GZ Roundtable: Initial reactions to the Xbox One

Xbox One (Console) Screenshot - Xbox One

The Xbox One has finally been announced. A new generation of gaming is almost upon us. Or rather, a new generation of entertainment as the Xbox One looks to offer an "ultimate, all-in-one home entertainment system that makes your TV more intelligent." Things like voice command control, Snap Mode, Xbox One Guide, Skype and, sadly, Kinect integration, are all a part of the Xbox One experience. And yes, it will have some games also.

There's a lot to be excited about, but there's also reason to be skeptical. What is your initial reaction to the Xbox One? 

Lance Liebl Follow on Twitter

Lance LieblI’m a bit muddled right now. I’m left with more questions, mainly because of what’s come out after the reveal. There’s no backwards compatibility, which is a huge ‘negative’ for me. I was going to trade in my Xbox 360 to afford the Xbox One; I can’t do that now, because a game like Disney Infinity – which I’m really excited for – won’t be playable on the Xbox One.

Furthermore, Microsoft might require games to be installed onto the Xbox One, locking that game to an account. Say goodbye to the used games market, right? Wrong! Microsoft will make money by requiring a fee to install and play that game on a second account. This means the console will most likely require an internet connection to verify that the game is tied to your account. So will I not be able to play any games if I don’t have an internet connection?

Don’t get me wrong, there were positives. The controller looks sweet as hell, the console looks modern, and the partnership with the NFL is great. But I have a hard time believing the Kinect and the voice functionality will perform as smooth as Microsoft is saying it will. Overall, it’s a mixed bag for me. 

Verdict: Muddled.

Matt Liebl Follow on Twitter

matt liebl pictureBetween the PS4 and the Xbox One, I've yet to really be blown away. Maybe my expectations were just too high, but I really had a grander vision of the future of gaming. I've yet to see any real innovation. I've yet to be blown away. I just want... more. 

Maybe none of this comes as excitement to me because I've been so exposed to rumors. Practically everything revealed today, outside of the actual name, had, at one point or another, already been in the headlines. Using hand gestures or voice commands to control my console has never been a selling point to me; I'm never going to use Snap mode; with TVs already being able to connect to the internet, I don't need my console offering me Netflix; and with an already established Xbox 360 game collection, I'm not too happy about no backwards-compatibility. My point is, the cons at this point are heavily outweighing the pros for me. Was anything shown off today that really blew your mind and made you say "I have to get this!"? 

What will sell me on this next generation -- and this may fall more on developers -- is the overall leap in games. We're beginning to see it more now towards the end of the current generation with games like Journey, BioShock: Infinite, Beyond: Two Souls, and The Last of Us. These games have substance. They have a point to them. They aren't just pretty graphics and standard gameplay. To me, the next generation is dependent on the game developers and less on the console makers. The tools are at their disposal, now impress me.

Verdict: Not blown away.

Andrew Clouther Follow on Twitter

Andrew CloutherDespite my eternal rage and hate for all things, I was rather impressed with the Xbox One event. After watching, I felt like I understood what the One was about and what it has to offer. Hell, it even started with showing off what it looks like. I can’t help but to appreciate that. The Xbox One is both a console and complete entertainment system. The little features like Skype while doing other things hits me in my happy place a bit. Would I have liked to see more Microsoft exclusive games? Of course. That’s more of an E3 thing.

Me being impressed with the Xbox One doesn’t mean I will buy it though. As a PC gamer, the unique features aren’t enough to pull me over to the console side. Nothing is stopping me from Skyping and doing whatever already. My PC is backwards combatible and already can’t play used games. I’m most excited about that new Xbox One controller, just think of all the Steam gaming.    

Verdict: Impressed, but still sticking to PC.

Tatiana Morris Follow on Twitter

Tatiana MorrisWhat is your ideal gaming console? Is it a console that can stream TV, Skype or browse the internet - as well as play games? Wait, we already have that don't we? That is essentially a PC.

I expected something of Microsoft when it came to the Xbox reveal and that is where I made my mistake; I shouldn't have expected anything. In one hour my hopes for a powerful gaming console were shot down with one simple line, "Xbox on." The Eye of Sauron Kinect is ever watching and always waiting for your command. The Xbox One reveal was dominated by talks of being ONE console for everything...yeah, everything but gaming! The very concept that bred the creation of the Xbox has been set on the back-burner and the TV aspect has become the forefront. How can I say that, you ask? Easily - there's no backwards compatibility, there aren't any new games - simply franchises releasing another game. The one hour event felt like it was 50 minutes of everything else and 10 minutes of games.

The Xbox came from the need to game, the Xbox One came from the push to be constantly connected. It's not a good gaming console if you want to play games.

Verdict: Letdown.

Mike Splechta Follow on Twitter

Mike SplechtaI actually enjoyed the press conference for the most part. I wasn't expecting major games to get announced, because that's what E3 is for. Anyone who thought different is just plain silly. We actually got all the info that we realistically expected, as well as a really good look at the system and its slightly updated Xbox One controller. Sure, most of the presentation focused on entertainment, and how your TV will be connected with the Xbox One, but I can't fault it for having all these extras. They're nice perks that, if anything, add incentive to get an Xbox One.

And yet, a certain bit of news hit me hard, and it didn't even take place during the press conference. It was revealed shortly after that the Xbox One won't be backwards-compatible with Xbox 360 games. I felt defeated. My heart truly sank. I was sure that after Sony's dropping the bomb on lack of backwards-compatibility, Microsoft wouldn't do the same thing. Sadly, their version is worse. Whereas Sony will eventually allow players to play PS3 games thanks to the Cloud, it looks as if Microsoft has absolutely no intention on ever making 360 games work on the Xbox One.

It's a bit infuriating to think my collection of 360 games has two options. Be sold off along with the 360, never revisiting fantastic titles like Forza Horizon, or hell, even Halo 3 or 4. Or I could just suck it up, keep my Xbox 360, take up shelf space next to the already enormous Xbox One and waste yet another HDMI port... Yep, looks like that's the route I'm taking.

Verdict: Heartbroken.

What are your thoughts on the Xbox One? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter: @GameZoneOnline.

Matt-liebl-profile
Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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