Eight years after the Xbox 360 debut we now have next-gen consoles. Though my gaming tale began long ago on the dusty shores of Barstow, CA. At the time I was five or so and my family picked up the original NES brand-new with Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. What encouraged them to pick up the system, I’m not sure, and should probably ask them sometime. At any rate, this console fueled my brothers’ and my addiction to gaming. Thereafter we on to enjoy additional machines: SNES, Sega, N64, Dreamcast (for Street Fighter 3rd Strike), PS1 & 2, Gameboy (multiple iterations), PCs/Macs, etc. We toiled with friends on their: Sega Saturns, Sega CDs, Gamegears & TurboGrafx, Jaguar 64s, etc. Any new console was exciting in and of itself.
In college my gaming definitely dwindled. Though I did own an Xbox as did many of my friends. We Halo’d and Rainbow Six’d over beers. We even managed a Street Fighter Puzzle Fighter Arcade cabinet and spent many a late night fighting it out. Grad school brought me back into the gaming fold with the Xbox 360 and Halo 3.
Today marks day five of the latest and greatest Xbox. So far I’ve plugged away a good 15+ hours into Dead Rising 3 and enjoyed football games passed-through the system. The TV system allows one to easily check up on a live-game and jump back into the football game should things get interesting. The Skype system via Kinect is also novel, though not as intimate as using a tablet or mobile device. Viewers get more living room than person and the angles can be odd. My favorite XboxOne features to this point are:
- Voice command to record gaming clips
- Ability to edit & upload the clips to the Internet/Web
- Snapping TV to the side of a video-game in progress
- The clarity of VOIP
- How damn fast the machine is to load a game, respond to commands, etc.
- #1 feature: the new controller
I seriously love the new controller. The layout is smart and the re-sizing clean. The thumb sticks grip and provide smooth movement. Hopefully the sticks break in just a bit more for faster strafing, etc. Overall the controller is light-weight with the heavier points evenly distributed for balance. I am all the more engaged for it.
Lastly, Dead Rising 3 just might be my game of the year. I have not played the uber-story and drama driven Last of Us. Nor have I played Bioshock and the latest GTA. Dead Rising speaks to me. Filled with campiness, gore, b-movie story-lines, and fun- DR3 is not trying to be a shiny gem with lovable characters, clever origin stories, or celestial greater-than-thou heroes/events. DR 3 as my instant classic makes sense, considering my first video-game involved an Italian-American plumber whose, “objective is to race through the Mushroom Kingdom, survive the main antagonist Bowser′s forces and save Princess Toadstool.” [wikipedia]