On a green-hued night Microsoft kicked the doors open with the new Xbox One. Midnight launches across the US welcomed not just the console's arrival, but the fans who've eagerly awaited this day since the Xbox One was first announced on May 21.
To ring in the launch, Microsoft held fan-focused events at the Best Buy Theater in New York's Times Square and at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. That's not to mention the thousands of Microsoft Stores, Best Buys, Targets and other retailers opening their doors at midnight.
The Times Square shindig saw armored trucks transporting 2,000 new consoles, developers from studios such as BioWare and Ubisoft Montreal, as well as the musical stylings of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
And, of course, there were the gamers. TechRadar braved the cold fall night to speak with some of the die-hard Xbox fans who'd waited in line since early Wednesday morning for their chance to score a next-gen console.
"35 hours!" Hanoi de Los Angeles exclaimed when asked how long he had been in line. de Los Angeles was the very first one to show up at the Xbox One launch event in New York.
"I didn't preorder, so I decided I would just come on by and get the Xbox and try to be the first person. Low and behold I was."
de Los Angeles detailed how the line slowly added more people throughout the day Wednesday. The second person arrived at 10 a.m. and the third at 12 p.m. The Harlem resident said things really didn't pick up until launch day.
"Call of Duty Ghosts, the new Assassin's Creed. I'm definitely looking at Killer Instinct because I'm a big fighting game fan," de Los Angeles said as he listed the Xbox One games he was most looking forward to. "I'm waiting to buy a fight stick though because Ultra Street Fighter IV just got announced and there's no word if it's going to be out on Xbox One."
A better value
Even after standing around in the cold for hours, some Xbox fans stayed exuberant about getting their hands on the console. Some even called it the One system you need. Jocelyn Jimenez was among one of the most vocal supporters of the new Microsoft system.
"I was a big fan of PlayStation 2 but as soon as Xbox 360 came out it changed the game. It set a new standard and I just can't wait to try the new features," Jimenez said. "There's multitasking where you can use the Skype chat as you are playing a game."
"It could be really cool as I'm playing a game with my friend," she quipped. "We could be playing the same game and see each other's reactions. I'll be like, 'Twitch, record it' and they'll be freaking out."
Jimenez, however, did not have as many kind things to say about the rival PS4.
"I have no hate against the PS4 but I think they're trying to do the best they can. But [there are] no major exclusives and [it] crashed on the first day. The only thing that's good is the Remote Play between the Vita and the PS4, but even then it's not worth it because there's nothing to play."
"Before it was the PS3 guys would laugh at us because we had to pay for Xbox Live Gold membership but now it's the same for PS4 online," Jimenez continued. "On top of that there are the games switching over like Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear Solid."
Not everything is puppies and DVR capabilities about the new Xbox. One of the biggest issues plaguing the system is the lack of true 1080p gaming for some of its biggest titles, including Ryse: Son of Rome and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Uchendu Mwachuku, who had been in line since 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, said it's really not a big issue.
"At the end of the day both these consoles are relatively underpowered compared to a PC, and I also play on PC. I really don't care. If you're looking at the difference between 1080p and 900p and 720p, I really don't care."
"As long as the games are fun and everything works well, being able to play with my friends, who cares whether it is 720p or whatever," Mwachuku continued. "It's all just a number."
Get it while you can
Although Xbox rolled out 2,000 consoles at its launch in New York, another 1,000 at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, and many more at retailers across the country, some gamers said they expect the Xbox One to sell out fast.
Across the street at the neighboring Toy R Us Xbox One midnight launch event, we bumped into Chris Cannon and Zach Block who said they had gotten in line at 9 p.m. with the intent of flipping their systems on eBay. With the holiday season approaching, they expect a nice return - as long as they secured a console.
"We just came from the GameStop on 84th Street and they only have eight on reserve," Cannon said. "We looked at the Best Buy at Union Square and Chelsea and they were a real sh*t show."
Both Cannon and Block said that they are both fans airing on the PlayStation side but they still aren't in a rush to buy one for at least a year.
"I want to play Assassin's Creed IV but I can play that on my PS3," Block said. "Most of the games out, you can play the PS3 version."
- Until then, why not check out our hands on Xbox One review?