At E3 2013, Microsoft and Sony had what arguably could be their greatest battle in the console wars ever, both vying for media buzz in the full unveilings of their respective next-gen video game consoles. For Microsoft, it was a challenging time since they were battling bad press from the initial unveiling of the Xbox One a month prior. It didn’t help that their console had a pile of “features” which much of the industry criticized for being anti-consumer, and it really didn’t help that their console require the Kinect and was $100 more expensive than the rival PlayStation 4.
It was these features that allowed Sony to earn a little extra fandom by pushing the notion that the the PS4 and PlayStation brand represent the gamers, emphasizing wouldn’t change too much in terms of what gamers are accustomed to from the PS3 when it comes to digital downloads, used games, online features, etc. But Microsoft is smartly turning things around.
It began with what many dubbed the “Xbox One-Eighty” when Microsoft came out and began their path of redemption, reversing several of their poorly planned out policies:
- Microsoft drops Xbox One DRM and doesn’t force users to be “always online”
- Microsoft (finally) lets indies self-publish on Xbox One
The Xbox One was originally intended to include a headset like the original Xbox 360 package, then it was reportedly not going to include it, charging $25 for the Xbox One headset separately. The latest on the awesome-news-for-consumers front – confirmed via today’s Xbox One unboxing video up top – is that the launch edition and regular edition of the Xbox One will include the headset in addition to the new Kinect sensor.
This is great news for the online gamers who know better than to rely on Kinect for the in-game voice communications. The focus on the video is the Xbox One Day One edition which includes a unique branded DAY ONE 2013 controller with chrome D-pad, and a Day One digital achievement. Standard and Launch editions of Xbox One include:
- Xbox One console
- Xbox One controller
- Kinect sensor
- 500GB hard drive
- Slot load Blu-ray drive
- IR blaster port
- HDMI input and output connectors
- S/PDIF interface
- Three USB 3.0 Super Speed ports
- Wired and Wireless network support
- Kensington Security Slot.
- HDMI cable
- Power supply
- Quick Start Guide
The next obstacle for Microsoft to overcome is the latest regarding its sharing and DVR capabilities. For Xbox One users to take advantage of the features and the ability to record and share video content, they will require an Xbox Live Gold membership, but on the PS4, users don’t need to pay for PS Plus to use their equivalent via the PS4 controller’s Share button. Does that one matter for you or will you have Gold anyway when/if you get an Xbox One?
The Xbox One releases November 2013.
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