What’s really up with Microsoft’s new console? Come on in and find out as we dig up the truth as it currently stands.
With the reveal of the Xbox One still fresh on our collective minds (shout-out to Jasmine Henry for her excellent coverage), I’m sure many of you out there have a lot of questions about the console still unanswered. Normally, you’d turn to the Internet for help – heck, so would I – but with the dizzying amount info being pass around the web (no thanks to Microsoft), doing so would be pure madness.
Fear not, because I’ve done the dirty work and compiled the most important facets of Microsoft’s “one console to rule the living room” machine in today’s piece; to the best of my efforts, of course. There’s still a few topics Microsoft isn’t being completely clear about – oh boy, who would have seen that! – and for now, will remain suspect.
Let’s hit the important ones (no pun intended) first…
1. Does the Xbox One need to be always online?
YES… sort of.
You’d think with all the hell Microsoft faced with the whole Adam Orth Twitter fiasco, that the company would be straight to point when it comes to the divisive issue of “always online,” meaning, that the console in question depends on a stable internet connect to work. Guess not, as currently the finer specifics to this matter is reportedly still being ironed out.
Here’s what we do know though: according to Microsoft vice president Phil Harrison, single-player Xbox One games that don’t rely on connectivity to Xbox Live can be played offline, especially, in the event of your Internet suddenly dropping. Users can even watch Blu-rays and other downloaded content without the need of a connection, too.
Sounds good, right? Well here’s the real kicker. The Xbox One requires that it at least be hooked up to an Internet connection every 24 hours. Why? Again, Microsoft is being rather shifty with their answer, along with telling us what exactly happens when you don’t meet such an odd requirement. For now, we wait for an official answer.
2. Will you able to trade in Xbox One used games?
Yes… and No. Maybe?
Hey, how about more ambiguous and potentially sucky news?! Awesome! Because Microsoft sure knows how to dish it out. And if you’ve been waiting on an official answer on whether you’ll be able to trade in Xbox One games once you’re done with them, well here comes the rub. Yes, you will be able to trade in your used games, but not at GameStop.
Yeah… allow me, like TV’s Clarissa, to, “explain it all.” When you purchase a Xbox One game, Call of Duty: Ghost Dogs, every box comes with an activation code that you’ll need to register online upon installing it to the console’s hard drive. From there the game is linked with your Xbox Live account and freely playable to anyone else on that console.
There is one limit on sharing though, and that involves playing your game on a friend’s Xbox One console. All’s fine-and-dandy when you log on into your own Xbox Live account and try playing the game as such. The stinky part is when your buddy wants to play on his own; he or she will need to buy the game (full price too) in order for it to work on theirs.
So basically, if Microsoft has their way, this pretty much eliminates lending games to a buddy. Deal with it, as they say. And as for trading in games? Microsoft reps mentioned some avenue for trading in used games, but like the topic before, the company was “Super Dodge Ball Advance on the Game Boy Advance” dodgy on the exacts.
3. Will the Xbox One be backwards compatible?
This one is thankfully simple. No, you can’t play Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One – so like the PlayStation 4, you’re going into next gen naked like a newborn babe. Although, there is good news for those of you who have bought Xbox Live media, like music and videos, tied to your account. They’ll be transferred over, no problemo.
4. Can you replace the hard drive of the Xbox One like you could on the Xbox 360?
Microsoft sure does know how to make an appealing product, huh? But I guess there’s just no other way around this bit of news. The Xbox One’s 500GB hard drive is the non-removable, non-replaceable kind, and one that probably has to be shipped back to the factory in order to get it fixed.
Them’s the breaks (get use to hearing that with regards to this system). Although, it would have been super nice on Microsoft to at least throw in a solid state drive and not a hard disc drive, where there’s less chance of it breaking down so immediately and will give the system quicker boot-up times… oh who am I kidding.
5. Is Kinect 2.0 mandatory?
Whether you asked for it not, the new, more powerful version of Microsoft’s motion-sensing bar is 100% is mandatory for the Xbox One. Without it you can’t even use the system. Both devices rely on each other in tandem to perform basic OS actions like turning on the console in seconds. In fact, the Kinect 2.0 takes full advantage of being at its users request at any time by never turning off, an item to note for all you tinfoil hat wearers out there.
6. Will the Xbox One have games?
YES, OF COURSE!
I mean, they may have not shown much attention to them during their Tuesday presser, but there will be games. All the usual suspects – your Electronic Arts (Fifa and all their sports franchises), Activision (Destiny), and Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed IV) – have committed to be making games for the Xbox One, which we hopefully will see come this E3.
What might not be there – at least from the whispers of the Indie scene – are just that, Indie games. They seem to be getting the snub from Microsoft on both the advertising – ditching the Xbox Live Indies channel – and development front – no self-publishing for Indie devs.
Maybe there’s still time for the company to make them a Xbox One believer, heck, there’s still time to make gamers everywhere a believer. Let’s just say the reaction from the gamer crowd over the console wasn’t smelling of Doritos and Mountain Dew (that’s a good thing). And if E3 is truly where Microsoft promises to have what gamers want, then they better deliver.