Ever since Sony decided to bite the bullet and launch initial details of the next generation PlayStation 4 we've been waiting on tenterhooks to hear of Microsoft's own announcement. Initial speculation amongst the internet rumor mill suggested that April could be the time we'd hear about the Xbox One, but now it seems that the date has been pushed back to a suspected press event on the 21st of May. That's just three weeks before the June date of E3 where it's expected that we'll see a full unveiling of both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
Initial reports suggest that the Durango-codenamed console's announcement will be an intimate affair at a small venue, and will provide us with just some initial information about what we can expect from the next Xbox. Although this console will be first and foremost a games machine, we're expecting Microsoft to focus on this next generation release as a complete entertainment center. This is something that the company has been looking toward for a while, and it seems likely to continue with further talk of a television integration system.
Despite the online rumor mill doing its very best to let us know what we can expect from the Xbox One, there has actually been very little solid information released. We hope that this event in May, even as just a teaser to the new console, can answer some of our own burning questions.
- What will the console's technical specification be?
- Will Kinect V2 definitely be included as standard with every console?
- How much will this console cost?
- What is the release date?
- Will the Xbox One run on a version of Windows 8?
- Will you have to be online to play any games on this console?
I'm sure you have plenty of queries of your own that you'd like to ask Microsoft, so here's hoping that the May announcement does more than just leave us with more questions than answers.
Learning Lessons from Sony
Sony's rush to be the first company to release details of a next generation console didn't really achieve much benefit. Although there were some interesting points raised regarding elements of the console such as the new controller and information about social sharing built in, the three hour presentation certainly left a lot of gaps. Sony neglected to let us know what the PS4 will look like with any pictures or with a model of the unit itself, they didn't tell us how much it would cost and they certainly gave us no fixed date for release.
Although Sony fans are certainly not dismissing this console after its strange February announcement event, you can't deny that the drop in share price immediately afterwards reflected the disappointing lack of information presented. We're seriously hoping that Microsoft don't make the same mistake in their rush to match Sony with an announcement of their own. With E3 so close behind the suspected date of May the 21st we're certainly not expecting Microsoft to reveal all the finer details of the Xbox One (or there'd be nothing left for E3), but at the same time a press event showing nothing but a controller and a lot of talk about what we can expect will certainly be a letdown.
Listening to Your Audience
Having just said that there's not much solid information about the Xbox One around, there are still plenty of rumors that carry a weight of truth. One rumor that's sparked significant controversy of late is with regard to the need to be online permanently in order to play any games at all through this console.
The internet community has reacted in a hugely negative manner to even the suggestion of this potential element of the Xbox One. Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth recently found himself in the firing line after questioning the "drama over having an 'always on' console" on Twitter. An official apology from Microsoft soon followed, along with a warning to employees not to discuss any element of the next generation console before the official announcement.
Whatever Microsoft employees might say, we really hope that the company does stop to listen to the negativity surrounding this 'online only' facet of gaming, along with feedback on other elements of the console. If a delayed announcement means a console that's more in line with what the customers really want then that's an announcement worth waiting for.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 04/12/2013
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