Xbox One: Entertainment hub first, gaming console second - but can it disrupt TV?

By on May 22, 2013, 3:52 AM

Microsoft may have been the last of the major console makers to announce their next generation system but they certainly didn’t disappoint - that is, depending on whom you ask. Leading up to the reveal, many believed Microsoft would position the next generation system as a device designed to be as much of an entertainment hub as a gaming system.

After watching the Xbox One unveiling, however, I’m inclined to believe that most got it wrong. Given the One’s heavy focus on live television, it’s easy to envision how Microsoft may have figured out a way to transform the Xbox from a gaming console that also handles media into a home entertainment hub that just happens to play video games.

The Xbox One is now poised to become a huge mainstream success if Microsoft plays their cards right and even more so if they can get broadcast executives on board with their vision. There’s still a lot of unknowns, but let’s take a closer look at the facts thus far.

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j05hh j05hh said:

Did the reveal shed any light on whether or not Xbox One can view NTFS formatted hdds?

1 person liked this | yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I really enjoyed the Xbox One reveal. In answer to the question above, there was no info on NTFS hdds. I am not 100% sure what you mean by that either. Hard disk drives? Something else? Anyway, I digress.

I like the look of the new console. I like the fast task switching, the updated graphics and the improved controller without throwing the baby out with the bath water. I also like the integration of the system with the live TV broadcasting but it will be interesting to see how much of that is relevant to me in the UK.

MS basically have my money though. Right now, I don't care what direction they go. Based on the reveal I am sold. Bluray and Fifa 14. I am a 6 year live subscriber but I had the wii and ps3 and both got sold. Anyway, reveal did it all for me. Roll on E3.

3 people like this | Puiu Puiu said:

If they don't show good games at E3 which are played ON STAGE (similar to what PS4 did) then they will have big problems. It's nice and all that they included a lot of extras (most of which will not work well, if at all, outside the US), but they should not forget what made the XBOX360 successful: the good games.

As things stand, right now the PS4 is looking to be the better one in both hardware and focus and as someone from the EU the XBOX ONE does not offer me anything interesting besides an extra paid monthly plan for live.

General Sam General Sam said:

Didn't Microsoft say during that conference, Made by gamers, for gamers, I don't think this is true, it's more like Microsoft trying to dominate multiple markets all at once.

Is paying to play preowned games a tackle at piracy? Who does that money go to?

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Didn't Microsoft say during that conference, Made by gamers, for gamers, I don't think this is true, it's more like Microsoft trying to dominate multiple markets all at once.

That's a big goal of technology though. The smartphone is a device that does everything all-in-one. You've got your calendar, texting, calling, email, weather, traffic, music etc all in one device. Shouldn't we have a single box under our TV that handles our blu-ray, streaming, cable-box and gaming?

The problem is (unless I'm missing something) the Xbox One won't be able to replace the cable box, just sit next to it. It would have to receive the coax signal from the satellite dish or cable provider. It says it only has HDMI, which means you'll still need the box from your provider.

Regarding games... they may not have any good ones yet, but this this isn't going to be sold until around Nov/Dec right?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the charge for preowned games is split between the member selling the game (possibly as MS Points) and MS. If there is the ability to move a game between users for a small fee I don't mind at all. If I can advertise it on an Xbox One Online Marketplace as well thats better.

2 people like this | Guest said:

Am not impressed! I need a gaming console not a set-top box to speak to and wave my hands to. No games were mention, but for a few third party games that will also be on the PS3/PS4. Where is the next-gen Console we were promised???? This is not it! There's nothing about this Box that will earn my cash. Very Disappointing M$oft, Very Disappointing!!!

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I gotta say, the biggest concern for me is their baked in DRM.

Each game will have to be activated online, and will then be tied to that console and account.

So...if you take your game to a friends you have to options:

1. Sign into your account

2. Friend pays full retail price to license the ability to play.

This came directly from MS in a Kotaku article.

[link]

Also, I don't watch live TV, I watch hulu, netflix, twitch, youtube, teamcoco....Seems foolish to target live TV when the subscriptions are dropping every year. More and more people are "cutting the cord", why place your focus on that segment while screwing over your original demographic with this used games DRM?

Oh yeah, the Halo TV series, that's why. I couldn't care less about a TV show based on a video game. When 343 stepped on stage I was hopeful...but no game, just more TV.

Kinect though, right? Redeeming quality?

