Now that the post-show glow has faded, we know a lot more about Microsoft’s new Xbox One console. We still don’t know the price or the exact launch date, but we can talk about which pre-show rumors turned out to be true and which were complete crap.
Let’s check off the rumors after the jump!
– The Xbox One requires a constant internet connect to function!
Kind of. Although you’ll lose a lot of functionality by not being online, you can watch TV, Blu-ray movies, and play games without an active internet connection if they’re designed to be playable offline. Unfortunately, you do need to be online for games that decide to use Microsoft’s cloud service or the ones that the publisher wants you to be always-online to play. You’ll also need to be online to register your games. (More on that later.)
– Microsoft is pushing hard into TV and wants to take over family entertainment.
Yes! The hardware is all about the power of the new Kinect integration and the ability to watch TV and stream media in new and exciting ways. Microsoft wants you to use the Xbox One as your media hub and they’re not shy about it. In fact the name of the hardware is a direct result of it hopefully being your one place to go for entertainment. Watch TV, play games, screen a movie, and go back and forth in seconds using hand gestures and voice commands. “Xbox One! Affirm my existence by showing me someone worse off!”
– The Xbox One blocks used games!
Well… This one is a bit tougher. Microsoft isn’t locking out used games entirely and you’re still free to resell your discs, but games do need to be installed to the hard drive and registered to a Live account. If you try to play a used game, you may need to pay a fee to register it to the new account. It logically follows that you’ll need to be online to register the games, but since Microsoft says you can play without a connection if the game is designed that way, then the verification must be a one-time requirement at installation. There’s a lot of confusion on this issue right now. More clarification will follow as things get sorted out.
– Microsoft is going to have a subsidized console.
They did, but the $99 Xbox 360 is no longer offered officially through Microsoft. Best Buy apparently still has a subsidized version of the console, but it’s unclear if these are just part of some holdover stock that just hasn’t sold out yet. Is there a plan to have a subsidized console offer with the Xbox One? We don’t have any word yet on that.
– Kinect is required on the new console.
Yes. No bones about it. Microsoft says the Kinect sensor must be connected and powered on for the console to function. We don’t know how much active Kinect use will be required, but the on stage demo seemed to handle voice commands well enough to watch TV with no trouble. That’s really what it’s all about anyway, right? Watching TV!
– The Xbox One is unable to play Xbox 360 games.
True. But you don’t want to play those musty old games on it do you? You have an exciting world of new games and TV to watch.
– They’re not really going to answer my questions with this reveal event at all!
You win… This time.
UPDATE: We may need to change the always-online answer to something stronger than “Kind of.” Kotaku has some bad news on that front.