Microsoft started their reveal by showing off the actual console itself. Right off the bat, everybody saw the Xbox One, the new Kinect and the new controller, which were all had a slick industrial design. From there, Microsoft showed off the Xbox One's interface. The interface is very similar to that of Windows 8 with the added touches of the Kinect voice control and the ability to run multiple applications at a time. The voice controls were impressive as the Xbox One instantaneously reacted to the presenter's commands, a huge improvement over the original Kinect's voice controls because they did actually work. Microsoft then went into detail about the tech behind the Xbox One. They separated this segment into three sections: the system, Kinect and the controller. Microsoft took a quick look at the design and features behind each piece of the Xbox One. While I personally do not believe for one second that there are forty innovations in the controller, this segment was enjoyable as it was concise and to the point unlike one other console manufacturer that loves to talk for hours on end about their consoles specs by the name of Sony. The first half of the reveal concluded with a look at the new Xbox Live, which will boast thousands of servers, dynamic achievements and improved cloud storage.
The second half of this reveal was where everything fell apart for Microsoft. The first half got everybody excited to see what this new console could create. Sadly, Microsoft could not show the software to back up their claims. Nothing shown in the last thirty minutes did anything to excite, it actually made this writer role his eyes and yell at the television in disdain repeatedly. Microsoft touted that they will be releasing fifteen exclusives for the Xbox One during the console's first year on the market. Eight of those exclusives are suppose to be brand new franchises yet they had barely anything to show. Microsoft did show teasers for Forza Motorsport 5, a series that is quickly overstaying its welcome, and Quantum Break, a new game from Remedy that looks like Beyond: Two Souls just with a young girl instead of Ellen Page. The lack of first-party support at the reveal was very telling of how little Microsoft cares about their first-party content outside of milking Halo for all it is worth. The third-party games on display were not much better. EA Sports made fools of themselves by showing off their new Ignite engine along with a montage of what their games will "look" like on Xbox One. This montage was very similar to the Madden 2006 target video showed off at the 360's reveal. Personally I found it insulting for EA to try and pull the same crap they did at the beginning of this current generation. There is no way these graphics will be possible on the Xbox One right out of the gate and people are not dumb enough to believe it. EA should stop insulting the intelligence of the audience and show actual gameplay footage. The other third party publisher at the reveal was Activision, who showed off the first gameplay footage for Call of Duty: Ghosts. Despite Activision's attempts to convince those watching of the huge leap of graphics and gameplay from Modern Warfare 3 to Ghosts, it is more of the same with prettier graphics. Ghosts was nothing special and the fact that it ended this presentation just left a bad taste in this writer's mouth. Microsoft also announced a Halo television series and a partnership with ESPN, but honestly there was no reason to have these announcements thrown in with the rest of the game reveals.
Overall, Mircosoft started out strong with their showcase of the Xbox One's interface and features. The last half of the Xbox One's reveal was a disaster. There was no software to back up all the tech and features that Microsoft showed off at the beginning of the reveal. This lack of software extremely hurt the Xbox One's first impression. It did nothing to convince those skeptical to put down the cash to buy the Xbox One day one. The fact Microsoft clearly told everyone that they are going to show all the good stuff off at E3 with their countdown clock meant this reveal had no real purpose or focus. It was more of the same entertainment crap Microsoft has been shoving down our throats for a good two years now. At one point during the reveal, this writer was ready to jump on the Xbox One bandwagon, but it only took thirty minutes to change those thoughts. E3 is only a few short weeks away. Microsoft has a second chance to impress those not convinced by this reveal, but it will be much harder to do so the second time around.