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Xbox One could be Xbox Won

May 22nd, 2013 - 10:03 am

New XBOX ONEWired has an excellent writeup of the new Xbox One. It was just revealed to the public yesterday, but Peter Rubin got to spend some quality time with one over the last few weeks — the lucky bastard. It’s an impressive piece of hardware, like any new console should be. But here’s what I think makes it a winner:

When the 360 launched, smartphones hadn’t yet trickled out of the corporate world; Netflix was strictly a DVD delivery service; the “cloud” was something that got in the way of a suntan. (Hell, in 2005, people suntanned.) And a big part of the 360’s longevity was Microsoft’s ability not only to develop games but also to forge partnerships that took advantage of these new staples of online life. So as those deals proliferated, so did the things the Xbox 360 could do. People played Halo 3 on their Xbox, but they also watched Netflix. They bought Kinect sensors for controller-free experiences, but they also burned through seasons of Deadwood on HBO Go and caught sports highlights on an ESPN app. But all of this new functionality was built on patches and firmware updates. The 360 simply wasn’t constructed that way, so when the Xbox One was greenlit in the fall of 2011, “the decision wasn’t, ‘We need a gamebox,’” Whitten says. “It was, ‘We need a living-room experience.’” Built that way from the ground up.

This is Microsoft playing at the absolute top of its game (no pun intended). They’ve leveraged everything they’ve learned about gaming, consoles, services, and streaming, and worked them together into a single system. To call the Xbox One a mere “console” is to undersell what it is and what it does. This is an entertainment system-in-a-box, all for a few hundred dollars.

How was Microsoft able to do this, when they’ve pretty much flubbed every single other consumer device they’ve tried to build in the last few years? How did the company that build the ill-fated Zune with its infamous “Squirt” feature manage to get something so spectacularly right?

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You make a great point, Stephen but today's Microsoft corporate culture can't do what you describe. There is literally too much fail - and the corporate culture has done the opposite of learning from its failures, its been promoting them.

Heck, I ought to forward to you the stories I get from my Microsoft friends if I could figure out how to file off the serial numbers well enough.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think the gaming division is off in an odd building where Ballmer hasn't been able to find it.

Perhaps I misunderstand your argument, but "Scrap Windows Phone and Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro for Fingers and Stylus and Mice and Stuff. Replace them all with “Xbox Go” sounds a lot like "Windows everywhere" that has given them such difficulties.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment

Yes, I was thinking along these lines when I saw the release material yesterday, too.

If Microsoft wants to be in mobile, they need to focus on the interface problem. Touch-screen GUI is more or less figured out. Apple is good enough that there's no percentage in competing based on the GUI. But Kinect is something different, and is potentially a much richer interface than touch. Handwriting recognition (which MS does extremely well) is something different, and is a more accurate interface than touch.

Windows is probably done for as a consumer OS, but MS has some very good interface technology. And second only to ecosystem, interface is the thing.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Windows CE (aka “WinCE”) was the answer to the question nobody was asking: “Is there a phone I can buy that’s as crappy as Windows?”"

True, but it was also a tolerable answer to "what OS can I use on this embedded device?"; CE was on a lot of hardware that you *never knew was running it*.

It just sucked incredibly on handhelds (says the guy who had not one but two various CE/PocketPC devices over the years).

(And, Jesus, it's not like the alternatives, pre-iPhone, were much better...)
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
'Failure is the mother of success'

"How was Microsoft able to do this, when they’ve pretty much flubbed every single other consumer device they’ve tried to build in the last few years?"

Because they have a lot of mothers?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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