‘Halo’ Xbox One E3 2013 Trailer

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Halo made a brief and cryptic appearance at Microsoft’s E3 conference this year. Check out the footage below!

Microsoft Reveals Next-Gen “Xbox One”

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The day many have been waiting for is finally here – Microsoft have pulled the sheets off their next-gen console, and it’s official – the “Xbox One” is on its way to store shelves this holiday season.

Microsoft held a conference at 10 AM Pacific Time to reveal the new console to the world and provide some insight into what to expect. For those of you who weren’t able to catch the stream yourself, the following is a basic rundown of the most crucial points and facts from the conference.

  • The Xbox One comes bundled with an updated Kinect sensor, and most (if not all) of the console’s functionality will be voice- and gesture-controllable, allowing the user to switch between games, music, tv, and browsing the internet with simple commands. You’ll also be able to browse TV channels with your Xbox One instead of your cable box, and can browse to channels or even individual shows using your voice. Skype with group chat will be available. A level of multitasking will also be available, allowing you to bring up a second window while playing a game or watching a movie to browse the web.
  • The console features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of system memory, a 500GB hard drive, a Blu-Ray Drive, 802.11n Wireless Direct technology, HDMI In/Out, and USB 3.0 ports. The console was also said to have “three operating systems in one”. The console is also able to detect your heartbeat.
  • The entire Xbox Live service will receive an update, allowing for bigger multiplayer games among other improvements.
  • The controller, while looking somewhat similar to the Xbox 360’s, is said to boast “40 design innovations”, including an integrated battery compartment, impulse triggers, a WiFi Direct Radio Stack, and a precision d-pad.
  • Microsoft planning to offer some sort of social media layer tenatively named “Game DVR”, allowing you to upload video footage to the cloud.
  • Game library will feature 15 unique IPs, including 8 never-before-seen properties including Quantum Break. The most popular sport franchises will be making an appearance, including FIFA, Madden, NBA Live and UFC, as well as Microsoft’s flagship racer, Forza.
  • Stephen Spielberg and 343 Studios will be working on a live-action Halo series for the Xbox One.
  • Xbox One slated to have “second screen” functionality similar to the Wii U’s “TVii”, such as fantasy league-style interaction with live NFL games.
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts gameplay shown. Ghosts will have timed-exclusive DLC on Xbox One and Xbox 360 similar to Black Ops 2. (Game-specific features available below).

While today’s conference may seem a bit lean for a new console reveal, it’s clear Microsoft is planning to save the juiciest presentations and game demonstrations for this year’s E3. It seems Microsoft has some ambitious goals for the next-gen console, and we’ll have something to mull over until the big conference in June.

For more information, check out the full conference video, courtesy of Forbes.com.

Top 5 Things Fanboys Can Agree On

Here at Gamers XTREME, we try to deliver every article we write without any bias. Obviously, this sort of attitude is diametrically opposed to the one shared by fanboys, those gamers who have an undying loyalty to a single system or franchise, to the point of bashing others just to raise their favorite higher. You can read a more in-depth analysis in my and R17’s articles. Now by fanboy, I don’t simply mean someone who loves a given system – if you enjoy your Uncharted but still judge Halo as a great video game franchise, or if you own an Xbox but enjoy playing on your friend’s PS3, this title doesn’t belong to you.

Since the fanboy mentality is so focused on hatred and belligerence, I’d rather focus on something that all fanboys can agree on – the high points of their chosen systems that they can enjoy on their own merits, not when compared to others. Let’s face it – the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3, this generation’s mainstream consoles, all have a lot going for them. If we can look inward instead of outward, and enjoy what we have, I think fanboyism will be seen as a much less antagonistic, pejorative title. Rather than being seen as slavering, overzealous bullies, fanboys can represent their favorite consoles with respect. With that, let me shed some light on a few things you should be proud of:

5. Each Console Has a Great Controller

No matter your choice of favored system, one thing we can all agree on is that the controller for each is extremely well-designed and built for the best gameplay experience. I own all three mainstream systems and have to say that they each have their merits. The Xbox 360 controller is perfect for the shooter fan – thumb sticks are placed in intuitive locations, triggers for firing and aiming are within easy reach, and the whole thing feels solid in your hands. The PS3 controller is great all-around for the satisfyingly-responsive L & R buttons and the easily-reached thumb sticks and D-Pad. The WiiMote and Nunchuk fit nicely in your hands and have every control within easy reach, and the WiiMote can be turned sideways for a more old-school functionality. No matter which you choose, it just feels right.

