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A small group of Xbox fans watch the Xbox One launch at the University Village Microsoft Store in Seattle.


It certainly wasn’t as exciting nor populated as the Surface tablet debut or the Halo 4 launch party, but a group of 14 Xbox aficionados still managed to gather at the Microsoft Store in Seattle’s University Village to watch the Xbox One launch streamed over Xbox Live.

Everyone stayed to watch the hour-long presentation and as Microsoft announced several of the more impressive Xbox One features, there were some head-nods of approval and a few “wow’s” murmured amongst the group.

But afterward, people like Sgt. First Class David George had some doubts.

“I thought that it was visually impressive, but there’s a lot of unanswered questions like the price and what’s going to happen with old games — things like that,” George said. “And with something this revolutionary, I would think there’s going to be some bugs in it. With so many new innovations it seems a little murky.”

Others, like Peter Chong, were excited for specific games.

“There was a lot of great stuff going on with the launch,” he said. “I’m mostly just surprised about Call of Duty.”

Chong said he would “maybe” consider buying one and thought the price would be around $400. Sgt. David Burnett, who is really looking forward to role-playing games on Xbox One, predicted something much higher.

“It’s going to be a little more than $500 — maybe $600 or $700,” Burnett said. “I’ll read the reviews before buying one.”

DSC00484And as for the name — Xbox “One” — most agreed that it was a good fit.

“When you think about “One,” they made the whole system as one system for all your household needs so you could get rid of a lot of the excess stuff,” Burnett said. “Right now you probably have a cable box, TV box, a game system box and all these other systems. So if they say it’s going to be “One,” as in one all inclusive thing, then yeah, the name makes sense. Like, you only need just one.”

Here are the official specs from Microsoft:

Xbox One was designed from the ground up to be the centerpiece of every living room with modern hardware, and it features the all-new Kinect, the new Xbox One Wireless Controller, a 500GB hard drive,3 an eight-core, x86 processor, wireless networking connectivity, HDMI®, three super-speed USB 3.0 ports, and a high-speed Blu-ray disc player. Features include the following:

Xbox One console. Designed with the 21st century living room in mind, the Xbox One console features a premium design with a gloss black finish, horizontal orientation and a slot-loading Blu-ray™ disc player.

Updated wireless controller. Enhanced with more than 40 technical and design innovations, the new impulse triggers offer precise haptic fingertip feedback and a newly engineered D-pad delivers greater responsiveness and control.4 An infrared LED on the front of the controller allows Kinect to automatically recognize you, making it easier to pick up and play.

Redesigned Kinect. It includes a 1080p, HD camera that captures video at 30 frames per second. All-new, active-infrared capabilities increase precision, allowing it to work in nearly any lighting condition and expanding field of view to accommodate a greater variety of room sizes. Microsoft proprietary Time-of-Flight technology measures the time it takes individual photons to rebound off you to create unprecedented accuracy and precision. The new noise-isolating multimicrophone array filters ambient sounds to recognize natural speaking voices even in crowded rooms.

GeekWire’s Todd Bishop is on the Microsoft campus covering all the action. Check out photos of the Xbox One here and stay tuned throughout the day for updates from Redmond.

Previously on GeekWire: 5 things I learned while working on the original Xbox


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