Early in the afternoon Microsoft had a a small showing in the PAX Expo Hall that allowed fans to see the upcoming Xbox One console.
Judging by the number of people there it seemed a shame all people got was a view on an Xbox in… well… a box. I know I wished someone would just drop a TV nearby so we could plug the damned thing in.
In the evening, Microsoft hosted an event in the Main hall where we got so see one in action as well as getting a little more info about the hardware and upcoming games.
First up, the new Kinect sensor was given more time and I was impressed to see that the increased capabilities are going to make up for many of the first product’s deficiencies.
Seeing that the camera now has a true low light mode means much better odds in Kinect recognizing you and your actions. And increased tracking detail will mean you can’t try cheating at Dance Central… their words but doesn’t confirm DC will be coming though.
Games were shown as well and it was two I hadn’t yet seen in action that impressed me.
Ryse: Son of Rome is a hack and slash with a touch of Batman Arkham Asylum/City combat mechanics. But it is the presentation that amazes with a scope that is quite unlike anything that comes to mind in an action game. The opening of the demo was like watching the Gladiator version of Saving Private Ryan‘s opening sequence.
Battlefield 4 is already a highly anticipated game but seeing part of a single player mission in action helps to convince me that DICE are getting ever so closer to that Call of Duty type spectacle they’ve tried to chase with recent titles. This time they might just succeed; the chaos of battle has never looked more amazing. There will also be an exclusive window on launch DLC for the game.
If anything, these presentations showed that despite Microsoft’s stumbles, interest in Xbox One is still high and the console will do gangbusters on launch.