Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Microsoft Introduces the Xbox One

new xbox
Microsoft introduced the world to it's next generation Xbox One yesterday.  It's a pretty slick device that is set to transform your TV to a slick, fast, and intuitive Smart TV, with multi-tasking, and the ability to play next gen games.

They're taking some flack about not highlighting the gaming aspects during their press conference, but as I'm writing this, I have to admit that it's an interesting proposition.  It really does seem to be a revolutionary way to marry various media in the living room, and doing so ahead of the oft-rumored Apple iTV.

With the Xbox One, you can switch between live television, movies, the internet, and games as effortlessly as you do on your portable devices.

That being said, much of what they showed off; checking fantasy sports stats during a game, or taking a quick Skype call, or browsing the web to look up a fact about the show you're watching, the user is already doing with their mobile device.  The "Second Screen" evolution of how we watch TV is already upon us, and trying to reel those screens back onto the television makes a major assumption...that everyone watching wants to see those fantasy stats and web page too.

TV's are the centerpiece to a media room.  A shared centerpiece.  Whereas mobile devices are highly personal devices where we can humor our own unique distractions during a loading screen (which seem to be disappearing anyways) or a commercial break, pasting it up on the shared screen may be an unwelcome annoyance to everyone else in the room.  Sure when you're gaming alone, it will be nice to check the score of the playoff series going on in the back ground, but I'm not sure that would work so well for regular TV consumption with your family and friends.

Microsoft did mention that they have 16 exclusive games set for the Xbox One's first year, of which 8 will be new IP, so there's some great promise there, but it looks like we'll have to wait for E3 to see if those are games that will drive sales for the new console.

Xbox One is set to release later this year.

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