While I'm going to be looking at Kinect and voice control separately in the days and weeks ahead, I wanted to call out this one new Xbox One feature because it achieves something I thought impossible: It will make hard-core gamers love the Kinect. Using the simple voice command "Xbox, record that," you can now instantly record your best in-game moments as they happen. This is actually pretty transformative.
I know, I know. Some of you are rolling your eyes at the perceived hyperbole. But let me state this one plainly: If you doubt the veracity of this assertion, you just don't get it.
Anyone who spends any amount of time gaming knows how it goes. Every once in a while, something wonderful happens. That impossible cross-map knife or grenade kill. That death-defying leap into the unknown that doesn't just work out, but results in a game-winning kill. Whatever. (And sorry my examples are so violent: I'm a first-person shooter guy.)
When these things happen, you almost wish you could memorialize the moment. But you can't, and in describing the scene to a friend, sibling, or other gamer, you just come off like the guy with the "big fish" story. You shoulda seen it.
Well, now you can.
The genius of "Xbox, record that" is that when something awesome happens in a game, you can simply say that phrase and the Xbox One will preserve the previous 30 seconds of gameplay in a video. Then, you can go into Upload Studio, find the clip, optionally edit it, and post it online for all to enjoy.
Here are two examples. Both are a bit hard to see because I shared them to SkyDrive, edited them down, and then posted to YouTube. So the quality isn't awesome. But you get the idea.
First, here's my son launching a grenade across a map in Battlefield 4 when he respawns, netting the cheapest kill imaginable. To be clear, he just jettisoned the thing into space.
Second, here's me getting lucky in Call of Duty: Ghosts: I thought I saw someone in a far window and then zooming in, someone actually appeared there. Bingo.
Previous to this feature, you had to be a real wingnut to capture your best in-game moments. That's because you needed to buy expensive and complex recording hardware and software and record your entire game sessions, and then edit down the bits you liked and post them online. This was the purview of gaming enthusiasts, sure, but a subset of that group that had way too much time on their hands.
With Xbox One, "Xbox, record that" gives you a wonderful way to relive your best gaming moments. And you can also optionally start a Game DVR feature ahead of time if you want to record the whole thing. I'll look at that feature later.