There are a lot of interesting things about Microsoft’s Xbox One, which was revealed today in a blockbuster event that was streamed across the world. Many are excited, many are upset, many are skeptical, but the important thing is that everyone is talking about Microsoft and the Xbox One right now, which is what they were going for. The reveal was heavy on features and a bit low on actual games, but we knew that going into the event. Most of it focused on how it will function as more than just a game console, with features like television integration and the Kinect.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been fascinated with science fiction and some of the technology that we’ve seen in books, television shows, games and films. While from a raw processing and hardware perspective the Xbox One isn’t really anything more than we expected it to be, it is a bit shortsighted to just look at specs and think that is the whole story. The Xbox One isn’t just a computer that runs software, but it is trying to bring some of that science fiction to life with its integrated technologies.
The Kinect and the controller will work together to remember you, as well as what you were last doing with the Xbox One. Your console recognizing you as well as your habits is the next logical step for us to move towards a Star Trek-like world of technology, where you can do your best Jean-Luc Picard impression while shouting “Computer! Resume program,” which is really kind of cool in way. Okay, not everyone wants to turn their living room into a Ready Room on the starship Enterprise, but it is the next logical progression of technology and something that none of the competition is able to offer.
We saw Microsoft dabble with these sorts of things on the Xbox 360; stuff like integrating television experiences, using voice commands to navigate, using smartphones and tablets to control the system and so on. The reality of the Xbox 360 was that most of those features were just kind of like nifty little additions that were built on much later, and it turns out were kind of a beta for the Xbox One. The idea of voice commands working better, of your console actually recognizing you and trying to predict what you’ll want, the idea of using whatever means is around to complete tasks and control your system are all ideas that are ripped from science fiction.
Then you tack on the fact that they plan to utilize cloud saves more, allowing you to have your full Xbox One experience on consoles other than the one in your living room is really a leap forward for home electronics. As long as it functions well, it could actually be a worthy addition to a gaming console and help for the Xbox One to be more than just a computer inside of a box that plays video games and Netflix. That might be just what they need to compete with the plethora of devices that are permeating our daily lives on a regular basis now.
Then again, this could just be a way for the Borg to assimilate everyone into the collective. I’m not sure yet.