Microsoft unveiled its next generation console the Xbox One, Microsofts shining knight in the next round of the console wars. Microsoft isn’t just trying to keep the core gamer market share it has built up over the past 8 years away from Sony, Microsoft is positioning the Xbox One to take over all of users home entertainment wants and needs. Jump past the break to see our impression of the new Xbox One and Microsofts positioning.
Microsoft made a big bang when it introduced the original Xbox, and its follow-up Xbox 360, so as they took the stage to unveil their newest console they certainly had a lot to live up to. The upcoming generation of gaming consoles may be the last generation of stand alone consoles so it is important for both Sony and Microsoft to make the strongest claims they can. Sony has positioned their console as the platform for “core-gamers” which was Microsofts positioning, for both the first and second generation of Xboxes, and since Sony announced their console first, how could Microsoft respond, by saying “no we’re for the core-gamer”?
Microsoft took the opportunity during the unveiling of the Xbox One to make a statement, and let everyone know that the Xbox One will be the hub of the living room and provide more than just a hardcore gamers experience. Microsoft showed the Xbox Ones capabilities to integrate with TV, Movies, Sports, and Gaming. While hardcore gamers have voiced their disapproval in the announcement through comments, posts, and even cleverly edited YouTube videos, Microsoft has not forgotten what made the Xbox brand a favorite for gamers and I for one believe that this system will live up to all the expectations and desires of gamers while expanding Microsofts audience to casual and non-gamers alike, which in reality is the smartest thing that either company could do.
Microsoft showed how the Xbox One, can take over as your cable-box, your blue-ray player, your home theater pc, and even bring the internet direct to your big screen TV. The ability for to position the Xbox One as all of these things is something that Microsoft has been leading to for a few years now with its Live service, by adding features from Netflix to Hulu and even integration with certain cable providers, so these features are more of an evolution than a new foray. Microsoft has been building the Xbox brand as an entertainment solution knowing that if they can get more than just the gamers to buy into the platform they have a much larger audience and with this evolution they’ve done a great job of positioning the One to take a huge command in homes across the globe.
Other than TV and entertainment features Microsoft spent a good amount of time showing off what might be the killer feature for non-hardcore gamers, the new and improved Kinect. The new Kinect has the ability to track up to six players simultaneously which means more multi-player gaming and more “family fun” games. The new Kinect also has the ability to track individual fingers which will increase the amount of actions that developers can utilize to make players feel more immersed in games. The biggest feature to come out of the new Kinect announcement is that it has the ability to track users heart rates. This means that we can expect to see a multitude of fitness games that will be able to replace a users need to go to the Gym. Think about it if you could stand in front of your TV with no peripheral devices and get personalized training for your body type that is not only monitoring your form but also your heart rate so it knows when to increase or decrease intensity, your Xbox One can become a users in-home personal trainer.
Regardless of all these features and enhancements there are still a lot of questions for Microsoft to answer with regards to the Xbox One which they will have to get around to answering before users are ready to jump on the band wagon.