The Xbox One added itself to the console fray last night alongside the Playstation 3 and Wii U in the battle for our living room. The Xbox One launched last night to fanfare, freebies, and long lines.
Sure, early adopters pay for systems that will receive updates for the majority of the next decade but early adopters also pay for the opportunity to be a part of the fuss. Events with other fans allow us to share in our excitement for our favorite hobby that inspires emptying our bank accounts, waiting for hours in the cold, and returning home in the wee hours of the morning to fall asleep while playing our games. Surely, I am not the only gamer to stifle yawns upon returning home with a day one game.
If you were unable to attend a midnight launch event for the Xbox One last night, Microsoft streamed its New York City event in Times Square starting at 11:00 PM EST. The stream counted down to midnight and included performances by the ever-present deadmau5 as well as Macklemore. Ray Cox IV, the gamer behind the well-known gamertag Stallion83, was interviewed in recognition of the highest gamerscore on the Xbox 360, a gamerscore of 952,400. The trip was Stallion83’s first trip to New York City and Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson, presented him with an impressive Xbox Gold account free for life.
A smorgasbord of interviews aired from Will Arnett to Respawn Entertainment (developers of Titanfall, who discussed the title). A promotional video featuring CGI and gameplay footage reminded us about the upcoming Xbox One games: Halo, Watch Dogs, The Division, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare, Kinect Sports Rivals, Project Spark, UFC, Fable Legends, Final Fantasy XV, The Elder Scrolls Online, Kingdom Hearts 3, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Dying Light, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Titanfall. The video is available to watch here.
Strongly reminiscent of a New Year’s countdown, lucky gamers counted down the final ten seconds on stage and received their Xbox One consoles amidst raining confetti. The following morning, aka earlier this morning, Sony returned Microsoft’s gesture at Sony’s Playstation 4 launch last week and congratulated Microsoft on their Xbox One launch.
I watched the stream on my Xbox 360 via the Game Trailers app. The streamed event was closed captioned without watching it on the television. While even for a live event the closed captions were awful, I enjoyed watching the march of progress, noting that as of March 30, 2013, streamed live events broadcast on the television must provide closed captioning as well. The quality of the closed captions is the responsibility of the television broadcaster, in this instance SPIKE TV. Suggestions to SPIKE TV include better quality closed captioning regarding timing and spelling as well as recognizing the placement of the captions alongside embedded onscreen information such as a news ticker.
Without attending the event, assessing wheelchair accessibility is difficult. Certainly, as disabled gamers, we support wheelchair accessibility at video game events. The zombie horde swarming the event advertising Dead Rising 3 did include a little person as seen in the Vine video posted @majornelson. The diversity in Microsoft’s promotions is much appreciated.