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Fans have been eagerly awaiting Microsoft’s big XBOX announcement and the final result is a mixed bag.  The information we get is really good stuff but the presentation of said information was a mess and in the end we get 15 minutes of solid news encompassed in an hour of marketing babble. If you take away all of the interviews with sports celebrities talking about what it means to truly be a player and all of the Hollywood types giving up the sound bites you’d end up with about five minutes of beautiful in game footage and several key announcements that have true impact.

  1. The System is named XBOX One, kind of a good name actually, representing a new start and new direction
  2. The system and controller design, sleek and simple
  3. There is an included blu-ray player and Kinect sensor
  4. The system is not only a game console but it’s also a TV tuner and cable box
  5. The device is fully voice controllable
  6. It is designed for always connected capability but it is not required’
  7. Steven Spielberg is producing a live action Halo TV series for the device
  8. TV is fully interactive

The cable box design is fantastic. There will not be any more input switching for games, blu-ray movies, and TV: it’s all in one place and instantly available. The system has a built in TV guide that is set up for favorites and other lists and will point you to what you want to see immediately. You can utilize other XBOX services such as social and internet while watching a show or movie, including fully integrated Skype! During the somewhat scatter shot event MS showed off a new partnership with NFL that integrates fantasy football stats with actual games as they are viewed live on the device and also allows social interaction between fantasy football players while they watch.

While there was some game-play footage(and it was gorgeous) it’s clear most of that is being saved for the Electronic Entertainment Expo. This event was mostly meant to show off the look of the device, announce the name, and sell it as an all encompassing entertainment experience. This approach culminated in the announcement of an XBOX exclusive live action TV series based on the Halo games being overseen by Steven Spielberg. This announcement throws down the gauntlet with Amazon Instant and Netflix, both of which also offer original programming. Netflix of course is still a part of the XBOX Live experience too.

In the world of games MS did say that they will be releasing a dozen games within the first year of the XBOX One’s release and more importantly eight of those games are new franchises. Call of Duty Ghosts is not XBOX One exclusive but the DLC will hit that device before any others. As far as release dates,all MS would say is later this year and no information on price was announced. Even though most of this event was a mess the things we did get are pretty exciting and the game-play footage from Quantum Break and Call of Duty Ghosts was outstanding. E3 should truly be a slug-fest between MS and Sony!