

    Oh, the lack of backwards compatibility also is a big downside for me. I don’t have a 360 either, so if the Xbox One had been backwards-compatible (and didn’t have the used game thing going on), I might have considered buying one eventually partially to experience the Xbox 360 games I’ve missed out on. But even that incentive isn’t there, oh well.

    • Korva says:

      I don’t even care if some completely amazing game comes out as an exclusive for the Xbox One. There are already more great games out there than I have time to play; I’m not going to put up with this shit just for one (or two, or even several) great games.

      This is an attitude that I wholeheartedly agree with, not just in this case but overall when it comes to companies pulling anti-paying-customer crap like always-online DRM, release day DLC or whatever. It’s the only way we can hope to stop or at least slow things from getting steadily worse.

      I mean, I get what they’re trying to do, I think. They’re trying to cut out the likes of Gamestop, who make huge profits off of selling used games while the game companies make nothing from those sales. But is it really worth screwing over your customers to do that?

      That entirely depends on how many lemmings are willing to throw themselves over that cliff instead of stepping on the brakes, giving such companies the middle finger and taking their money elsewhere. :/

      This industry could really do with some more customer-protection laws.

  19. TerminatriX says:

    My pc will always be more powerful. Kinect for windows is a reality. Next major interface upgrade, Rift, i will also be able to use. And i’m a middle aged queer woman who doesn’t quite mesh with teenage dudebro culture..or let-everyone-see-what-im-doing social media full stop.

    You have sufficient info to draw conclusions as to whether i care about this.

  20. PandoraEve says:

    The first thing I saw about this was from a comedy site, and when I saw that it was tagged xbox one, I thought that they were making fun of it. But no, the name is serious.
    I’m not really worried about my immediate family, since we tend to put off getting the newest console (even handhelds) generally for at least a year. By that point, all the bad stuff will likely be known, and if things really change with this, we might consider buying one. Given all the bad stuff, though, I’m not holding my breath here.
    Based on what others have said above, the camera thing can’t turn out well, especially considering that many young people keep their consoles in their bedrooms and…well, yeah. That has the potential to go very, very wrong. The used game thing is also a thing that is likely to go very wrong, too. Yes, it’s nice if the creator gets something for you playing the game, but… what if you really don’t want to give the creator any of your money? Now, yeah, the best option is probably to not play those types of games at all, but sometimes you want to play something horrible just to make fun of it. And besides, people are already getting rather upset about game prices already. I don’t think that they really want to see what happens when they aggravate this.
    But, I suppose all this is moot anyway because there will never be a pokémon game on that console and therefore I will never need it.

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