- Apr 24, 2016
Even with its early and disastrous "three rings of death" hardware failures, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console managed to be a very highly popular game device, and cemented the company as a worthy competitor to Sony's PlayStation business as well as Nintendo.
However, due in part to the 2008 financial crisis, Xbox fans would have to wait eight years before the company would show off a true successor to the Xbox 360. That happened 10 years ago today, on May 21, 2013 with the reveal of the Xbox One.
Before the reveal event, there were tons of speculation about the hardware and software in the console. At one point in 2012, a person tried to auction off what he said was a development kit for the console. He ended up getting raided by the police just a few months before the Xbox One was first announced.
There were all sorts of rumors about what would be included in that next console before May 21, 2013. There were also lots of speculation about what its name would be, including Xbox 720, Xbox Infinity, and Xbox Fusion. In the end, no one really picked the Xbox One as the name before the official reveal event.
There were already some storm clouds about the console before the reveal event happened. For one, Microsoft decided to invite select media to its Redmond, Washington campus, where a huge outdoor tent was put up for the occasion. This caused many people to scratch their heads, as the annual E3 trade show was being held just a few weeks later in Los Angeles. Why wouldn't Microsoft want to use that show to reveal the next Xbox?
As it turned out, Microsoft talked less about its gaming capabilities at the Xbox One reveal event. Instead, Microsoft started out by focusing on the console's TV features as "the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system." That included a feature that would integrate the console with cable TV set-top boxes so it could act as a live TV program guide.
In fact, Microsoft first announced plans to offer a live action Halo TV series at this same event. It would have been the flagship show for exclusive TV series for the Xbox One console. Microsoft even had a new Entertainment and Digital Media division designed to develop shows for the console.
The event also showed off some of the Xbox One's Windows 8 kernel capabilities, including a way to snap apps so you could be playing a game and while also talking to a friend on Skype. It would also include the second generation Kinect motion sensor with every Xbox One.
However, many gamers were not happy with the fact that games didn't get as much attention as the TV and Windows 8 features at the reveal event. They also didn't like the fact that the Kinect was included in every Xbox One console. Many felt that would increase the price of the overall console package, and that the Kinect should be an optional accessory like it was with the Xbox 360 console.
The Xbox One was officially revealed to the public on May 21, 2013, but its initial reception was so negative that the company was forced to make changes before and after it went on sale.