Microsoft released an official promotional video of the Xbox One's dashboard in a 12 minute, PR friendly demonstration. The video rolls through all the different features of the Xbox One's dashboard, the Kinect integration, friends, watching TV, watching sports while watching TV on your TV and recording and uploading clips.
Just as a preface to this stuff: I don't care about any of it. Is it cool? Yeah, sort of. Does it enhance the gaming experience? Not by one iota. Of anything, it's more of a distraction from gaming. People Skyping in, requesting you join their games, sending clips, getting movie, media or TV notifications... it just feels like media consumption overload.
However, I'm a streamlined utility kind of guy who prefers things to work when they need to and how they should. From a pragmatist's point of view a game console should be made easy and convenient to game. Although, as you can see in the video above spotted by Polygon, the Xbox One is as much a gaming console as it is a media center device. It reminds me of the Xbox Media Center that has become so popular in the modding community.
The video capture and clip editing looks all right but I do wonder how this will work with traditional YouTube capture and will it cannibalize third-party media devices like AverMedia's or Diamond's capture cards that online Vlog personalities use at the moment?
Anyway, I may not be thrilled with the Xbox One's focus on being a media center, but I'm sure a lot of casual media consumers will be enticed with its ease of use and voice/face recognition capabilities.
I don't have a clever segue into this next topic but then again I'm not getting paid Jon Stewart bucks to be that clever. Anyway, the guy who had early access to the Xbox One that managed to get banned, revealed a ton of useful information before Microsoft dropped the banhammer on him.
Examiner managed to catch wind of the digital game sizes from a thread on Neogaf, where the owner of the banned Xbox One listed the following sizes for the Xbox One's digital game downloads:
* Day One Update: 500Mb
* Call of Duty: Ghosts: 39Gb
* NBA 2K14: 43Gb
* NBA Live: 9Gb
* Forza Motorsport 5: 31 Gb
* Ryse: Son of Rome: 34 Gb
* Lococycle: 13 Gb
* Dead Rising 3: 19Gb
* FIFA 14: 8Gb
* Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag: 20Gb
* Just Dance 2014: 22Gb
* Skylanders: 15Gb
* Zumba Fitness: 24Gb
* Madden 25: 12Gb
Interestingly enough, the sizes for some of the games aren't too far off from their uncompressed sizes, as noted in the article about the install sizes for Xbox One games. Dead Rising 3 installed is 35GB, which means the game, digitally compressed, is slightly bigger than half the size of the total game. I imagine Capcom was able to squeeze down the textures and sounds to knock off a lot of the bulk. This is a step up from their previous Dead Rising games which had digital sizes equivalent to the total size of the game itself.
Forza Motorsport 5 doesn't appear to be compressed much at all, as the digital download is only 4GB smaller than the disc-based version. Epic fail Turn 10. Do you even compression much?
Ryse: Son of Rome is 47GB in total but compressed to 34GB in digital download format. That's not too bad, but I imagine a lot of the bulk of the game's size is in the geometry, which is sometimes difficult to compress given that next to Star Citizen this game has the highest in-game polygon count for character models, even after the poly-count downgrade.
I'm genuinely shocked with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's size. That's about a few gig short from the PC version of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. In a way, I'm somewhat leery about how this will affect the game's quality given that Ubisoft has never been keen on compression. Could they have pulled a Capcom and optimized the sizes of the assets for the Xbox One? Possibly.
Given that AC IV is a cross-gen game I'm leaning toward the possibility that the textures are washed out and of lower resolution than what some people might be expecting. Again, I'm just hazarding a guess based on Ubisoft's track record with poor compression, the lack of Xbox One footage of the game, and the fact that the size seems exceptionally small for a game as large as Black Flag. But I guess we'll find out soon enough.