I'll reserve judgement on that until we have accurate reports of it's abilities.

Remember how awesome the Kinect seemed at first, then you realized it doesn't work half the time?

I realize that they warned this would have little to do with games and E3 will show their software titles in full, but man....The whole used games DRM is a deal breaker for me. I hope PS4 doesn't follow suit. It probably will though, if their patents point to anything it's that.

4 people like this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

How can anyone be excited for this thing, I know looks are subjective, but IMO it looks dated, bulky and underwhelming, perfect for a media center not a gaming console. Be creative with your design, not lazy. I don't see this as a mainstream success at all, for someone who wants to watch videos online or locally on their network, your going to buy a $400 brick when a $100 device can do the same thing while not being a massive power sucking beast, and actually new "smart" TVs already come with these features built in out of the box so really? Whats the point. Okay it has an HDMI pass through, does this mean I have to plug my receiver into it and then it into my Amplifier? Seems excessive to just watch TV, which my TV does just fine as it is... Now to what gamers want, well I guess our main audience can wait, they aren't important, heck their a bunch of sheeple who will buy our new console no matter what so lets just leave them on the back burner for now. I guess I'm just not part of their "targeted" audience, I already have my home theater setup with my PC as my One device that rules them all. Ha, I think I get it now, the name that is, Xbox One, the One device to rule them all, but not gaming, that's not important apparently, except for Call of Douche-bags...

Forgot to mention, by the time this comes out media center/streamer makers are gonna take the list of features and integrate it into a device for around $100 I bet further making this thing pointless.

1 person liked this | j05hh j05hh said:

I really enjoyed the Xbox One reveal. In answer to the question above, there was no info on NTFS hdds. I am not 100% sure what you mean by that either. Hard disk drives? Something else? Anyway, I digress.

I like the look of the new console. I like the fast task switching, the updated graphics and the improved controller without throwing the baby out with the bath water. I also like the integration of the system with the live TV broadcasting but it will be interesting to see how much of that is relevant to me in the UK.

MS basically have my money though. Right now, I don't care what direction they go. Based on the reveal I am sold. Bluray and Fifa 14. I am a 6 year live subscriber but I had the wii and ps3 and both got sold. Anyway, reveal did it all for me. Roll on E3.

I store all my movie, media etc on a 1TB external hdd. I have two Xbox360s and neither of them detect drives formatted with NTFS file system. In order to view my content off the external drive I formatted it to HTFS+ file system. The Xbox 360 detects that just fine. Hence the reason why I asked will Xbox One support NTFS formatted external drives. I should have been more clearer on the external storage.

2 people like this | psycros psycros said:

"The Xbox One is now poised to become a huge mainstream success if Microsoft plays their cards right and even more so if they can get broadcast executives on board with their vision. There?s still a lot of unknowns, but let?s take a closer look at the facts thus far."

There's no unknown here. Most of the TV providers aren't going to let Microsoft insert itself between their signal and the viewer, serving up Microsoft's own ads, their own media store, etc. They've fought this at every turn - just because its Microsoft don't expect them to cave unless there's a revenue sharing model that favors them. And then you have the broadcasters themselves who have veto power over how their channels can be distributed - they'll demand their cut, too. Comcast singing on isn't really a shock: they've been fully in bed with Microsoft since they took over NBC and its 24/7 propaganda outlet MSNBC. Frankly, I think the Xbox One is the best Christmas gift that Sony could have asked for. If they don't get stupid and block used games, they'll own the console market for the next five years.

2 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It's pretty clear that MS isn't interested in what Sony is up to. They're fighting Apple and Google TV with this. The fact that this box "plays games" is completely secondary.

I think most people already have smart blu-ray players and HDTV's that allow you all the different streaming capabilities. I find it hard to believe that people will buy this just to get "OneGuide."

psycros nailed it with his quote: "Frankly, I think the Xbox One is the best Christmas gift that Sony could have asked for. If they don't get stupid and block used games, they'll own the console market for the next five years."

cmbjive said:

I thought the Xbox One reveal was a mixed bag. While they prefaced the reveal that games will be shown at E3, it would have been nice that instead of delving into a HALO live tv series they would have debuted HALO V.

