While there's a lot to like about the Xbox One unveiling, including the demos of games like "Call of Duty Ghosts," "Madden 25" and "FIFA 14," and the bevy of included tech like Instant Switching, Snap Mode, DVR and more, there are some causes to gripe as well. Here are our top five Xbox One disappointments.
1. The Always-On Saga Continues
We're not sure what to make of this one yet. On the official Xbox One Q&A page, the question of always-on connectivity is addressed from the get-go. The statement says:
"No, it does not have to be always connected, but Xbox One does require a connection to the Internet."
Huh? That reminds us of "doublespeak" from George Orwell's "1984." There's been some confusion on Microsoft's end as well, with Microsoft Vice President Phil Harrison telling Kotaku that the Xbox One has to be connected to the Internet once a day. After that, they apparently backtracked, telling Polygon in an e-mail that Harrison merely mentioned one of many "potential scenarios," and that concrete details on the subject aren't yet available. It looks like Microsoft hasn't quite ironed this detail out yet. Either way, color us confused.
2. No Price Yet
One of the biggest factors that will determine demand and the Xbox One's ultimate sales figures is its launch price. We're crossing our fingers for $299. However, considering all the shiny new tech that's built into it and the fact that it ships with a new version of Kinect, we'll probably be looking at pricetags of either $399 or $499, which we think consumers could stomach. But $599 would likely be pushing it, for multiple reasons, some of which are detailed below.
3. No Backwards Compatibility
The Xbox One will not allow you to play Xbox 360 games on it, to everyone's dismay. The cost of the new system will be high, and most, if not all, of the games at launch will be priced in the $40-$60 range, sucking the life out of bank accounts everywhere. The least Microsoft could have done was let people play their old favorites on their brand new baby.
4. No Exact Release Date
Towards the end of the Xbox Reveal event, Microsoft executive Don Mattrick announced that the Xbox One will be available worldwide later this year. However, this was not accompanied by an exact release date. Now, it's a pretty good bet that the Xbox One will be released sometime during the holiday shopping season, which begins around Thanksgiving, though whether it's released before or after Black Friday is a huge deal and could be a big factor in measuring and maximizing consumer demand.
5. No Live Gameplay Shown
We were treated to demos of pretty-looking games like "Call of Duty Ghosts," "Madden 25," "FIFA 14," "Forza Motorsport 5" and more. However, we would have loved to see gamers on-stage playing any of the above games on the huge screens located directly behind each of the speakers during the event. Showcasing gameplay at the event could have ignited consumer interest, while forcing Sony to come up with an bigger follow-up act when it reveals the PlayStation 4 at E3 roughly three weeks from now.
What do you think of this list? Do you feel that there's anything missing? What excites and/or disappoints you about the Xbox One? What did you think of Microsoft's Xbox Reveal event? Sound off in the comments below.