4. Every Console Has A Great Motion-Control Technology

If there’s one thing this generation has shown, it’s that we all crave a more immersive, game-changing (so-to-speak) experience. Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony have answered the call and designed some hardware for each console to create new experiences beyond simple controller functionality. First out of the gate was the Wii with its out-of-the-box motion control functionality. Most games are controlled via a combination of the controller’s face buttons and moving it around, such as in Metroid Prime 3, where the player actually aims Samus’s arm cannon by pointing at a target on the screen. In Twilight Princess, Link swings his sword according to the player’s movements. Sony brought motion gaming to the PlayStation 3 as well, initially with its admittedly-underused SixAxis controller and later on with the much more successful PlayStation Move. Microsoft set out to steal the show later with its revolutionary Kinect sensor and promise of controller-free gameplay, something unheard of at the time. Though each system admittedly has its flaws, no one can deny the think-outside-the-box mentality each console’s designers brought to the table this generation, making motion gaming less of a niche concept and more of a mainstream gameplay method.

3. Every Console’s Company Screwed Up

Now this is a category some fanboys will have a hard time admitting, but ultimately, every console company has made some kind of major slip-up after releasing its current-gen console. Nintendo shifted gears from publishing a wide range of games for its previous consoles and focusing more on family-friendly titles, partially alienating some of its previous fan-base. Though a few titles can be picked out that don’t follow this trend – Metroid Prime 3, Twilight Princess, Mad House, and Red Steel come to mind – it was clear that the Wii wasn’t really for everyone. It looks like they’re trying to win back some of their more hardcore gamers with their upcoming Wii U console. Sony’s most famous incident this generation was the security snafu with its PlayStation Network, exposing many of its users to “possible” data theft, obviously a tremendous threat. They have offered free ID theft protection to anyone possibly affected, and treated users of the PlayStation Network to a selection of free triple-A titles as their way of apologizing and saying “welcome back”. No such invasion of Sony’s systems has occurred since. Last but not least is Microsoft’s initial game lineup for its Kinect peripheral. Being able to navigate the interface using your voice is cool and all, but Microsoft initially made a huge mis-step by trying to exclusively pander to families with their initial game line-up. Kinect Adventures? Kinectimals? Where are the hardcore titles? Well you can control your squadmates and navigate dialogues using voice commands in Mass Effect 3. Cool…but barring contracts between Microsoft and BioWare, not at all impossible on other consoles. The following year, Microsoft seemed almost unapologetic for its initial line-up, making a big announcement at E3 – Kinectimals now included 3 new animals! …seriously? At least you can use your Kinect on your PC and program some awesome functionality for its use in your PC games. See Kinect in Skyrim for proof.

The point here isn’t to give any one camp ammo against the other, but rather to highlight the fact that no system is perfect; we need to be willing to take the good along with the bad.

2. Each Console’s Exclusives Are Awesome

Probably one of the biggest factors when deciding which console to buy, exclusives are a double-edged sword; only a third of console owners will get to play one, but when they do, they can be sure it will use all of the console’s capabilities to the fullest. No matter which you choose, though, you can be sure it’s going to be a great experience. From Halo and Gears of War to Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid 4 to Twilight Princess and Metroid Prime 3, every game exclusive to its system stands tall on its own merits. And you can’t truly compare one to the other, because they set out to be unique gameplay experiences that nobody can duplicate. Gears is the cover-based shooter every other is destined to be measured up to. Halo is an epic of an FPS with awesome competitive multiplayer. Uncharted is simply the closest you can come to playing a movie, with tremendous production values and top-notch voice acting. Metal Gear Solid 4 lags slightly behind with its hours and hours of cutscenes, but offers an awesome stealth-action experience. Twilight Princess was the biggest leap forward for the Zelda franchise since Ocarina of Time, and Metroid Prime 3 combined tight motion controls with engaging adventuring and puzzle-solving elements. Whatever you’ve got, enjoy it – it’s some of the finest experiences you’ll have on any console.

1. Multi-Platform Games Are The Same On Each Console

This is probably the most volatile claim on this list, but barring a few examples, the above is mostly true, however this applies more to PS3 and Xbox 360 owners than Wii players, simply because of technical differences and diverging game libraries. On to the point – it really doesn’t matter which console you play Call of Duty on – the differences in graphics, sound, performance, and online capabilities are hardly noticeable, if at all, and this applies to many multi-platform games. The only real deciding factor in which system you buy a game for are its uses of your console’s controllers and motion gaming, if applicable, and which friends you plan to play the game with. Like I said, there are a few exceptions, such as Mass Effect 3, which suffers from some bugs on PS3 (FPS drops being a big one) that aren’t as prevalent on PC and Xbox 360. However, we shouldn’t be bickering with each other over these differences; rather, we should hold our developers accountable for delivering a fair and equally-enjoyable experience across all consoles. It’s not the players’ fault the game doesn’t run as well on one platform, so let’s put that attention somewhere it can be truly productive – in our developers’ inboxes and Twitter feeds.

Closing Remarks

I hope you exit this article with a newfound sense of pride – and humility – for your console of choice. Fanboyism is degrading to the whole of the gamer base, so let’s stop bickering with each other and start enjoying our consoles of choice. Even better – share your experiences with others for a more enriched and informed gamer community!

Let us know what you think in the comments below!