Microsoft is definitely going for the all-in-one set top box market with Xbox One (that's probably why the name is Xbox One), but they need to remember that the reason there is an Xbox in the first place is because the gamers demanded it.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Am I the only one a little concerned with the "have to install games to disk" requirement? Yes, it has some advantages like improved load times, no disk needed for play, and easier patching. But, it also has some big disadvantages like the ridiculous "fee to unlock used games" function, the limited storage size of the non-serviceable internal drive... And easier patching, which will undoubtedly mean console games will start being released prematurely and be as bug-ridden as PC games lately, since the devs will now have an option for massive patching after launch.

I rather like the fun "multimedia console" part of the package, but I'm not sure that will fully attract (and then keep) the non-xboxfanboy gamers to the One if there are too many down sides... It almost seems like next-gen console dominance is now Sony's to lose. Of course, Sony is known for bone-headed moves, so it'll be interesting to see if they fumble the ball as well.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

I'm a diehard PC gamer, and yet, Microsoft may have just convinced me to buy the Xbox One. However, like most have pointed out, it isn't because of the gaming, but rather the focus on being an entertainment center. I've been holding off on building an HTPC due to the UI limitations/inconveniences of running a PC OS. The Xbox One looks to be exactly what I've always hoped/wanted an HTPC to be. The fact that I can also play games with friends then becomes an added bonus. I think Microsoft has played their cards perfectly. They're most likely getting my money, where they otherwise never would have. What about the hardcore gaming? That's what the PC is for, of course.

Guest said:

Can we really trust Microsoft to know what the consumer really wants? The same company that completely missed the boat with Windows 8. It's a big question for anyone that is thinking of getting an Xbox One

Mavrickx888 Mavrickx888 said:

I always like the fact that Gaming Consoles were about Gaming first...all the nifty other things like watching DVDs/Blu-Rays and streaming Netflix/Hulu came second. Feels like the other way around with the One. That being said, maybe that's the point? I guess It's always been a goal of Microsoft, Sony, and even Nintendo to become the center of attention in the living room... maybe it's just the natural "evolution" of consoles.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I dunno Mav. My Xbox was my first DVD player! For me it's been about media and games.

This just keeps that rolling.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

I was surprised they didn't show any breathtaking games, too. We're still not sure what the hardware consists of, while the PS4 told us exactly. I'm hoping Microsoft was rethinking their use of DDR3 and GDDR5 hybrid and go for the shared GDDR5 pool, like Sony did.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I store all my movie, media etc on a 1TB external hdd. I have two Xbox360s and neither of them detect drives formatted with NTFS file system. In order to view my content off the external drive I formatted it to HTFS+ file system. The Xbox 360 detects that just fine. Hence the reason why I asked will Xbox One support NTFS formatted external drives. I should have been more clearer on the external storage.

I am sorry, I must have been tired. I saw NTFS and thought NTSC. Maybe I can blame my current Mac sys admin role where it's all HFS+. But not really. Perfectly valid point, didn't know the 360 had that limitation. I remember the PS3 could read fat32 only but a quick google shows you are correct. I used the Xbox connecter which didn't care about NTFS over the network but its not as convenient is it..

Guest said:

The underwhelming release of Xbox One sent Microsoft's stock down while Sony's went up 9%.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think MS assumed people would think games are identical on each platform so concentrate on other features.

drjekelmrhyde said:

Didn't Microsoft say during that conference, Made by gamers, for gamers, I don't think this is true, it's more like Microsoft trying to dominate multiple markets all at once.

That's a big goal of technology though. The smartphone is a device that does everything all-in-one. You've got your calendar, texting, calling, email, weather, traffic, music etc all in one device. Shouldn't we have a single box under our TV that handles our blu-ray, streaming, cable-box and gaming?

The problem is (unless I'm missing something) the Xbox One won't be able to replace the cable box, just sit next to it. It would have to receive the coax signal from the satellite dish or cable provider. It says it only has HDMI, which means you'll still need the box from your provider.

Regarding games... they may not have any good ones yet, but this this isn't going to be sold until around Nov/Dec right?

You are able to use your Xbox360 with Uverse you just need to buy the Home PNA kit or hook it directly to a ethernet cable

Guest said:

I have to say that as a PC gamer this makes much more sense than the PS4. Don't get me wrong, the PS4 will be the better gaming system, but in reality, by how much? Maybe side by side comparisons will show ps4 the winner, but the Xbox One will be just fine. They both have pretty decent tech, when you consider being able to optimize for one gpu. Granted my PC will blow them away, ( i7, 7970 OC, 256 vertex 4, 8 gig hyperX, and yes, it's a home built baby, I call her my sexy storm trooper, white case) but also for a lot more money. You won't even come close to matching the Xbox or ps4 in bang for buck when comparing to a PC.

