At midnight yesterday, we finally got our hands on Microsoft’s anticipated Xbox One console. Here’s how Lancastrians stayed up to get their hands on it and a review of five launch titles
Billed as the ultimate all-in-one entertainment system for the 21st Century living room, Xbox One allows owners to dive into a new world of games, music, live TV, movies, sports, apps and Skype, all personalised to your interests – and accessible with the sound of your voice.
Sony would no doubt have something to say about that, but there’s no denying this console has the technological muscle to go toe-to-toe with the PS4, which goes on sale next week.
A seven-day head start gives Xbox One the spotlight to showcase its host of all-new accessories to fuel this next generation of gaming.
And the punters were out in force in Preston for the official midnight launch.
Alex Walker, senior sales assistant at Game Preston, said people who were collecting pre-bought consoles had to wait until the clock struck midnight before they were allowed to leave the shop.
He added: “The night went really well. We were delighted by the number of people who turned out, it stands as our most successful midnight launch to date.
“Thanks to the new pre-pay system that allowed people to purchase their consoles in advance, the night went very smoothly, and allowed more than 50 people to get their hands on the console and get going home to play it in just a minute and a half!
“Best of all, we get to do the whole thing again in a week’s time for the launch of the PlayStation 4.”
The console itself is sleek, black and packs a sizeable processor punch under the hood, alongside a Blu-ray disc player.
The innovative wireless controller has also been refreshed in dozens of ways, including new vibrating impulse triggers for precise fingertip feedback.
Then, of course, there’s Kinect, the motion-sensing technology that got a nation of gamers off their sofas and on to their feet for a new wave of physical (and musical) entertainment.
This time round, it’s even more precise, more responsive and more intuitive.
It works in nearly any lighting condition, recognises precise motion control from even a slight wrist rotation, and can distinguish your voice even in a noisy room using advanced noise isolation.
So, it’s a hot piece of kit and looks great in your living room – what about the games themselves though? These five launch titles already suggest Xbox One will ensure gamers embrace the next console generation...
Title: BATTLEFIELD 4
Shooters at this level of fidelity cannot fail to send a tingle down your spine, providing ludicrous levels of immersion in the all-action war-torn worlds that FPS fans cannot get enough of. Multiplayer shooters really don’t get much better than this, and with unparalleled levels of graphical definition and tactical options, there’ll be many a living room transformed into a strategic war room this winter. The single player campaign still has room for improvement, but once you head online, you’ll find it hard to turn off.
Title: FORZA MOTORSPORT 5
To further strengthen the Forza community, you’re never racing alone with Drivatar technology, which creates an ever-evolving network of opponents who are always ready to race. Once in pole position, you’ll get the chance to realise your ultimate car fantasy with truly astonishing detail on each and every one of the hundreds of next-generation cars available. Laser-scanned tracks provide millimetre accuracy and, with another series of Top Gear exclusives also on offer, the Stig’s digital cousin is only a lick of paint away in this awesome heart-pumping, petrol-guzzling environment.
Title: DEAD RISING 3
One of the most eagerly anticipated exclusives for Xbox One at launch, Dead Rising 3 blows open a blockbuster open-world of intense undead-inspired action that will define a new generation of zombie-slaying mayhem. The level of customisation is incredible, where anything and everything is a weapon and you can fashion tools of zombie destruction from an almost limitless variety of combo weapons. Whether fusing a sledgehammer and saw to create the fearsome Sledge Saw, or merging a motorcycle and steamroller to smash swathes of flesh-eating opponents, this is over-the-top blood and gore taken to another level.
Title: RYSE: SON OF ROME
Dive into the chaos and depravity of the late Roman Empire as you take on the role of Marius Titus, seeking revenge for the murder of your family at the hands of barbarians. A perilous journey of betrayal and divine intervention of Gladiator-style proportions awaits, as you join the Roman army in Britannia and quickly rise through the ranks to become a General. Ryse is bursting with brutal combat and epic-scale battles set against a riveting and atmospheric Roman background, and promises to be another console exclusive that might swing more than a few gamers away from Sony.
Title: FIFA 14
Already the undisputed champion of console kickabouts, FIFA 14’s step-up to the next generation delivers much more than just improved visuals. Yes, there is 10 times more animation depth and detail, but your players on the pitch also take on hundreds of new skills and behaviours, including side volleys and first-time screamers. The game’s series producer at EA proclaimed that the new consoles have released the shackles holding them back, with FIFA 14 the first title to showcase this awesome increase in computing power. He’s not wrong.
Games Reviews: Sony takes the spotlight as the eagerly anticipated PS4 finally hits UK shores. We cast an eagle eye over the hardware and hottest launch titles, including Call of Duty: Ghosts, Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall. With pictures. AVAILABLE IN SATURDAY’S LANCASHIRE EVENING POST.