My friend Iz says XBox One sounds like a PS3 because now it has BluRay. Iz is not a gamer.
XBox is going to be a lot more used as the input to my big screen. I already do Netflix through it, now I see reasons to do more through it. I've never really thought of XBox competition to PlayStation - all the most important titles come out on all platforms so that has never been an issue. I do find the XBox controller superior to all others though.
The real loser today is AppleTV. I have one and MSFT has come up with what I think is a winning gesture and voice controlled interface between regular television and gaming. XBox One looks to be everything but the DVR, which it could do in the cloud. I call this a strategic win for Microsoft based on a vision that has been pretty much right on for years.
The huge news is that MSFT, 343 and Steven Speilberg are going to produce a live action Halo series through XBox One. This is a big obvious win that everybody has been wanting for years and now is going to finally happen. The significance of it is not lost. Microsoft has built the road between gaming and Hollywood AND the NFL. And part of that, I think, has a lot to do with (in retrospect) whether I could envision Steve Jobs hanging out with the guys at EA and Infinity Ward and UFC other entertainment types. The answer is no, Jobs wanted to be bigger and better than all of them and the center of attention. Now today it looks like more business as usual without godlike presences actually doing business in a normal way, and the acceptance of people in movies and TV saying that XBox is a real channel for content. It simply doesn't seem weird, risky or hyped any longer. That's way different than a BluRay compatible sticker on hardware that could be built anywhere. That's the job that neither Sony nor Nintendo nor Apple nor Samsung could do, and it has been, in my opinion, Microsoft's best run business for a long time.
The XBox One looks exactly the way I want it. Black and shiny, low profile and slick. Something that looks like it belongs in a well-furnished modern living room. Depending on what the kit is, I might even be willing to spend $500 bucks on it, which kind of pisses me off because I really don't have as much of an appetite for gaming as I used to. But as much as I love what FIOS has done, they really cannot compete with gesture and voice recognition control of my big screen. There has been a balance of power in my living room between AppleTV, XBox 360 and FIOS and that balance has just been pushed a little bit further towards the XBox.
The details are where it matters. For example, a lot of cell phone multitouch control was demonstrated today. That means an IOS app if it means anything to me. How much is Apple doing with 'Smartglass'? I forget. If in fact the XBox One will have DVR powers locally or in the cloud, with whom will they partner. I heard Comcast mentioned but not Verizon. XBox.com mentions "HDMI pass-thru" which is just what I want, if it does the common sense thing. When I'm waiting in a gaming lobby, I want to pop back to TV or music and I want it to pop back the moment the lobby goes to game.
Obligatorily, I have to say about this 'always on internet' mess. It's peasant bodewash and I'm really sick of hearing it. Everybody always wants internet always on, just like electricity and the fact of the matter is that nobody turns on their XBox and then turns off the internet. Anyway, my take is exactly like the take of the Orthy guy or whatever his name was. If you don't want the internet, something's wrong with you. Don't spend the hundreds. Shut up and mail a post-card.
What will be more interesting is how much will all of those Azure services provide in terms of the same library of content we all want, and this is where Apple and Amazon still may have cards to play. So let's be frank about it shall we? Even though Netflix is the big gorilla, there's a ton of stuff they just don't have that somebody out there has. And all this new content pretty much hits at the same time - in fact it's getting annoying when I see the movie art on AppleTV and it's not available to rent yet, only buy. There is, for me, about zero upside in movie ownership. Which is weird (because I haven't studied why) considering that I think nothing of spending for a digital book whether audio or document. I very much like the Audible subscription model as well as the O'Reilly model. My purhcases are eternal and I physically possess them as well has having their library as backup. But movies.. not so much. Anyway, my point is that there is a lot of video archival footage and whatnot that I really would like to dig out and view but not own - and I kinda thought that's where Apple was going. Every episode of the Flintstone and the Gilligan's Island, for example. A huge TV archive. But that hasn't happened. So if the economics aren't there, and what's been proven is that everybody wants to rent new movies and recent TV series, then there is no reason why MSFT shouldn't get into that business with the exception that they are presently exclusived out of it because of deals made with Hulu, Vudu, Roku etc. So it seems to me that now is the time for XBox One to get into the movie action - or perhaps never.
Speaking of which, Vimeo and YouTube. I guess those are the back doors. XBox One really should have YouTube. There's no excuse. More legal hate, I'm sure.
A few other things. My gamer friends list should be infinite. There's no way I should have to be limited to 100. XBox Live needs to fix that right away.