E3 2013: Microsoft Xbox Meet and Greet

Today is the first “official” day of E3, but yesterday Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and EA had their big press conferences where they announced games for this year and next. It also happened to be the same day that Xbox’s Major Nelson and company put on an Xbox meet up at the local Microsoft Store in the Westfield Century City mall.

I decided to check it out while Dan was busy in New York City watching the world premiere of the Man of Steel. Pictures of the Xbox meet up after the break!

Xbox One

On display in a glass case near the front of the Microsoft Store was an Xbox One alongside a controller and next-generation Kinect. It was the first time I had a chance to see the new hardware in person. While the boxy look of the next Xbox isn’t for everyone, I found it absolutely gorgeous. The hardware team, led by Carl Ledbetter, was on hand at the event taking questions, shaking hands, and having a good time. When asked what their favorite part about the new Xbox console was most on the team expressed a sincere sense of triumph with the design and function of the new controller. Speaking of the new controller.

Xbox One Controller

Arguably the one piece of equipment you’ll be interacting the most with on the Xbox One is the controller. At least if past experience holds true. Between gaming and navigation the menus, the controller is the one piece of Xbox One equipment you’ll touch and feel the most. How the team took the controller from the Xbox 360 and improved it seems like no small feat, but they pulled it off superbly. By integrating the battery pack into the controller it feels better in your hand, you no longer have the battery bump annoying your fingers. At the Xbox meet up last night they had a demo station where attendees could try out the new controller on various demos that demonstrated the new rumble feature in the triggers. This new addition to the controller if utilized by developers will give gamers an even more immersive experience.

C-C-C-C-Combo Breaker

At the event was an arcade style gaming booth where users could play the upcoming Xbox One exclusive game Killer Instinct. Microsoft is working with Rare and Double Helix Games to bring the fighting game into the new generation. The line was longest for this demo. Players went head-to-head with the new game that used fighting sticks as opposed to Xbox One controllers. And why not? Games like that work best with a good old fashioned arcade stick.

The event was a success where fans had the chance to interact with Major Nelson, engineers and designers that worked on the Xbox One, and great folks like Laura Massey and Eric Neustadter. We’ll be bringing you more news from the showroom floor as the week goes on.

Sam Sabri