For years I have been attracted to PC gaming and never cared much about the Xbox. There were many reasons for this but primarily because I preferred the controls of a PC, the graphics resolution of a PC, and I was completely uncoordinated with the Xbox controller. In addition, it did not allow me to play much local content which was an issue for me. I have never been a dedicated gamer and dislike the extender model, so the thought of having an Xbox just did not seem to be a good match for me. Fast forward to today and the recent announcement of the new Xbox One, and the tables have turned. The Xbox is now a full entertainment package complete with enhanced gaming, live TV, video, music, and online content. As my focus is entertainment and not gaming, I have summarized why “I” want an Xbox and why it has completely changed my perspective on owning a game console. One caveat is that I will not get too excited until I have my hands one and can verify the execution and experience of the device myself.
Features that I want
- Audio/Video/Blu-Ray Playback – As an avid audio/video fan, this is my number one reason for liking the new Xbox One. The potential of having a one stop source for my media needs is more than I can bear. Right now it takes at least 2 boxes to run everything I want so having one source is pretty exciting to me.
- Voice Controls – This is normally a gimmick for me but after seeing the implementation, and with the potential of expanding this capability, this could be a game changer to me. The thought of turning things on and switching to various tasks with just a voice command seems very intriguing and could prove to be very productive.
- Improved Kinect – This is something I never thought I would like but if the experience is improved and rolled into other applications beyond games, this would be very cool. Navigating through the menus and performing useful functions will certainly change my mind about this technology.
- Skype Group Calling – I know many are not too excited about this but I certainly am. I use Skype regularly for talking with friends and other podcasters. There are times when I am in a group conversation that I would love to be kicking back in my living room and better enjoy the experience.
- Live TV Integration – The jury is still out on this but if done as smoothly as was demonstrated, it will certainly be a great feature. I mostly watch movies or premium channels, however if I could integrate this into one box along with my own content, I would be in nirvana.
- Snap Mode – This feature by itself is of little interest to me, however teamed with Skype, Live TV, and audio video will seriously enhance the experience.
- Promise of third party apps in the future – As the Xbox One appears to be based on Windows 8, the promise of third party applications would add endless opportunities to this device. It would allow me to do most tasks and truly add a new dimension that is not presently available.
Each of the features I listed above is not necessarily a game changer in and of itself, however combined, it certainly is. Granted the real life implementation still has to be verified, however if it delivers on the promise, Microsoft will sell a ton of these to people like me who never cared about a gaming console in addition to the ones who do. Stay tuned for real life reviews of the hardware when it is released as I plan to pre-order one as soon as I can.