But if I can go Minority Report on my TV while sitting on my couch, that will be awesome. Integrating Fantasy sports, also awesome (although I hope it doesn't have to be Espn fantasy). When you can put a product out there that will be used by a 64 year old woman, or a 7 year old boy, you got something there.

BUT!!!!!!! I mean red ring of death memories anybody? Imagine trying to explain RROD to your spouse or mother/father. If this thing will be the center of the TV experience, it will have to be MUCH better built. Also it will be on for a lot longer, I'm sure some people, who will watch TV through it, might never turn it off. Scary thoughts, I got to my third Xbox and just gave up, it still sitting in my TV cabinet collecting dust, connected, not working, but connected... Lol

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

LOL@the complaints about stuff that hasn't even been officially revealed yet!

Classic.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

Even the fanboys are having a hard time with xbox one, the reason is even the biggest dumbest fanboy is a gamer, and as a gamer its hard to stand by a system that even puts your own hobby second. There just so many whys going on with this box. Always online, ads, fees, kinect watching you, its ridiculous. It makes PS4 sound amazing just by sounding like pure garbage.

kebab2000 kebab2000 said:

They have a fair chance of upsetting their existing user base with this "TV-esque" endeavour. The 360 and the original Xbox got traction due to good titles like Halo and so forth. It is a fair bet that the 360 will be outselling the newer version for years to come especially in emerging markets.

The one-shot deal regarding games is also a major no-no. Good for the PC as it might serve to re-invigorate the platform.

Guest said:

They are trying to make the games store like Steam where you cant sell games but you can sign in to your mates computer with your Steam account and play them.

I can see people just selling their Xbox Live account with all the games instead just like people sell Steam accounts.

Does this mean hackers will now try to steal your account and play your games by installing the game on their HDD with another disk or is that disk locked to that account? Anyone know?

Could be interesting where you can buy an entire account on ebay with all the games...?

Guest said:

Does this work with the much better playstashun gamms?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

To support what was mentioned earlier here...

A good gaming console is presented with a few really good new games that make it stand out from both the previous generation and hopefully the competition.

When a console is presented without any new game titles for it, it is a sign of how much the company cared about game studious. It is however of no surprise, coming from Microsoft, and given how much they cared about users when releasing Windows 8, all seems in line with their politics.

jcarr11 said:

People complaining about the games while they specifically stated that more than anytime ever in the xbox history have they had more companies making exclusive games for them. They will definitely show this at E3. Second I do not care whatsoever what the console looks like as long as it does what it says and doesn?t overheat. I like the black because it matches my tv and tv stand so in reality you won?t even notice the console anyways. As for the preowned issue personally I have no qualms but I can see the major issue. My thinking is if it is registered to your account it will be easy just to transfer your account to your friends console then you can play it. I use to do that all the time.

egroves egroves said:

When I watched this I was thinking this is going to be great I can get rid of the cable box and us this as a new HTPC, but your right there is no way to get rid of the cable box. At least I was hoping it would have a cable card slot?? Most people are pushing to cut the cord from cable and sat. TV( I sure am). I have tryed goole tv, roku boxes and WD LIVE TV. Even thinking about making a HTPC. But there just is not a box out there to do it all. Unless microsoft is able to some how get all the programs(including HBO to go directly to xbox via internet. I think this is going to be just anouther box on my shelf. I think I am going to pass on the xbox this time and go with a pure gaming solution the PS4.

Didn't Microsoft say during that conference, Made by gamers, for gamers, I don't think this is true, it's more like Microsoft trying to dominate multiple markets all at once.

That's a big goal of technology though. The smartphone is a device that does everything all-in-one. You've got your calendar, texting, calling, email, weather, traffic, music etc all in one device. Shouldn't we have a single box under our TV that handles our blu-ray, streaming, cable-box and gaming?

The problem is (unless I'm missing something) the Xbox One won't be able to replace the cable box, just sit next to it. It would have to receive the coax signal from the satellite dish or cable provider. It says it only has HDMI, which means you'll still need the box from your provider.

Regarding games... they may not have any good ones yet, but this this isn't going to be sold until around Nov/Dec right?

complexxL9 complexxL9 said:

What about other markets like eastern Europe etc? I guess we can't take advantage of all those TV features, not that MS cares about these markets anyway..

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